The day I met Dostoevsky.

I always get a little nervous when I’m meeting genuine Russians, because I’m convinced they’re going to see through the made-up ones in my books.

That, or take umbrage at my act of outrageous literary effrontery in appropriating a character created by one of their nation’s greatest ever writers. My novels feature Porfiry Petrovich, you see, the investigating magistrate from Dostoevsky’s masterpiece Crime and Punishment.

So when I did an informal event at the wonderful Book Barge recently, and I was told that Dostoevsky himself would be popping in, you can imagine my trepidation.

As it turned out, and as you can see from the photo, Fyodor Mikhailovich and I hit it off famously. (Or am I alone in detecting a slight stiffness in the great man’s body language – perhaps indicating a desire to keep this English imposter at a distance? Also, his eyes seem to be watching me with some suspicion. Maybe it’s just me being paranoid. Or maybe the paranoia is Dostoevsky’s?)

A couple of Fyodor’s compatriots were also present and they explained that he had come to London in search of the mysterious street artist Banksy. One of them, Edward Chasovitin, was following Dostoevksy around and recording his experiences, which he has compiled in a photo journal which you can view on his website here.  Edward also made a short film of Dostoevsky and myself riding on the barge along the Thames. You can watch that here. (Click Go, to start the video.)

Of course, as you may have worked out, Edward is the man behind the whole thing. He’s a web artist and film maker, and the creator of the Dostoevsky Film project. This is a crazy but brilliant website which features a living, virtual Dostoevsky placed in a series of contemporary settings. The story in which I make a guest appearance imagines Dostoevsky visiting present-day London. As Edward explained, “This Project explores the possibility of Dostoevsky’s presence among  the people in modern life.  What happens when Dostoevsky is one of us but nobody knows who he is?”

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen or heard Dave Gorman’s show, Genius. I can’t help thinking Edward Chasovitin and his Dostoevsky Film project would make worthy contenders for the genius title.


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dostoevsky art



Hi Edward, Thanks for sending me the links. I love it! Brilliant! I feel extr…
6 Aug (2 days ago)
Thank you, Glad you liked it, Best wishes, Edward,
6 Aug (2 days ago)
i made a possibility to link to the place with Book Barge on pages in context…
7 Aug (1 day ago)
Thank you. That’s great. I’ll use those links now. All the best, Roger
7 Aug (1 day ago)
Hi Edward, I’m going to write a short blog post about my meeting with Dostoev…
7 Aug (1 day ago)
adi to rogernmorris
show details 20:08 (18 hours ago)
Hi Roger!

My full name is Edward Chasovitin, I’m a web-artist and a filmmaker.
The project “Dostoevsky Filmъ” (, since 2002) is a site about alive virtual Dostoevsky in contemporary settings.  Commonly, each story consist of two parallel and different parts (one on English and one on Russian languages)
A short quote which I can say:
This Project  tests a possibility of Dostoevsky’s presence among  the people in modern life.
What happens in case Dostoevsky is one of us but nobody knows who is?
You may take any of that  for your choise or write your own. I’m sure your English much better then my  🙂
Best wishes

From: rogernmorris <>
To: adi <>
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2011 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: dostoevsky art
– Show quoted text –

2 thoughts on “The day I met Dostoevsky.”

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