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Fyodor Dostoevsky

“There’s a book here in which I read about the trial of a Jew, who took a child of four years old and cut off the fingers from both hands, and then crucified him on the wall, hammered nails into him and crucified him, and afterwards, when he was tried, he said that the child died soon, within four hours. That was ‘soon’! He said the child moaned, kept on moaning and he stood admiring it. That’s nice!”

“Nice?”

“Nice; I sometimes imagine that it was I who crucified him. He would hang there moaning and I would sit opposite him eating pineapple compote. I am awfully fond of pineapple compote. Do you like it?”

Alyosha looked at her in silence. Her pale, sallow face was suddenly contorted, her eyes burned.

“You know, when I read about that Jew I shook with sobs all night. I kept fancying how the little thing cried and moaned (a child of four years old understands, you know), and all the while the thought of pineapple compote haunted me. In the morning I wrote a letter to a certain person, begging him particularly to come and see me. He came and I suddenly told him all about the child and the pineapple compote. All about it, all, and said that it was nice. He laughed and said it really was nice. Then he got up and went away. He was only here five minutes. Did he despise me? Did he despise me? Tell me, tell me, Alyosha, did he despise me or not?” She sat up on the couch, with flashing eyes.”


Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
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The Brothers Karamazov The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
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