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The Adolescent

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Life now is given in exchange for pain and fear, and that is the whole deceit. Man now is not yet the right man. There will be a new man, happy and proud.

 

 

 

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

 

 

The Possessed (Demons)


"If there is no God, then I am God."

Life is pain, life is fear, and man is unhappy. Now all is pain and fear. Now man loves life because he loves pain and fear. That's how they've made it. Life now is given in exchange for pain and fear, and that is the whole deceit. Man now is not yet the right man. There will be a new man, happy and proud. He for whom it will make no difference whether he lives or does not live, he will be the new man. He who overcomes pain and fear will himself be God. And this [current] God will not be.

But do you understand, I cry to him, do you understand that along with happiness, in the exact same way and in perfectly equal proportion, man also needs unhappiness!"

 

The Adolescent

Perhaps I'm being unfair to you," he said, still not sounding like himself." My feeling must be of the species they call passion. . . One thing I know for sure: without you it's the end of me, and with you it's also the end. It makes no difference where you are: far or near, you're always present. I also know that I could hate you a good deal more than I could love you. .. I'm sorry that I had to fall in love with someone like you.

 

The House of the Dead

Indeed, in our country, and in all classes, there are, and always will be, strange easy-going people whose destiny it is to remain always beggars. They are poor devils all their lives; quite broken down, they remain under the domination or guardianship of some one, generally a prodigal, or a man who has suddenly made his fortune. All initiative is for them an insupportable burden. They only exist on condition of undertaking nothing for themselves, and by serving, always living under the will of another. They are destined to act by and through others. Under no circumstances, even of the most unexpected kind, can they get rich; they are always beggars. I have met these persons in all classes of society, in all coteries, in all associations, including the literary world.

Every one is astounded at the cause of this unexpected explosion on the part of a man thought incapable of such a thing. It is the convulsive manifestation of his personality, an instinctive melancholia, an uncontrollable desire for self-assertion, all of which obscures his reason. It is a sort of epileptic attack, a spasm. A man buried alive who suddenly wakes up must strike in a similar manner against the lid of his coffin. He tries to rise up, to push it from him, although his reason must convince him of the uselessness of his efforts. Reason, however, has nothing to do with this convulsion. It must not be forgotten that almost every voluntary manifestation on the part of the convict is looked upon as a crime. Accordingly, it is a perfect matter of indifference to them whether this manifestation be important or insignificant, debauch for debauch, danger for danger. It is just as well to go to the end, even as far as murder. The only difficulty is the first step.

The criminal who has revolted against society, hates it, and considers himself in the right; society was wrong, not he. Has he not, moreover, undergone his punishment? Accordingly he is absolved, acquitted in his own eyes.

 

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