The murderer within us all
February 23, 2013 6:05 PM Subscribe
[novel filter] I'm searching the recesses of my mind to locate a half-remembered passage from a fictional novel which provides a beautiful meditation on the fact that all humans are essentially the same; and not getting very far. What I can remember is that one of the characters is projecting themselves into the shoes of others (or one particular 'bad' person? I can't recall) - murderers, rapists, etc - and noting that there is little that separates him or her personally, or good people in general, from those we deem the evil. Any ideas?
posted by mrme to society & culture (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I would have thought Dostoyevsky would take the cake on this one, but I don't think it's the case here. The closet to the sentiment I've found is in this quote of Solzhenitsyn's:
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
It's close in meaning, but the passage I'm looking for is much more personal and detailed than this. I know it's a long shot, but any further ideas? Much appreciated as always, hive :)