A Request from Haiti

by Mark Chmiel

A friend in Haiti asked me to send her the following passage from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and now I want to reread the whole novel again!

Later, after getting used to Alyosha, Pyotr Alexandrovich Miusov, who was rather ticklish on the subjects of money and bourgeois honesty, once pronounced the following aphorism: “Here, perhaps, is the only man in the world who, were you to leave him alone and without money on the square of some unknown city with a population of a million, would not perish, would not die of cold or hunger, for he would be immediately fed and immediately taken care of, and if no one else took care of him, he would immediately take care of himself, and it would cost him no effort, and no humiliation, and he would be no burden to those who took care of him, who perhaps, on the contrary, would consider it a pleasure.”