Math Formula

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dostoyevsky On Midlife Crisis

A few days ago, I posted a great example about how Dostoyevsky showed great insights into human nature, which are still perfectly valid today.

Here is another quote from "The Idiot":
Yet, he shall not find peace for the rest of his life! It's not at all a reassuring thought to him that he fulfilled his duties; on the contrary, there is even something provocative about it. He might think: "So that's what I wasted all my life on; that's what stopped me from inventing gun powder! Wouldn't it be for these obstacles, I would have definitely invented gun powder or discovered America, I don't know for sure which; but invented or discovered something I would have for sure!"
So, apparently that's how midlife crisis was described 140 years ago!

P.S.: As you might have guessed already, this quote is not from the official version. For whatever reason, this passage is not present in any of the English versions I could get my hands on, so I've translated it myself. In the German version, this is in the Chapter I of Part IV and reads as follows:
Er kann trotzdem sein ganzes Leben lang nicht zur seelischen Ruhe gelangen! Für ihn ist es keineswegs ein beruhigender, tröstlicher Gedanke, daß er seine menschlichen Pflichten so gut erfüllt hat; dieser Gedanke hat sogar im Gegenteil für ihn etwas Aufreizendes: »Also das ist es«, sagt er sich, »worauf ich mein ganzes Leben verwendet habe; das ist es, was mich an Händen und Füßen gebunden hat; das ist es, was mich gehindert hat, das Pulver zu erfinden! Wäre dieses Hindernis nicht gewesen, dann hätte ich vielleicht sicher entweder das Pulver erfunden oder Amerika entdeckt; ich weiß noch nicht genau, was; aber erfunden oder entdeckt hätte ich sicherlich etwas!«

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog