Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Fyodor, I think we would have gotten
very drunk together, and that
wouldn't have done either of us
any good. Still searching, but
I haven't yet found any writer
more delighted than you were
to dig into the muck
of consciousness. Others may
dig boldly or conscientiously,
some timidly, but you--
you did it in your prose with glee.

When I read your novels,
I get depressed and thrilled.
I get weary and joyful.
For about 45 seconds,
I may even become Russian.

I visited a "Dostoyevsky House"
they've created on your behalf
in St. Petersburg. It wasn't
bad at all. I bought a postcard
based on a painting of you.
I never sent it to anyone. Jesus
Christ, what you would have
thought of tourists! Lord,
help me: what you would
have thought of my
calling you "Fyodor."

Tolstoy overhead everything
that was said. You
overheard everything
that went unsaid.

Your books are as modern
as Dickens' aren't. You're
a brawler in prose.
You're also dead. What a
goddamned shame. Or is it?
It's so hard to know.

hans ostrom 2015

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