B recommended a short story by Heinrich von Kleist, The Foundling. It's an anti-Enlightenment narrative whereby a man's act of pity becomes the source of his whole life's destruction. Deadpan tragedy. Reminded me of Anthony Burgess' Earthly Powers, where a similar kindness matures into disaster. Talk about the Law of Unintended Outcomes.
Earthly Powers also has one of the most memorable opening lines in any English novel.