To study theofand of— I am making significanthere. I havein myself. Man is a mystery: if you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man. .
Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others. .
Yes — you, you alone must pay for everything because you turned up like this, because I'm a scoundrel, because I'm the nastiest, most ridiculous, pettiest, stupidest, and most envious worm of all those living on earth who're no better than me in any way, but who, the devil knows why, never get embarrassed, while all my life I have to endure insults from every louse — that's my fate. What do I care that you do not understand any of this? .
I could never stand more than three months of dreaming at a time without feeling an irresistible desire to plunge into society. To plunge into society meant to visit my superior, Anton Antonich Syetochkin. He was the the only permanent acquaintance I have had in my life, and I even wonder at the fact myself now. But I even went to see him only when that phase came over me, and when my dreams had reached such a point of bliss that it became essential to embrace my fellows and all mankind immediately. And for that purpose I needed at least one human being at hand who actually existed. I had to call on Anton Antonich, however, on Tuesday — his at-home day; so I always had to adjust my passionate desire to embrace humanity so that it might fall on a Tuesday. .
Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away. That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind. .
It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything. .
And what is it in us that is mellowed by civilization? All it does, I’d say, is to develop in man a capacity to feel a greater variety of sensations. And nothing, absolutely nothing else. And through this development, man will yet learn how to enjoy bloodshed. Why, it has already happened . . . . Civilization has made man, if not always more bloodthirsty, at least more viciously, more horribly bloodthirsty. .
All writers, not ours alone but foreigners also, who have sought to represent Absolute Beauty, were unequal to the task, for it is an infinitely difficult one. The beautiful is the ideal ; but ideals, with us as in civilized Europe, have long been wavering. There is in the world only one figure of absolute beauty: . That infinitely lovely figure is, as a matter of course, an infinite marvel. .
It was evident that he revived by fits and starts. He would suddenly come to himself from actual delirium for a few minutes; he would remember and talk with complete consciousness, chiefly in disconnected phrases which he had perhaps thought out and learnt by heart in the long weary hours of his illness, in his bed, in sleepless solitude. .
I consider you the most honest and truthful of men, more honest and truthful than anyone; and if they say that your mind . . . that is, that you're sometimes afflicted in your mind, it's unjust. I made up my mind about that, and disputed with others, because, though you really are mentally afflicted (you won't be angry with that, of course; I'm speaking from a higher point of view), yet the mind that matters is better in you than in any of them. It's something, in fact, they have never dreamed of. For there are two sorts of mind: one that matters, and one that doesn't matter. .
I have never in my life met a man like him for noble simplicity, and boundless truthfulness. I understood from the way he talked that anyone who chose could deceive him, and that he would forgive anyone afterwards who had deceived him, and that was why I grew to love him. .
Nor is there any embarrassment in the fact that we're ridiculous, isn't it true? For it's actually so, we are ridiculous, light-minded, with bad habits, we're bored, we don't know how to look, how to understand, we're all like that, all, you, and I, and they! Now, you're not offended when I tell you to your face that you're ridiculous? And if so, aren't you material? You know, in my opinion it's sometimes even good to be ridiculous, if not better: we can the sooner forgive each other, the sooner humble ourselves; we can't understand everything at once, we cant start right out with perfection! To achieve perfection, one must first begin by not understanding many things! And if we understand too quickly, we may not understand well. This I tell you, you, who have already been able to understand. .. and not understand ... so much. I'm not afraid for you now; .
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