Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cold Impotent Despair

"Do I really look like a murderer? ... I was modest — and I was accused of craftiness: I started to be secretive. I had deep feelings of good and evil. No one caressed me, everyone insulted me. I became rancorous. I was sullen — other children were merry and chatty. I felt myself to be superior to them — and I was made inferior. I grew envious. I was prepared to love the whole world —and no one understood me — and I learned to hate. My colourless youth elapsed in a struggle with myself and the world. Fearing mockery, I buried my most worthy feelings in the depths of my heart: and they died there. I was telling the truth — and no one believed me — so I started lying ... And then, despair was born in my breast — and not the kind of despair that can be cured by the bullet of a pistol, but a cold, impotent despair, masked by politeness and a good-natured smile. I became a moral cripple: one half of my soul didn't exist; it had dried out, evaporated, died. I had cut it off and thrown it away — while the other half stirred and lived at everyone's service, and no one noticed this because no one knew the other half, which had died. But now you have awakened the memory of it and I have read you its epitaph."

- A Hero of Our Time — Mikhail Lermontov