“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

fyodor-dostoevsky_eK44ZToday is the birthday of one of my favourite authors (as can be seen from any casual glance at this blog!) – Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Wikipedia says:  Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher. Dostoyevsky’s literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. He began writing in his 20s, and his first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846 when he was 25. His major works include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). His output consists of eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and numerous other works. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.

I’d certainly agree with that, as Dostoyevsky has been highly rated in my opinion since I first read him in my 20s. It’s almost shocking to realise that he was born almost 200 years ago, as his writing still seems powerful and relevant nowadays.

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Although he might be thought of as an intimidating writer, I don’t find him so. I think it’s a case of finding a translator/translation that works for you and diving in. And there are several excellent shorter works around (plenty of which I’ve reviewed here!) if hundreds of pages of “The Brothers Karamazov” is just too scary…

Dostoyevsky on his death-bed, looking remarkably tranquil

Dostoyevsky on his death-bed, looking remarkably tranquil

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Happy birthday Dostoyevsky!