… is from page 173 of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1973 publication, The Gulag Archipelago (emphasis added):
It is permissible to portray evildoers in a story for children, so as to keep the picture simple. But when the great world literature of the past – Shakespeare, Schiller, Dickens – inflates and inflates images of evildoers of the blackest shades, it seems somewhat farcical and clumsy to our contemporary perception. The trouble lies in the way these classic evildoers are pictured. They recognize themselves as evildoers, and they know their souls are black. And they reason: ‘I cannot live unless I do evil.’ … But no; that’s not the way it is! To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good.
DBx: This above observation complements perfectly my most recent column for AIER.