Simultaneous scenic setting, in heavy silence, diagonally. Towards the front of the stage, is Fiodor, and writes a letter at his office, towards the back of the stage, Irina reads this same letter sitting on her bed. Dostoïevski’s voice narrates the rest of this letter, in a heavy and clear tone.
Irina, I don’t know if my letter will ever reach you. It’s of little importance. I ought to write, even if it had to be done with my own blood. After our arrest, I no longer have any news. I live in absolute silence and relive every moment of our last night. Whether we survive or not from this ordeal, it will remain imprinted in my memory until my last breath.
Today I’ve learned from my captor, about our death sentence. Silence. I remain however in ignorance as to the time of the execution. Also, I want to spend all the time I have left to live, writing. Every drop of my blood, useless now for my life, should become black ink, the only capable hereon to relieve the agony of my soul. Silence.
During that last night, I felt within me the vibration of the future thanks to the depth of your past. We were not rebels but only within the present, without a conscience of your torn apart past, nor of our own future transformation. Your confession redirected everything. Hereon, nothing will be as it prior was. The deep blue river became a torrent of lava, where everything is allowed. Your pain has transformed my sorrow. And my rebellion became a revolution.
For quite a while, Nikolaï’s voice exercised an irresistible attraction on me, as if it were a siren song. But with your own existence, this attraction became a need. The idea, a mission to execute. The only worthy achievement of a human : to help Humanity. In each of your conversations, I heard the voice of Humanity and the depth of your past awakened my conscience.
It is in the black clad sensuality that I discovered the brightness of the human soul. Peace to thee, Irina.
Surrounded by darkness, a sparkling light illuminates a face. Is that of Irina. Inside her cell, she remembers the interrogation he was forced to undergo many years ago. A white night in the secret police’s headquarters. In dim light, she seems to be surrounded by men. However, they remain silent. We heard only one weird voice .
Let’s take it all from the beginning. Time. What is your age?
Twenty Winters without Summer.
Why did you change your answer?
Because I now know your questions.
So are you planning to help us?
How could I help death?
I see … you insist … it doesn’t matter … I have infinite patience … Changing tone. Is that him, who got you recruited to the group?
No, I knew the members before his arrival.
How did your first meeting occur?
It was weirdly normal …
What are you trying to say?
He arrived at the end but, it was like he was always present.
Be more specific!
He seemed to know everything, without being informed. In retrospect, I would say that mentally he had already lived through these events.
Did he catechized you?
He was inadequate for that. He didn’t have the sense of hierarchy. It was a revolution within the revolution. Silence. For him, everything was permitted! And yet …
He acted as though followed a code. Time. An hyperhuman code…
He took directions from the party?
Never! He was unable to follow the slightest command.
And the organization tolerated this?
What else could they do? He was uncontrollable, it’s the truth, but he was unique and they had realized that.
In what way was he unique?
In fact, at everything! With him everything took a new meaning. Silence. It was as if I hadn’t lived before.
We have confiscated all of his writings … have you read it?
I’ve read all that he gave me to read.
But you were not aware of the subversive nature of his work?
He loved Humanity. Is it bad?
How innocent are you! This extreme love for Humanity is the worst that could be! All people have something to lose and that’s how we manipulate them. Whereas, he had nothing to lose. His life was a gift!
Irina, with exaggeration.
Is this a crime?
The worst! because there is no punishment for it. Silence. Thoughtful he then resumed. Were you lovers?
Yes! You know it very well, why do you ask me about it? Every moment with him was a moment stolen from time. Is this is also bad?
Not in itself. But with a man like him, no doubt it was! Silence. So, then, he was the one who taught you that you had to live, as if you were going to die tomorrow?
I was wondering. Silence. So it was he who turned the revolt into a revolution. Time. And all this in less than a year! Didn’t you see the danger? That man was capable to die for the idea!
And I for him! Silence. Only that he forbade me to do so.
He forbade you to die?
He always said that my role was to bring life.
What a strange man! The more I learn about him, the more I worry about authority! His mere existence was in itself an act of resistance!
Is that why you executed him! The attack was nothing but a detail without importance to you, while his life was a lasting earthquake for the authority!
He represented the hope in an absurd world . He was unacceptable.
Only that his life was his work! Time. Furtheron I belong to his work and through me, he lives on!
As the light fades, untill it goes out, we hear the first notes of the Requiem of Mozart. The music grows stronger in the dark, until it becomes a real human voice in the night. We then distinguish figures in the background, poorly lit by a cool blue light. All dressed in white, the head is covered, in front of the firing squad of the Tsar, waiting, with hands crossed behind their backs, at the last moment of their existence … before the resurrection.
Fiodor, sitting at his desk, is writing without a pause, as if his life depended on it. Varvara, with bare shoulders, dressed with a black dress with violet shades, is alone in the center of the scene, sunk in the dim light. She seems completely surrendered to her fate, isolated from the rest of the world. Suddenly we hear the thud of the door of the cell. She looks straight ahead with concern.
Varvara, whose face lit up as she perceives Nikolaï.
Nikolaï, my love! She goes before him and hugs him. Nikolaï is not saying a word. He holds her in his hands, the gaze void … Varvara with curiosity. Who allowed you to come to see me?
It doesn’t matter. Time. We had to see each other …
What is going on
Tomorrow, they would interrogate me again…
There will learn absolutely nothing!
They probably assume the opposite. Silence. I know that an informant let them know for what purpose I came to Petersburg.
But everyone knew the reason!
What really interests them is the means I put to action. Time. The idea of the revolution is irrelevant to them, as it’s not in conflict with their reality.
Varvara, thoughtful, as she walks away.
They are not yet aware of the fact that they are not the masters of reality.
In any case, at present, they are holding on to us, they are free to move.
We will resist!
I know. For how long though?
How can you think like that?
Nikolaï, in a stable tone.
Haven’t you seen the members of the Petrachevski cycle? Are you blind? Most of them were trembling for their fate. This pretented execution has completely disturbed them… Silence. Mentally, they are dead!
Varvara, putting him opposite her.
Do not say that, Nikolaï! Time. I’m also afraid, but that didn’t break the defence of my thinking.
Nikolaï, while he has embraced her tenderly.
Varvara, I’m not talking about you. But do understand this, now we are alone.
But Fiodor, Irina …
Nikolaï, interrupting her.
They were separated and lead to different prisons. Here there is nobody but us!
That’s why you’re ‘here? Time. For what exactly are you afraid?
I think they want to use our love affair in order to squeeze out information from me…
Do you think I would be tortured in order for them to make you confess?
Nikolaï hugs tightly in his arms, emotional. Silence.
If they torture you, my love, do not resist … Time. Let yourself die …
Varvara, with a cry.
Nikolaï! Time. How can you ask that of me?
I love you too much to accept your torture!
If I must die, it will be for you, rather than trying to avoid torture.
I do not want you to die for me.
And if they torture you?
The body is nothing. Silence. The revolution has no need of anything except my spirit!
But you’re a human being! It is for this that I love you …
The suffering that our life causes us, is the only proof of our humanity.
Varvara, hugging him.
I will never accept your suffering!
In the twilight, we distinguish two figures. The one lying on the floor, inert, the other upright, struggling with all its might. Then we hear a cry: No! As a lightning in the middle of nowhere. Now we can see him, it’s Nikolaï. He has his body uncovered, mercilessly wounded, his hands tied, the arms raised and is hung from the ceiling. Varvara is at his feet, dead.
You’ve butchered my soul! Silence. Never, do you hear, never, will I forgive you her suicide. Silence. I can not live on anymore, nor can I die. Since you deprived me of my life, hereafter I am going to be your death. Time. Today, I’ve voided the existence of good and evil! Only the existence and nothingness will have this right. Silence. Each of my actions will be dedicated not only to the conflict, but to the extermination as well. You’ve sentenced the revolutionary intellect, you will purify the battling nihilist. Silence. Inside this immense solitude, you have confined me to, my life will have a new purpose, in this absurd world, my life would be … nothing!
The scene takes place many years later … after the prison. The room is under a dark light. On the side we see a young lady with a candle in her hand. She proceeds with a decisive step and lights up all the candles in the room on her path. Anna Grigorievna Snitkina, lightning up the room, lets us discover the office of Fiodor Dostoïevski, where countless books are placed on shelves near the table, everywhere. Fiodor smoking his pipe, walks up and down the office. He is in moment of creative oestrus … It’s a new day, a new life, everything remains to occur! But now trere are two …
Anna, I think we can start.
Should I get settled?
It would be wiser! He smiles at her. The ideas are crowded in my head. It is time for them to be put down on paper. Anna, while sitting at the table, takes hold of a feather.
You already have the book title?
I have no choice! It will be, The Player!
The Player? Time. What a weird title!
I know, especially simultaneously with Crime and Punishment. Never the less, I imagined this book already from Geneva ! Silence. A publisher, a contract, and I should get to work out of necessity! So why not this idea … a book reffering to the game of chance, written out of necessity!
Except from you, there is no other who would shuffle to that extend, life and works.
I wonder sometimes if it’s life writing the works, or if it’s the work which creates the life …
How could I respond to that, when you are weaving reality with the thread of the works as a guide?
And when life is the knot of the works! Later, changing the tone. Anna, take into acount that in principle, I was not looking for anything more than a stenographer and that now we are talking as a couple …
Anna, whose cheeks have redden.
And I, simply a stenographer … Later, in a more intence tone, leaning over the table. I am waiting …
Fiodor, as if he is coming out of a reverie.
Yes, yes, of course … you are right … he begins to dictate the work, The Player. Finally, I am here after a fifteen day absence. It is already three days since our own arrived at Roulettenbourg.
What a strange name! Fiodor, surprised, stopped walking.
That’s how I’ve decided to call Wiesbaden. Time. However, the Player will be more representative … then he resumes, he continues to walk, dictating the text. I thought that he was waiting for me with the greatest impatience, but I was wrong. The general had an extremely presumptuous air in his attitude; He spoke to me with indifference and past me on to his sister. Obviously they came into some money. And it seemed to me that the general was uncomfortable by my presence. Maria Philippovna was not at ease; She just said a few words to me, but took the money, counted it, and and then heard my report to the end. We expect to have dinner with Mezentsov, the little Frenchman, and an Englishman, as always, since we have money, we invite people to dinner: in moschovitisa.
At that point we hear the bell.
I thought you did not expect anyone …
Nice case! We hear the bell again. Stay here, Anna, I am going to see who it is …
He goes out. Anna, quite still always, she seems impatient. Fiodor is late in returning. Then, suddenly, we hear a cry. It is a cry of joy … Fiodor returns with Nikolaï and Alexis.
My friends, I present you …
Nikolaï, interrupts him seeing Anna.
They call me Anna.
The Anna is … my stenographer … However, Nikolaï, I don’t blame you, because the truth is that they are alike.
Who is Irina, Fiodor;
A picture of the past.
A red remembrance.
I’d like to meet her …
One day maybe …
Nikolaï was wounded!
Fiodor, looking at the left side of Nikolaï.
We’ll take care of you … Anna, rush and find what’s necessary, please. Anna exits in a hurry.
It is nothing serious …
Leave it to me … Then, somehow secretively. What is going on?
We are hunted down!
But who and why?
The secret police is looking for us to kill us!
Anna returns and starts to treat Nikolaï.
Well, Nikolaï, what is happening? Time. For what crime katigoreisthe? Anna seems surprised by this question. Nikolaï is ready to respond, but Alexis stops him pointing out with his eyes to Anna. Fiodor, who is watching the scene, interferes. Do not be afraid at all about Anna. She has heart and knows to love.
It is not regarding a crime, but an execution …
So, there really is men who are dead! Anna is increasingly bizarre.
There were no people!
Alexis helped me execute our tormentors …
But what you are talking about, at last?
Anna, all these belong to my past … It was in 1849, we met each week secretly … We wanted to reform the world … Without in fact believing it so much … Until Nikolaï integrated us … Then we realized that we could. But it was too late!
It is never too late! Silence. We had been betrayed by a member of Petrachevski cycle, a spy of the secret police.
Then we were sentenced to forced labour … Silence. Not all …
Fate was different for Varvara and me … After an emotional moment, Nikolaï resumes. I was tortured and Varvara committed suicide in protest.
Anna, quite overwelmed .
God has nothing to do with anything! Time. Today, it’s all over … I executed the last of our torturers.
How can God forgive you, Nikolaï!
I do not need his forgiveness! I do not feel any remorse or repentance!
Anna, with compassion.
The wounds of the soul do not leave visible traces.
Nikolaï, putting his hand out to her.
Anna, my soul arose the same day with Varvara.
No, Nikolaï! Varvara lives in your soul! Silence. Nikolaï seems painful from this image.
Nikolaï, in monoloque.
[It’s this painting that I saw in my dream, not as a painting however, but as a reality. It was just like in the painting, a small cove of the Greek Archipelagos and I was, it looked like, as if I was coming back from over three thousand years ago. Blue stroking waves, islands and rocks, flowering beaches, and at a distance, a breathtaking panorama, the invitation of a sunset. Words can not describe it. The Cradle of Humanity was here. People woke up and went to sleep happy and innocent. However, the rocks and the sea, the oblique rays of the setting sun, all these, they seemed more like I would be watching them as I was waking up and opening my eyes for the first time in my life, literally bathed in tears. The feeling of an unknown happiness crossed my heart, and I even felt pain due to it.] Nikolaï collapsing from fatigue.
Fiodor, pointing out to Nikolaï.
Do you understand now, Annouchka, why I was by him, and with him?
Yes, Fiodor, I understand. This man has suffered more than anyone else. Time. It’s none than you who can help him. Silence. Fiodor, surprised by this phrase seems startled. Anna remains near Nikolaï.
But what shall I do?
At first, you should be our host for the night. Tomorrow we will leave at dawn.
If we came to your house, it is because Nikolaï wanted to see the world for one last time ! Alexis consults a book from the library.
What’s all this about, Alexis;
Our misision is accomplished, we ought to return to Moscow immidiately
Nikolaï however, wanted to see again…
So he came for me ..
Exactly. But a man recognized us and shot Nikolaï …
So I am responsible for his injury ……
Don’t say that, Fiodor, he came to see his last remaining friend. Time. He is heavily wounded …
He lost a lot of blood, he is exhausted.
Don’t worry, he has seen others such as this!
No, Anna is right, he’s barely breathing …
Alexis is approaching, pushing away Fiodor ,and then slapping Nikolaï twice in the face.
Nikolaï, get up! He shakes him.
Live him! Time. I am here, Nikolaï …, Fiodor approaches Nikolaï and remains beside him as if praying. Anna then puts her hand on Fiodors shoulder. We will live and die in darkness. Silence. One day, he told me that he had not yet seen the ultimate, but that he knew of it, as he who suffers from insomnia, knows about sleep, or, he who looks at the darkness knows the light! He bends over Nikolaï one last time, who handed out his soul. And in front, the atheist Alexis, makes the sign of the cross. Then, Anna got up, and they put out one by one all the candles in the room, which is covered by a deep black. Absolute darkness.
Fiodor Dostoïevski is alone, sitting at his office. He is thinking in a cloud of dense smoke, as if he had worked all night. Daybreak is here, and Anna accompanies it entering the room, this time illuminated by a very bright light.
I had a white night?
I prayed, as I thought of Nikolaï … Then, in a different tone. I do not understand!
The death of your friend?
The mysteries of the human soul. Silence. Over time, with Nikolaï, we were not but one person. Each was the other side of the other. But with prison, and especially with Varvara’s death, the mirror broke through time. I had taken refuge in the life of the book and Nikolaï chose the death of the soul. Time. We both chose the refusal of the state. Silence. In the galley, the issue of the rebellion lost its meaning, the essence was the other. With death, the state of repression became a personal enemy, the substance was nothing but that.
A substantial deviation …
Yes, that is precisely the term. And yet, within this deviation, the bond of friendship remained intact. Ιt survived all! Nikolaï always remained the friend within time.
It was obviously the same for Nikolaï.
It is exactly that which is the weirdest! For me, everything was simple, because I think that the human existence is fundamentally good. And even if the vicissitudes of life erode this natural goodness, some exceptional beings manage to sustain it, in order to love Humanity. And Nikolaï was part of these beings … Whereas, for him, I could not be, but at best, merely another writer, who is describing the dreadful misery of the human conditions.
Do not say that, Fiodor. I am sure that Nikolaï could see within you, the human, one of the rare ones, who are capable of carving emotions, in order to discover the depth of our soul and stare at nothingness, without fear, thanks to your faith in the human.
However, I slowly discover, that man is nothing without God. Whereas, Nikolaï did not believe in God …
And does it really matter? Shouldn’t we accept each other as they are?
I’m not sure …
Fiodor, isn’t every element of your work , a piece exceeding life?
And if I was not the witness of the excess?
What is the difference for us? Afterall, you’re the one who reveales it to us!
Nikolaï’s vision … Silence. Absence of God, he accepts only the Prophet. Time. And the Prophet did not believe to anything but Him … He didn’t die going to see his last friend. He came to die and to see the first Prophet. Silence. My work announces the coming of … Because Nikolaï decided to become God! Absolute darkness.
(The scene takes place several weeks after the death of Nikolaï., Fiodor dictates to Anna the epilogue of Crime and Punishment project. As per his habit, he walks through the stage quickly, but his step seems heavier, and his face more serious. He is consciousness of who he is.)
[By his bedside there was a Bible. Quite mechanically he grabs it. This book belonged to Sonia. It was there that she had once read him the resurrection of Lazarus. In the beginning of his captivity, he assumed that she would be persecuting him with her religion. He believed that she was going to unceasingly throw the Gospel at him and to suggest religious books to him. But to his great surprise, she did not do so; not once did she propose to lend him the Holy Book. He himself had asked her for it shortly before his illness and she brought it to him, without saying anything. He had not opened it yet. And even now, he would not open it, but a thought crossed his spirit: “her faith may be less bright now, or at least her feelings, her trends, can not be our common factor] … Fiodor looked at Anna for a moment, who was tirelessly taking notes, almost reverently, of each of his words. Anna, is this is an impression or an illusion?
The evolution of our relationship … Silence.
I do not know, Fiodor.
I’m sorry, I did not want to …
But you don’t bother me.
Fiodor, continuing his narration.
[Sonia, was also troubled that day and at night her illness relapsed . But she was so happy, with such an unexpected blessedness, which almost frightened her. Seven years! Only seven years!
Within the intoxication of the first hours, they were both almost about to assume those seven years, as seven days. Raskolnikov was unaware that this new life was not offered to him as a gift, but that he rather had to obtain it with long heroic efforts … Silence. But here was the begining of another story, one of the long regeneration of a man, of his progressive renaissance, his gradual transition from one world to another, his knowledge, which is progressing with a reality completely unknown until now. Here we could discover the material of a new short story, but ours was terminated.] Long silence. Anna;
Yes, fine, I took down everything.
No, I wanted to say…
Yes, Fiodor …
I would like to narrate you a parable. Silence. It is the story of an artist, whose life was tragic, who had already lost his beloved wife, who suffered from an incurable disease, who is prematurely aged, who is of dark and suspicious character. He’s probably talented, but it is unfortunate that he never managed to embody his ideas in a desired form, and this thought tormented him constantly … Time. That artist is me, who confessed my love for you and I’ve asked you to become my wife … what will you answer me?
I would answer that, I will love you for the rest of my life.
A man sitting alone on a double bench. He has his back to the stage. It’s snowing on the loneliness … However, he seems to be holding a candle in his hand. His entire soul is concentrated in it. He placed it on the bench reverently, then he got up slowly to make a turn. Opposite the stage in front of the bench, we then recognize, the world which is enclosed within a man: he is the poet in exile.
Poet Palm’s evolution
On the ruins of the past, a text abandoned
it remains the only proof.
Each word is a trace of pain.
The pain of life against death.
Everything seemed so peaceful at the beginning
and yet it was a night transformed …
Everything that is not cognitive is minimal!
Because the ideas and the words are nothing but thoughts.
And the rest are meaningless.
Time, however, indicates
is not, but a fleeting moment
between two eternities
And the thought
an idea within life.
A lightning ripping through
an infinite night.
But that this lightning is everything!
Entry of the Creators on stage, each of them bearing a candle.
On this night,
it was shooting stars
and souls sprang up from the earth.
the dream with reality.
Then the red sun dawned
over the people
and Humanity was born,
ready to live her passion.
Thus began the battle
to the peak.
The archer and the wing broke upon the cross.
And the being
was found opposite in to vacuity.
in order to create the world.
The Creators converge on the defendants bench kneeling …
But injustice thwacked consciousness to death
and the relentless shadows were tortured
by the light …
The Creators stand near each other.
So cowardice shattered braveness .
Then the survivors were transformed …
the memory of the future
and the fighter of the ultimate.
And the task created the being,
with the resurrection of man.
It was then that the Prophet spoke
about him: “He will arrive in order to love Humanity!”
And he …
negating the good and the bad.
By him, everything is permitted. Everything was conscience.
He had become the substance.
And the Prophet realized:
He was born in order to suffer
he had died in order to love.
The sacrilege trasformed the intellect
the sacrifice gave birth to the Universal.
Fiodor and Nikolaï are approaching each other.
In the darkness,
each was the other’s double ,
in the light
they became One.
And the one created Time.
The slave who had roused his people
hereon would be
The Man of Humanity.
And by the end of the martyrdoms
the time of love will arrive.
Anna and Varvara approach Fiodor and Nikolaï.
Where people liberated will unite
where life will acquire
in order to multiply again
this promised land
with children of chastity
of innocence and goodness.
And the people will live in peace
because an unhappy one
although he sacrificed everything.
for the good of Humanity,
he was sentenced
to serving the eternity
of vacuity …
to contribute the day!
The scene is illuminated.