31. Richard T Kelly in The Independent: Doctor Forrest’s debt to Dostoyevsky

In today’s Independent I write on The Brothers Karamazov for the paper’s Book of a Lifetime slot – an opportunity I’m hugely grateful to have been afforded – and therein I wind my way round to the following remarks:

“The scene I love best… is Ivan’s hallucinated encounter with a shabby aristocratic devil who affably refutes his complex atheism. This might indeed be my favourite passage in literature, one that I stole and re-worked in my novels Crusaders and The Possessions of Doctor Forrest. I confess this freely (I want to be found out), and well-read readers might think it an annoying pseudery. But in my teens I first heard of Dostoyevsky through a minor American novelist whose own name I’ve long forgotten – still, I owe that guy, and I believe in passing on the good word. To me this is what Christians mean by “stewardship”, and as such I pray The Master (by which I mean Dostoyevsky) might approve.”


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