Crime and Punishment

Do you agree with Lebeziatnikov's contention that "honorable, useful work" like cleaning out a cesspool is better than the work of a great painter or writer?

Part 5 of Crime and Punishment

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I don't think that a worker who cleans out a cesspool has anything to be ashamed of nor is a famous painter less honourable than say a street sweeper. The context of this statement is, however, important. Many famous writers and painters of the time could in fact act less than charitable to people perceived "below" them.