against the wall, the firing squad ready. then he got a reprieve. suppose they had shot Dostoevsky? before he wrote all that? I suppose it wouldn't have mattered not directly. there are billions of people who have never read him and never will. but as a young man I know that he got me through the factories, past the whores, lifted me high through the night and put me down in a better place. even while in the bar drinking with the other derelicts, I was glad they gave Dostoevsky a reprieve, it gave me one, allowed me to look directly at those rancid faces in my world, death pointing its finger, I held fast, an immaculate drunk sharing the stinking dark with my brothers.