Quotes of the Day for 11 November 2009 – Dostoyevsky
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was born at Moscow on this day in 1821, the son of a despotic alcoholic surgeon. His early education was at home, when his mother died of tuberculosis in 1837 Fyodor and his brother were sent to the Military Engineering Academy at St Petersburg. In 1839 his father died, by some accounts killed by his own serfs. After graduation, Dostoyevsky lost interest in his trade and resigned his commission to write. One of his publishing ventures attracted the anger of Tsar Nicholas I and he was sentenced to death. He was sent to Siberia after a mock execution, followed by five year's service in the Siberian Regiment. Between fits of epilepsy and a gambling problem his life was rocky until forced to deliver a novel or surrender all his copyrights to the publisher. A month before the deadline he hired a young stenographer; working long hours they got the novel done on the day of the deadline, falling in love in the process. They married in 1867 and Anna managed to keep the rest of his life productive.
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Neither man nor nation can exist without a sublime idea.
A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others.
Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it has not been fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles. Here the boundaries meet and all contradictions exist side by side.
In most cases, people, even the most vicious, are much more naive and simple-minded than we assume them to be. And this is true of ourselves too.
It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy.
To care only for well-being seems to me positively ill-bred. Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things.
All from Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1821 - 1881
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