The Brothers Karamazov has been one of the most influential books to ever grace my life. I thought I’d kick off 2013 by going back through some of the most memorable quotes and digging up others, new ones, along the way.
Dostoyevsky is so brilliant, so exacting, his novel reels one into a giant act of contrition, to be spellbound by his pages is no less than an act of confession in itself. His stances were and continue to be formative of my own life, and his characters challenge me daily to rise to new occasions.
“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.” – The Elder Zosima, Book II Chapter II, The Brothers Karamazov.
I find myself in awe at Dostoyevsky, even now. What he says here is so poignant, so timeless. For Dostoyevsky, love is based in Truth. Respect is an act of love for self and others, and one cannot have that without Truth. Later in the novel, one of the major themes becomes redemption through honest self reflection.
Self honesty has become an increasingly important part of my daily life. I just wanted to share that, and encourage you to read The Brothers Karamazov, since it is an essentially honest book. As we find ourselves in a world stacked with lies, it is important to find little inspirations, little prophets who shout Truth from their pages.