In the introduction to Constance Garnett's translation of Crime and Punishment, she quotes this Russian critic:

In the words of a Russian critic, who seeks to explain the feeling inspired by Dostoevsky: "He was one of ourselves, a man of our blood and our bone, but one who has suffered and has seen so much more deeply than we have his insight impresses us as wisdom... that wisdom of the heart which we seek that we may learn from it how to live. All his other gifts came to him from nature, this he won for himself and through it he became great."

Can someone help me find the original Russian text of this critical review? I would like to memorize it, because it echoes my feelings about Dostoevsky when I first read him in English.

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    There's no reason to expect this quote to come from a review of Crime and Punishment in particular. Garnett's "Translator's Preface" was printed in several of her translations, for example here it is in a Heinemann edition of The Brothers Karamazov. Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


I googled for "мудрость сердца" (the wisdom of the heart) and "достоевский" and found a book "Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. His life and works" (comp. V. Pokrovsky), and there is the quote you search.

Screenshot from Google Books

It is written though in 19th century Russian and my interpretation goes like:

Кого потеряла Россия в нем? Проще всего будет сказать, что это был один из нас, от нашей кости и плоти человек, но так неизмеримо больше нас переживший, так в неизмеримо большее прозревший, что это прозрение естественно представляется нам как мудрость; не та мудрость, что составляет плодь умственных в[ы]кладов, и которую мы любим как предмет любопытства, но не считаем ее достаточно сериозною, что бы по ней жить, - но мудрость сердца, которой мы ищем именно для того, чтобы научиться, как жить. Все другие дары дала ему природа, - этот он приобрел и им стал велик. / B. Розанов /

The quote in the question highlighted here in bold

The man who wrote it is Vasily Vasilievich Rozanov, Russian critic and writer.

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    I tip my hat in awe. As much as I tried, I couldn't find the source myself. Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 18:53

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