Who is the greatest writer in all the world . . . and what is his address, route to work, and a good place to buy second-hand dynamite? Haha, you see, I joke. No, I know is me. But was not always! I learn from the best, and I know the great secret to writing, which is — but I no tell you, you could be competition. Who tell me this . . . ?
Who got me to where I am today, resting comfortably on my laurels without having to expend a lick of effort or having to develop a mote of talent?
Who was that mentor, so wise and sage and gallant?
Who got me written, revised, rewritten, submitted, accepted, edited, published, circulated, read, reviewed, awarded, republished, and adapted?
Why, the greatest writer in the world from the greatest country on the map did!
Dostoyevsky, He wrote all the great books there are!
Dostoyevsky, His patron was the Golden Tzar!
Dost— The Idiot . . .
. . . is perhaps my favorite of his many novels. When I first read, I am only lowly student in Imperial Academy. I weep tears of joy, and laugh great peals of misery. Is genius — and I should know. I write the great ’Stoyevsky letter, and he write back the sublime secret to getting published: he say — but I no tell you; you could be competition.
Dostoyevsky! The greatest writer of all time!
Dostoyevsky! He write Punishment, then write Crime! (Is leetle bit confusing, I know, because he publish them out of order.)
I am nevor forget the day I publish first original story. Is publish without my name, with thirty-two typographical error, and with missing third page, but is publish. Is print on scrap paper on mimeograph machine in editor’s basement, and circulate to editor and editor’s mother, but is print, and is circulate! I frame and hang on wall.
Dostoyevsky! He wrote all the books he wrote, and others!
Dostoyevsky! He did that one with those Karamazov brothers!
I am nevor forget the day Ivan Hemingway say he hate my work. What an honor! Of course, he write me letter. Letter was only five sentences. Was twenty words. He say if he ever see me on safari, shoot first, give stylistic advice later. I sold the signature for foolscap.
I also get letter from Dmitri James. This letter was also five sentences. Was two-and-half pages, with seven hundred adverbs. He tell me to take long walk up rope and piss off short dock. I think he liked it. I sell autograph for broken typewriter missing keys, ribbon, platen, and spools.
Boris Joyce send letter, too. I couldn’t tell how many sentences, because there was no punctuation. He say my novel is steaming crock of bolshoi. I tried sell signature for typewriter keys, but turned out to be forgery by Vladimir Faulkner. Oh, well. I use Scrabble tiles and glue. For ribbon, I soak second-hand bandages in motor oil. Platen I make from old rolling pin covered in tin foil. Spools I steal from local picture house, give me permanent blacklist in cinema, but I no care. I decide to adapt novels straight to video games and action figures, skip middleman.
Dostoyevsky! Dostoyevsky was his name!
Dostoyevky! Writing was his game!
I am nevor forget the day the great Dostoyevsky die. Is inscribed on the wall of my mind in great letters of fire, as carved in memorious stone, is like yesterday. It was January twenty-eighth — or perhaps February ninth — well, inscribed in a sort of soft stone, maybe, like gypsum or soapstone or something like that. Is just me alone in room with the great man in his bed, with the machines beepbeepbeeping all around.
I am nevor forget the last words of the great Dostoyevsky. He lean over and whisper in my ear with final breath, “Ёб твою мать, ничтожество гондон.” — “Always remember: Everyone is competition.” He say this to me, all alone in room, with my foot by hospital machine power chord, and I ruminate on my mentor’s words of wisdom. Then the great Dostoyevsky — die. I call in from next room priest and wife and mistress and doctor and other mistress, and I tell to them the great writer Dostoyevsky’s final breath: “I die happy in the knowledge that my words will live on in the hearts and minds of my countrymen.” This I make up on spot. Is good, no? After all, I learn from the best . . . .
Dostoyevsky, the greatest writer in all the world!❦