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Dr. Pangloss?

It's not necessarily an exercise in pessimism to tell the truth. There are, of course, philosophical nihilists like Turgenev's Basarov in Father and Sons and Svidrigailov in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Within an absurd, meaningless and Godless universe, anything goes for these cynics. But there's a realism that a good psychiatrist or psychoanalyst traffics in when he or she realizes that a patient may be carrying an insurmountable burden and that the only end of the therapy lies in an awareness of how difficult the problems will be to overcome.
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