The Brothers Karamazov and Existentialism

Trivia and favourite quotes (if you care to read further)

  • “The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular.”
  • “The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The greater the stupidity, the greater the clarity. Stupidity is brief and guileless, while intelligence equivocates and hides. Wit is a scoundrel, while stupidity is honest and sincere”
  • “There is a certain confession I have to make to you”, Ivan began. “I have never been able to understand how is it possible to love one’s neighbour. In my opinion the people it is impossible to love are precisely those near to one, while one can really love those who are far away”
  • “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”
  • “The centripetal force on our planet is still fearfully strong, Alyosha. I have a longing for life, and I go on living in spite of logic. Though I may not believe in the order of the universe, yet I love the sticky little leaves as they open in spring. I love the blue sky, I love some people, whom one loves you know sometimes without knowing why. I love some great deeds done by men, though I’ve long ceased perhaps to have faith in them, yet from old habit one’s heart prizes them. Here they have brought the soup for you, eat it, it will do you good. It’s first-rate soup, they know how to make it here. I want to travel in Europe, Alyosha, I shall set off from here. And yet I know that I am only going to a graveyard, but it’s a most precious graveyard, that’s what it is! Precious are the dead that lie there, every stone over them speaks of such burning life in the past, of such passionate faith in their work, their truth, their struggle and their science, that I know I shall fall on the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them; though I’m convinced in my heart that it’s long been nothing but a graveyard. And I shall not weep from despair, but simply because I shall be happy in my tears, I shall steep my soul in emotion. I love the sticky leaves in spring, the blue sky — that’s all it is. It’s not a matter of intellect or logic, it’s loving with one’s inside, with one’s stomach.”
  • “Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to passions and coarse pleasures in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in his vices reaches complete beastiality, and it all comes form lying continually to others and himself. A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offense. it sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn’t it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked up on a word and made a mountain out of a pea — he knows all of that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real hostility…”

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