” ‘This document is the direct expression of a heart that’s been mortally wounded – do I understand it correctly?’ he persisted with unusual enthusiasm. ‘Yes, it’s repentance and the natural need for it that’s overcome you; and you’ve entered upon a great path, an unprecedented path. But you seem to hate in advance all those who’ll read what you’ve written, and you’re summoning them to battle. You weren’t ashamed to confess your crime; why are you ashamed of your repentance? Let them look at me, you say; well, but you, how will you look at them? Some parts of your statement are brought into relief by the style; it’s as if you revel in your own psychology and latch on to every trivial detail merely to astonish the reader with an insensitivity you don’t really have. What is this but the arrogant challenge of the guilty party to the judge?’ ”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Devils

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