The Dynamic Power Of Dialogue

Author Interview
Alexey L. Kovalev Author Interview

A Deux follows a modern-day Job as he has an open discussion with God about the state of the world and human suffering. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As you know, this powerful and controversial Biblical story, when God, on Satan’s suggestion, stripped from Job all his possessions and even family to test his faithfulness, keeps producing various treatises with a wide range of interpretations. Some of them are no less controversial than the original one. Take, for instance, Jungian “Answer to Job,” where the famous psychiatrist paints the Creator as a jealous Almighty who suspects that a man possesses something that God does not have – namely, a somewhat keener consciousness based on self-reflection.

The Old Testament’s image of God was rather cruel, or to put it more politically correctly – overdemanding. While it was acceptable for ancient Jews, later generations needed some correction or at least an explanation. So, until human sufferings stop piling up, we will keep turning to Job as our representative in asking why.

As always, there was a personal sentiment, but as soon as you take one step into this inquiry, the broader perspective opens up, and all your life experience gets into working.

With a classic story like Job, your creative retelling makes the story more relatable to modern readers. What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

The classic Book of Job is partially a narrative with inserted dialogues. That story has been rendered for the first time and had an epic intention. I counted on readers’ acquaintance with the general plot and had no epic aspirations. So, I thought that the best way was to get straight to the point and pick up specific details along the way if needed.

I treasure immensely an artful, even poetic description of feelings in prose, but their expression in dialogue is somewhat closer to my heart. Maybe a long association with a theatre in my previous incarnation plays its role here, but I believe nothing can beat the dynamic power of dialogue.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

One theme is an irreplaceable significance of arts for civilization as a means of general knowledge and personal development. Another is a surprising aloofness of many modern spiritual teachings instructing people to abstain from immediate activity. While all of us need to remain one on one with ourselves from time to time, to screen off the external noise and plunge into deep thoughts, it could not be the way of life as they suggest. To my mind, that would be desertion, a rejection of the principles of the Creation. I suspect that many of these gurus might have experienced significant losses and found a way to protect themselves from future suffering. But while it justifies their personal choice up to a point, it must not be presented as a universal solution.

There are other themes, like benevolent cooperation between the Universe and every person on Earth, or the initial ethical requirement that was the driving force for the whole Creation – the concept that I adopted from great Canadian philosopher John Leslie. But to list them all, I would have to retell the book, and I am afraid I could not do it better than I already did.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

That is a difficult question. And the answer could be even more perilous. Not to jinx myself, I can only say that its tentative title is A Promise, and events occur in the symbolic Orchard that resembles an ordinary small town but is full of surprises.

To give you a taste of it, this is how it begins: “The sun sets. Red gleams light up Rome’s houses, and you are reading a promise in them. Shadows from the silent hills of Corinth cover the Earth, and you hear the same call. It cannot be forgotten, and anticipation floods your life. Waiting for what Rome’s sunsets and quiet Corinthian hills promise is tantalizingly beautiful – this is a continuous augury of perfection….”

As to when it will complete itself – I do not yet know. Hopefully, in a few months.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Amazon

“What is man, that you should magnify him? And that you should set your heart upon him?” asked ancient Job, demanding from the Almighty certain answers about the sense and significance of the Creation. “How long will you not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?”
It has been quite awhile since Biblical Job exercised such a nerve and demanded such an accounting… but they were strong-willed men, those mythical patriarchs. Now we have become so civilized that we do not dare to challenge the Creator. However our muteness, it seems, is even less acceptable to Him than open rebellion. And so He takes it upon Himself to drag out of us our grievances… and then demolish them. Here, in А́ Deux, you may witness one such recent encounter.
Thus, God’s answer to Job’s old inquiry is “never,” because of His endless love and highest expectations that the Creator is still waiting for us to fulfill.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 20, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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