What’s the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about writing is the fantasy of telling a story about something that is without being. Or, as Milan Kundera would say: The smile of God on earth. The writer seeks the truth, but it always slips through his fingers. From the height of his dimension, Divinity smiles.
If you could travel to any fictional book world, where would you go and what would you do there?
I wish I could have seen with Homer’s mind’s eye, to live through the Iliad and the Odyssey directly from the source. To look at everything from the ramparts of Troy. Or, somehow, to caress the calluses on the palms of old Santiago, when he was fighting, first with the huge swordfish and then with the greedy sharks who stole everything from him mercilessly. I would reincarnate in Prince Myshkin for a moment of human purity, or in the wild and invincible love of Anna Karenina. I would happily accept the penance of Don Quixote de la Mancha to fight with the windmills, of which there are so many today, scattered everywhere. I would have liked to be Zorbas, writing to the master: it’s me, Zorbas, and the never-ending problem, the woman. This time her name is Liuba … Or, why not, to go on a two-week vacation to Melk Abbey with the novice Adso, only to be able to see Master Guglielmo at work, searching restlessly for the Name of the Rose. I would have liked to laugh at all the wars in the world, as Sven Hassel did in the O.G.P.U. And dozens of other worlds in the two thousand years of writing sifted through the sieve of literary art.
What mystery in your own life could be a plot for a book?
I strongly believe that any subject can always be a plot for a book. It is, if you will, the mystery why Cain never understood why he killed his brother Abel. It is the mystery through which the Divine incarnated. It is love and forgiveness, the most precious human goods. The novel Halacha? is, in fact, a book about the limits of the human condition face-to-face with love and forgiveness. The volume aims to discover the missing link in the terrible trial of Jesus Christ and which does not appear in the four Gospels of the New Testament. The two words may be within reach for each of us, day in and day out, but they remain a mystery to the human race. “When nothing was hiding, although everything was hidden,” said Mihai Eminescu. As for me, I always return to the love and forgiveness of Jesus in Halacha?.