I love Dostoevsky. He is truly an incredible writer. Nietzsche was right to call him “the only psychologist from whom I have something to learn”. I wanted to quote his writings many times, but I always find myself constrained by the fact that I would want to quote his entire novel, I can’t just write down one phrase, it’s not enough; you just have to read his books.
This time though, because of some events that recently took place in the lives of my friends which I came to hear about in a rather unusual and unexpected circumstance, when I came over the following part today, I just had to show it. So here it is, this is an excerpt from “The Brothers Karamazov”, by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Translated and Annotated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, “Farrar, Straus and Giroux”, New York, 1990, pg. 381). Read it carefully, it shares some very interesting truth about the world:
Not so the truly jealous man: it is hard to imagine what some jealous men can tolerate and be reconciled to, and what they can forgive! Jealous men forgive sooner than anyone else, and all women know it. The jealous man (having first made a terrible scene, of course) can and will very promptly forgive, for example, a nearly proven betrayal, the embraces and the kisses he has seen himself, if, for example, at the same time he can somehow be convinced that this was “the last time” and that his rival will disappear from that moment on, that he will go to the end of the earth, or that he himself will take her away somewhere, to some place where his terrible rival will never come. Of course, the reconciliation will only last an hour, because even if the rival has indeed disappeared, tomorrow he will invent another, a new one, and become jealous of this new one. And one may ask what is the good of a love that must constantly be spied on, and what is the worth of a love that needs to be guarded so intensely? But that is something the truly jealous will never understand, though at the same time there happen, indeed, to be lofty hearts among them. It is also remarkable that these same lofty-hearted men, while standing in some sort of closet, eavesdropping and spying, though they understand clearly “in their lofty hearts” all the shame they have gotten into of their own will, nevertheless, at least for that moment, while standing in the closet, will not feel any pangs of remorse.
If it weren’t published over one hundred years ago, you could suspect this to have been written yesterday. Well… I’ve had my laugh, thought I’d share. And if you are one of the people he is talking about… Remember this: “Cui peccare licet peccat minus.” (Ovid) I bid you good night 🙂