Dostoevsky Predicts 21st Century Social Media

A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offense. It sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn’t it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked on a word and made a mountain out of a pea — he knows all of that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real hostility…

The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor M. Dostoevsky, trans. Pevear & Volokhonsky

Either Dostoevsky had a Twitter account (though I can’t imagine him being a fan of the 140-character limit) or people really, really haven’t changed in a hundred and fifty years.

 

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