Second Conversation: ‘Good Books’. Episode 4

Perhaps I should have expected that answer, but I didn’t.             “The Bible?” I echoed.             “Yes, yes, yes. And, by the way, not only do you not have any Walter Scott, I couldn’t see a Bible on your shelves, either.”             “Really? I’m sure I’ve got one … I’ve certainly got one in my office … thereContinue reading “Second Conversation: ‘Good Books’. Episode 4”

Second Conversation: ‘Good Books’. Episode 3.

It felt a bit awkward standing there, so I suggested we sit down. Fyodor Mikhailovich didn’t object, so we took the same seats we had occupied on the first evening. He smiled. “This is a very comfortable chair,” he remarked. But the manoeuvring had also interrupted the flow of conversation. After a short but awkwardContinue reading “Second Conversation: ‘Good Books’. Episode 3.”

Second Conversation: ‘Good Books’. Episode 2.

It was now early December and already starting to get dark when, after a two o’clock meeting with a graduate student, I left the office to walk home. Even though being a university lecturer allows for a fairly flexible timetable, I had for a long time treated it as a nine to five job, or,Continue reading “Second Conversation: ‘Good Books’. Episode 2.”

Second Conversation: ‘Good Books’. Episode 1

By the time I’d showered and dressed Laura had nearly finished her breakfast. On the radio, a bishop was saying something about the Church and climate change.             “Sorry. I couldn’t wait,” she said, looking up. “I need to be in for half-past-eight.” It was now ten to.              “That’s fine,” I replied. “Coffee. That’s the mainContinue reading “Second Conversation: ‘Good Books’. Episode 1”

First Conversation. Part Two: ‘Guilty!’ Episode 4

Over the course of our last few exchanges, Fyodor Mikhailovich was, unsurprisingly, starting to look very tired; the folds of his clothes seemed to be flattening out, almost as if he was becoming two-dimensional; even his face seemed to be fading, looking more and more like an old photograph rather than a living person. Now,Continue reading “First Conversation. Part Two: ‘Guilty!’ Episode 4”

First Conversation Part 2: ‘Guilty?’ Episode 3

I recognized these last words from The Brothers Karamazov. In that novel we meet a character called Markel, a teenager who’s dying of consumption and has a kind of mystical experience that culminates in asking the birds to forgive him and declaring that we could all be in paradise today if we really wanted to be.Continue reading “First Conversation Part 2: ‘Guilty?’ Episode 3”

First Conversation Part 2: Guilty? Episode 2

“So, the husband – just what is it he’s got to do to get out of his despair? What is this step he’s got to take?”             Fyodor Mikhailovich sat back and closed his eyes for a moment before looking at me almost apologetically.             “Despair. He must despair. He must plead guilty and ask for forgiveness.”Continue reading “First Conversation Part 2: Guilty? Episode 2”

First Conversation Part 2: Guilty? Episode 1.

I’m not sure if I really wanted the whisky. I’d begun to feel a bit like you feel when you’re about to pass out and perhaps I just wanted to be holding the glass between my hands as a point of contact with the real world that, in the course of the last few minutes,Continue reading “First Conversation Part 2: Guilty? Episode 1.”

First Conversation (Beneath a Dead Sun): Episode 4

Fyodor Mikhailovich smiled, looking thoughtful. I could feel him getting ready to say more and waited, a tad anxious that I’d overdone it. “What is a lie? Well, if you want an answer to that question, you first have to know what you mean by truth,” he said after a while, pausing again before continuing.Continue reading “First Conversation (Beneath a Dead Sun): Episode 4”

First Conversation (Beneath a Dead Sun). Episode 3

We are, then, back where we started. As you probably remember, Fyodor Mikhailovich didn’t give a direct answer to my question about faith but started saying how everything he wrote in his novels and stories was just fiction, something he’d made up, in short – a lie. Anyway, he’d said, he was only a ‘peripheral’Continue reading “First Conversation (Beneath a Dead Sun). Episode 3”