"'Excuse me, I want to ask you a serious question,' the student began ardently. 'I was joking just now, but look: on the one hand you have a stupid, meaningless, worthless, wicked, sick old crone, no good to anyone and, on the contrary, harmful to everyone, who doesn't know herself why she's alive, and who will die on her own tomorrow. Understand? Understand?'" (Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, Part I, Chapter VI, p. 65).
Russian writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky published journalism and literature prolifically throughout his life, remaining most famous for the psychological depth and dramatic structure of his novels. His father, Mikhail Andreevich, was a military surgeon with noble status and a reputation for alcoholism and violence: he is believed to have been murdered by his own serfs on his small estate south of Moscow in 1839.