Before you there lie the Steppes, my darling—only the Steppes, the naked Steppes, the Steppes that are as bare as the palm of my hand. There there live only heartless old women and rude peasants and drunkards. There the trees have already shed their leaves. There abide but rain and cold.
The eldest was a musician, the second painted remarkably well, but this had not been generally known till lately and had only come out accidentally. In a word, a great deal was said in praise of them. But there were hostile critics. People talked with horror of the number of books they had read.
But I repeat for the hundredth time, there is one case, one only, when man may consciously, purposely, desire what is injurious to himself, what is stupid, very stupid—simply in order to have the right to desire for himself even what is very stupid and not to be bound by an obligation to desire only what is sensible.
For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men- and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man.
I will only observe that every reality, even though it has its unalterable laws, is almost always difficult to believe and improbable, and sometimes, indeed, the more real it is the more improbable it is.