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'The Brothers Karamazov' Quotes

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Famous Novel

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The Brothers Karamazov is one of the greatest novels of all time. The book was the final novel Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote before his death. This important Russian novel often praised for its complexity. Here are a few quotes from the novel.
  • "Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end... but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature ... And to found that edifice on its unavenged tears: would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell me the truth!"
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "I'm a Karamazov... when I fall into the abyss, I go straight into it, head down and heels up, and I'm even pleased that I'm falling in such a humiliating position, and for me I find it beautiful. And so in that very shame I suddenly begin a hymn. Let me be cursed, let me be base and vile, but let me also kiss the hem of that garment in which my God is clothed; let me be following the devil at the same time, but still I am also your son, Lord, and I love you, and I feel a joy without which the world cannot stand and be."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "Is there in the whole world a being who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? I don't want harmony. From love for humanity I don't want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it's beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "Listen: if everyone must suffer, in order to buy eternal harmony with their suffering, pray tell me what have children got to do with it? It’s quite incomprehensible why they should have to suffer, and why they should buy harmony with their suffering."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "The stupider one is, the closer one is to reality. The stupider one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence wriggles and hides itself. Intelligence is a knave, but stupidity is honest and straightforward."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "Everything is permitted..."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "All is lawful."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "There is only one salvation for you: take yourself up, and make yourself responsible for all the sins of men. For indeed it is so, my friend, and the moment you make yourself sincerely responsible for everything and everyone, you will see at once that it is really so, that it is you who are guilty on behalf of all and for all. Whereas by shifting your own laziness and powerlessness onto others, you will end by sharing in Satan's pride and murmuring against God."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "Viper will eat viper, and it would serve them both right!"
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • "If you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once be dried up. Moreover, nothing then would be immoral; everything would be lawful, even cannibalism."
    - Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov