Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s perennial novels room inundated with complex characters — castle are regularly conflicted, multifaceted world who every one of us have the right to relate to in various ways.

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In Crime and also Punishment (1866), Dostoyevsky’s character, Raskolnikov, is holy ghost tortured and morally conflicted. He is simultaneously humble however arrogant. He is riddled v anxiety and depression – his psychological afflictions follow him everywhere. Raskolnikov make a lasting impression ~ above readers; each of his characteristics resonate v each leader in a different way. In The Idiot (1869), Prince Myshkin, is the purest of every beings. Prince Myshkin exudes love, warmth and also an alarming sense of naivety. He represents Christian purity in human form. His guilelessness has led to his reputation as “The Idiot.” Alyosha, native The Brothers Karamazov (1879) is one ethical, kind, sensitive heart – the finish opposite the his brothers. That is an support for justice and is deeply committed come his faith.

Through his characters, Dostoyevsky has gifted us with an excellent insights and also questions right into the complexities and also nuances of human nature and also the expedition of broader themes that morality, religion, and also philosophy – all of Life’s biggest Questions room explored unwaveringly.

There are numerous highlight-able passages, tidbits that wisdom, and also seamless comprehensive quotes ~ above philosophy, culture and culture scattered throughout Dostoyevsky’s books, like Easter eggs wait to it is in discovered.

One of these quotes has later on been popularized in modern society – despite its beginnings remained a secret – until now.

The listed below passage is an excerpt taken indigenous The brothers Karamazov (read in its entirety):

“I love mankind . . . However I can’t aid being surprised in ~ myself: the more I love humankind in general, the much less I love guys in particular, i mean, separately, as separate individuals. In my dreams . . . Ns am an extremely often passionately identified to save humanity, and also I can quite likely have actually sacrificed mine life because that my fellow-creatures, if for some reason it has been suddenly demanded that me, and also yet I’m fairly incapable that living v anyone in one room for 2 days together, and I know that native experience. As soon as anyone comes close come me, his personality begins to oppress mine vanity and also restrict mine freedom. I’m qualified of hating the finest men in twenty-four hours: one since he sit too long over his dinner, another because he has actually a cold in the head and keeps punch his nose. But, on the various other hand, it invariably happened that the an ext I hated guys individually, the much more ardent became my love for mankind at large.”

This excerpt was later poked and prodded and also turned right into this commonly revised iteration the we know today: “I love humanity, it’s people I can’t stand.”

Albert Einstein is among the countless thinkers whom the mediasphere (i.e. The internet) thoughtlessly attributed the aphorism. Like plenty of other famed figures, there is a propensity to attribute a fine known, however mysterious quote, to an equally well known figure. A rapid online find pulls increase a number of sites attributing the quote to Einstein, finish with fancy fonts overlaid on top of aesthetically appealing images. Pretty writing and images it seems to be ~ to loan the quote much more credence online.

Marilyn Monroe is probably the greatest example of this. The Marilyn Monroe quote attribution is a usual online phenomenon, wherein one website spreads misinformation and also other web page re-publish the info without dual checking the source. After the it spreads like wildfire, confirming the theory that 80% of virtual content is recycle garbage.

Still others think the quote to be coined by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and also playwright, Edna St. Vincent Millay. In Edna’s play Aria da Capo (1920), the personality Pierrot to be quoted together saying, “I love humanity; however I dislike people!”

Aria da Capo is a politics allegory; its literal translation is “air again” which defines an “operatice aria in 3 sections through the an initial and third sections alike and also the center section contrasting.”

And then came Charles M. Schulz. The contemporary day variation of this quote appeared in Schulz’s infamously pessimistic comic strip, printed on November 12, 1959.

Peanuts comic strip printed on November 12, 1959

It is the mid-20th century revision of a quote describing male feelings towards one another.

Slovenian theorist and cultural critic, Slavoj Zizek puts his very own spin on the quote, “Humanity is OK, but 99% of human being are boring idiots.”

Pictured: Slavoj Zizek. The Guardian (2012)

Humans have their own idiosyncrasies, quirks, personalities, neuroses, and egos. Dostoyevsky’s i points out the humanness in men – “one because he sit too long over his dinner, an additional because has actually a cold in the head and also keeps punch his nose.” Individually, people are unremarkable, yet capable of doing irreversible damages to themselves, others, and also the planet. Individually, they space selfish, dumb, boring, egotistical, greedy. They space the bearer of every day annoyances: castle poison s waters, castle torture and also kill animals every day; castle cheat, they lie, castle steal. Civilization are straightforward to judge, blame, disparage.

But mankind – humankind removes all of these garish idiosyncrasies. Humanity is the summation of all civilization – that doesn’t have actually a face, but a collective sense that self. When we think the humanity, we think that compassion, kindness, goodness and also understanding. Humankind as a totality is one abstract, it represents a societal ideal, that is blameless and also faceless. Humanity has actually the capability to move us forward, to develop positive change, to respect, to unite.

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This short article is because that those who have actually long wondered about the origins of this oft-used quote. As of this writing we can conclude through confidence the the quote originated from none various other than Dostoyevsky – well prior to Einstein, Millay, and Zizek. (That is, until someone else comes along and also corrects us). Nevertheless of who and also when, this timeless quote will proceed to outlast us and also I’m rather pleased to understand that Dostoyevsky has had such a extensive effect and influence ~ above the English language — even to now — despite him not being properly acknowledged for it.

This piece an initial appeared top top the an individual blog of cultivation up Alienated in in march 2019

Featured picture credit: The brother Karamazov illustration by Expressionist artist Alice Neel (1938)