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He fell to pondering for a while and stated, “I think there is a conflict between an academician and an artist. Academicians and artists have eternal differences and stand on diametrically opposite sides from each other; they are not meant to come together, not any more than sun and moon were meant to together, or ocean and mountain. They are sun and moon, Shogo; they are ocean and mountain. They are not supposed to understand each other. By the way, Shogo, who are your favorite writers? Could you allow me to know some of them, so that I can understand you better?”

“I admire Knut Hamsun, Henry Miller, Herman Hesse, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Strindberg, etc.”

“Hm… it looks like you’re naturally attracted to literary giants. That’s very interesting though. I remember that I read Crime and Punishment a long time ago. I vividly remember the part, which Raskolnikov bent all the way down, leaned towards the floor, kissed Sonya’s foot and said: ‘I was not bowing to you, I was bowing to all human suffering.’ In addition to this scene, I love the passage, which he asked her to read the part about Lazarus in Bible. It left me a tremendous impact on me – I was speechless, so to speak,” he wiped the glasses with a kerchief and went on, “Anyway, sorry for the digression. The main thing is that I read your essay with much curiosity. I have to admit that it’s very well written, although I think your opinions are a bit idiosyncrasy. Shogo, did you write it yourself? Or did somebody help you?”

His skeptical question offended me in the highest degree; however I used to being asked this sort of mocking question. Every professor asked me the same sassy question once in a semester. Ergo, I replied nonchalantly, “I wrote it myself. Nobody touched it. It is immaculate. Thank you very much for the derisive question.”