The Dream of the Ridiculous Man - Part One
By Fyodor Dostoevsky
Well, they call me a madman now, but I don't mind, you see, I love them, especially when they're laughing at me. I'd like to share the joke with them, I would; I'd laugh at myself too. If only they didn't make me feel so sad. What is it that makes me sad? Well, you see, they don't know the truth, and I do.
I used to get upset about appearing ridiculous. In fact, I didn't just appear ridiculous.... I was, and I always have been. Actually, I think I've known it since the moment I was born. I went to school, then to university, but, the more I learnt...the more I realised how ridiculous I was.... and the more I studied, the more obvious it became to me. So, the entire outcome of my education amounted to proving that I was absurd.
Meanwhile life was teaching me the same thing. Year by year I became more aware of it in every possible way, but I kept it to myself, the fact that I knew. Yet, as I reached manhood, I began to face things more calmly. I think it was because it was dawning on me more clearly everyday that it didn't matter, that I didn't matter, that nothing mattered.
It was then that I stopped worrying about my fellow human-beings. In fact, I stopped noticing them altogether. I walked down the street bumping into people. It wasn't that I was lost in thought; I'd long since given up thought. There was nothing worth thinking about, and nothing that I could do that could make any difference. No, it was simply that I'd stopped caring. Do you see?
But that was before I learnt the truth. . .