Alistair Ian Blyth

from Card Catalogue



The more complex a fictional character’s psychology, the deeper his immersion in the otherworld of the fiction and the worse his torment; a Gogolian caricature is no more than a husk, like the ghost of Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin, who is like one of the bloodless, mindlessly squeaking shades of the Homeric netherworld, but an Ivan Karamazov or Svidrigailov has depth and therefore the capacity for infinite suffering. In the Journey Around the Torments, the Mother of God begs God to have mercy on the souls in torment. And so too as readers we must be mindful of the endless suffering of the souls forever imprisoned in the otherworld of fictions.