Fyodor Dostoyevsky

11 Nov 1821 // 9 Feb 1881

Man is a Mystery

My soul is no longer susceptible to its former violent impulses. Everything in it is quiet as in the heart of a man who conceals a deep secret. I am learning a good deal about "what is man and what is life"; I can study human characters from writers with whom I spend the best part of my life, freely and joyfully. This is all I can say about myself. I have confidence in myself. Man is a mystery. It must be unraveled, and if it takes a whole lifetime, don't say that it's a waste of time. I am preoccupied by this mystery because I want to be a human being...

Fiodor Dostoievski, in 'Selected Letters'


On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."