30+ quotes from White Nights by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Quotes from White Nights

Fyodor Dostoyevsky ·  82 pages

Rating: (27.9K votes)


“But how could you live and have no story to tell?”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can't help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year. I feel I know you so well that I couldn't have known you better if we'd been friends for twenty years. You won't fail me, will you? Only two minutes, and you've made me happy forever. Yes, happy. Who knows, perhaps you've reconciled me with myself, resolved all my doubts.

When I woke up it seemed to me that some snatch of a tune I had known for a long time, I had heard somewhere before but had forgotten, a melody of great sweetness, was coming back to me now. It seemed to me that it had been trying to emerge from my soul all my life, and only now-

If and when you fall in love, may you be happy with her. I don't need to wish her anything, for she'll be happy with you. May your sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn't such a moment sufficient for the whole of one's life?”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can’t help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“Because it begins to seem to me at such times that I am incapable of beginning a life in real life, because it has seemed to me that I have lost all touch, all instinct for the actual, the real; because at last I have cursed myself; because after my fantastic nights I have moments of returning sobriety, which are awful! Meanwhile, you hear the whirl and roar of the crowd in the vortex of life around you; you hear, you see, men living in reality; you see that life for them is not forbidden, that their life does not float away like a dream, like a vision; that their life is being eternally renewed, eternally youthful, and not one hour of it is the same as another; while fancy is so spiritless, monotonous to vulgarity and easily scared, the slave of shadows, of the idea, the slave of the first cloud that shrouds the sun... One feels that this inexhaustible fancy is weary at last and worn out with continual exercise, because one is growing into manhood, outgrowing one's old ideals: they are being shattered into fragments, into dust; if there is no other life one must build one up from the fragments. And meanwhile the soul longs and craves for something else! And in vain the dreamer rakes over his old dreams, as though seeking a spark among the embers, to fan them into flame, to warm his chilled heart by the rekindled fire, and to rouse up in it again all that was so sweet, that touched his heart, that set his blood boiling, drew tears from his eyes, and so luxuriously deceived him!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“I don’t know how to be silent when my heart is speaking.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“And so I ask myself: 'Where are your dreams?' And I shake my head and mutter: 'How the years go by!' And I ask myself again: 'What have you done with those years? Where have you buried your best moments? Have you really lived? Look,' I say to myself, 'how cold it is becoming all over the world!' And more years will pass and behind them will creep grim isolation. Tottering senility will come hobbling, leaning on a crutch, and behind these will come unrelieved boredom and despair. The world of fancies will fade, dreams will wilt and die and fall like autumn leaves from the trees. . . .”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“It was a wonderful night, such a night as is only possible when we are young, dear reader.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“Oh, how unbearable is a happy person sometimes!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“In the end, you feel that your much-vaunted, inexhaustible fantasy is growing tired, debilitated, exhausted, because you're bound to grow out of your old ideals; they're smashed to splinters and turn to dust, and if you have no other life, you have no choice but to keep rebuilding your dreams from the splinters and dust. But the heart longs for something different! And it is vain to dig in the ashes of your old fancies, trying to find even a tiny spark to fan into a new flame that will warm the chilled heart and bring back to life everything that can send the blood rushing wildly through the body, fill the eyes with tears--everything that can delude you so well!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“May your sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn't such a moment sufficient for the whole of one's life?”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“. . . finally, I couldn't imagine how I could live without books, and I stopped dreaming about marrying that Chinese prince. . . .”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“I sometimes have moments of such despair, such despair … Because in those moments I start to think that I will never be capable of beginning to live a real life; because I have already begun to think that I have lost all sense of proportion, all sense of the real and the actual; because, what is more, I have cursed myself; because my nights of fantasy are followed by hideous moments of sobering! And all the time one hears the human crowd swirling and thundering around one in the whirlwind of life, one hears, one sees how people live—that they live in reality, that for them life is not something forbidden, that their lives are not scattered for the winds like dreams or visions but are forever in the process of renewal, forever young, and that no two moments in them are ever the same; while how dreary and monotonous to the point of being vulgar is timorous fantasy, the slave of shadow, of the idea...”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“May you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn't such a moment sufficient for the whole of one's life?”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“I like revisiting, at certain times, spots where I was once happy; I like to shape the present in the image of the irretrievable past.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“Your hand is cold, mine burns like fire. How blind you are, Nastenka!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“Here my tears are falling, Nastenka. Let them flow, let them flow - they don't hurt anybody. They will dry Nastenka.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“It suddenly seemed to me that I was lonely, that everyone was forsaking me and going away from me.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“And in vain does the dreamer rummage about in his old dreams, raking them over as though they were a heap of cinders, looking into these cinders for some spark, however tiny, to fan it into a flame so as to warm his chilled blood by it and revive in it all that he held so dear before, all that touched his heart, that made his blood course through his veins, that drew tears from his eyes, and that so splendidly deceived him!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“It suddenly seemed to me that I was lonely, that every one was forsaking me and going away from me. Of course, any one is entitled to ask who “every one” was. For though I had been living almost eight years in Petersburg I had hardly an acquaintance. But what did I want with acquaintances? I was acquainted with all Petersburg as it was...”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“Where have you buried your best days? Have you lived or not? Look, one
says to oneself, look how cold the world is growing.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“I am told that the proximity of punishment arouses real repentance in the criminal and sometimes awakens a feeling of genuine remorse in the most hardened heart; I am told this is due to fear.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“The dreamer—if you want an exact definition—is not a human being, but a creature of an intermediate sort.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“and what shall I have to dream of when I have been so happy in reality beside you!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“At first it was simply liking, Nastenka, but now, now !
I am just in the same position as you were when you went to him with your bundle. In a worse position than you, Nastenka,because he cared for no one else as you do.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“At last my heart was too full.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“Grandmother was always regretting the old days-she was younger in old days,and the sun was warmer in old days,and cream did not turn so sour in old days-it was always the old days!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“Ah, Nastenka! Why, one thanks some people for being alive at the same time with one; I thank you for having met me, for my being able to remember you all my life!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“Listen, listen!" I interrupted her. "Forgive me if I tell you something else.... I tell you what, I can't help coming here to-morrow, I am a dreamer; I have so little real life that I look upon such moments as this now, as so rare, that I cannot help going over such moments again in my dreams. I shall be dreaming of you all night, a whole week, a whole year. I shall certainly come here to-morrow, just here to this place, just at the same hour, and I shall be happy remembering today. This place is dear to me already. I have already two or three such places in Petersburg. I once shed tears over memories ... like you.... Who knows, perhaps you were weeping ten minutes ago over some memory.... But, forgive me, I have forgotten myself again; perhaps you have once been particularly happy here....”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


“It was a wonderful night, such a night as is only possible when we are young, dear reader. The sky was so starry, so bright that, looking at it, one could not help asking oneself whether ill-humoured and capricious people could live under such a sky. That is a youthful question too, dear reader, very youthful, but may the Lord put it more frequently into your heart!...”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, quote from White Nights


About the author

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Born place: in Moscow, Russian Federation
Born date November 11, 1821
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