Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Karamazov, tell me, am I very ridiculous now?"

"Don't think about that, don't think of it at all!" cried Alyosha. "And what does ridiculous mean? Isn't nearly every one constantly being or seeming ridiculous? Besides, nearly all clever people now are fearfully afraid of being ridiculous, and that makes them unhappy. All I am surprised at is that you should be feeling it so early, though I've observed it for some time past, and not only in you. Nowadays the very children have begun to suffer from it. It's almost a sort of insanity. The devil has taken the form of that vanity and entered into the whole generation; it's simply the devil.... You are like every one else," said Alyosha in conclusion, "that is, like very many others. Only you must not be like everybody else, that's all."

"Even if every one is like that?"

"Yes, even if every one is like that."

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (translated by Constance Garnett)


  1. I need to read this book. I've been wanting to for ages, ever since... ever since something. I can't actually remember what. But it was mentioned somewhere.

  2. I didn't actually read it. Someone else did and read me this passage, and I liked it so much I wrote it down.