A highlight from Interview with Alex Christofi, author of Dostoevsky in Love
Hi my name's and this is the reuss phones unite podcast Ordinarily we watch russian films and films with a russian connection eyesight ordinarily. Because this time around. We've got another bonus episode. In which i am speaking to author alex christophe. Who has just a new biography off. The great nineteen th century russian writer fyodor dostoevsky cold dostoevsky in love so without further ado his mike conversation with alex. I alex. thanks very much for joining me. so we're gonna discuss your book dusty in love at one point dostoevsky. I think it was in latter lamented. The if he had tolstoy's resources than he'd be able to have written something would still be read in one hundred years. Well as it turns out he needed a worried on the high school. This year is the two hundredth anniversary of his birth. Says about one hundred forty years since he died so why it would you say that his work has injured this long and won't make you want to writes a book about him is a fascinating question. in some ways joe despite actually having a pretty unpopular message during much twenty twentieth century you know one of the big things that he was trying to sort of say to russian society to the end of his life. Was you know if we don't careful wind up with a violent kind of socialism oversee. That message went down like a lead balloon. Come the revelation yet know exactly the literally think that the soviet union was wanting to champion interesting. Doing a show about films normally is that. There's a big long gap at the beginning of the soviet union. As far as i can tell before his work starts to be adapted unsown point. It's like well. He's weld famous. So we want the prestige but in the few decades immediately following the revolution is like now touching that with a bunch but this but the irony is the actually he in some ways was one of the most devotes to raising up the downtrodden to giving people a voice if they were poll pabst disabled or people who prostitutes in some ways. He you know he was very compassionate. President he these interesting things with which that you wouldn't necessarily With the kind of gentry type. Noble of anna karenina. So i i think he's a really fascinating president and i think the fact that you read a novel like common punishment Today in it feels modern it feels like is leaping off the page at. You is just Yet quite often. I mean we'll get onto. Adaptations may be later but often adaptations will just transpose. His to the present day because yes some of the trappings are different but the essential stories can work without too much without seeming too far removed. Because as you say anna karenina. It's very our socratic which most people can't relate to. Yeah someone being a student okay. Maybe you can't relate to the murder side of things But yeah the sort of trying to make ends meet and you know Difficult circumstances that's that's very very relatable so in terms of your experience with him. When when did you first. I start reading his works on. What prompted that. Well remember picking up crime and punishment when also seventeen years old in a bookshop and just being kind of a space shocked the audacity. Because you think of the time. I will share as being missing. That was very approved and it was something that's discussed on social norms. I suppose rather than challenging them too much. I hadn't i hadn't read a huge amount outside of the classroom and i suppose yeah the the fact that someone could kind of create protagonists who was specified. Even vaguely sympathetic whose avowed mission was sold. Knock someone over the head with an accent. Ceelo lemony mean. Just seem kind of outraged. I believe it was allowed to of this. Now let alone hundred and fifty years ago via yeah And i kept reading him. I suppose i i. He was one of those rights. Is i kept coming back Was something different from him. and And then later on it was any few years ago. I began to have this feeling the not as many people as i had assumed kind of knew very much is life and he had such an interesting enough. Even if you haven't been roy serie had such an interesting life. So i guess just on on the synthesis of i really wanted to so tell a story in to find an accessible way to to talk about him for those who found him make his work. Maybe looked intimidated. Yes there is. There is a certain amount of the fact that just his most famous books. Are you know breeze blocks. He'll high page count in I'm not sure i'm not sure. This is a big time commitment.