As long as there are political prisoners, I cannot get near the leader or even be in the same room with him. That would mean that I considered it acceptable to listen to speeches about the finer things in life from a man who is keeping people in prison for their political convictions. I would enjoy talking to Putin about literature after all the political prisoners are released. Until then, it is not possible.
… the relics of Soviet times dreaming of restoring the Union of Writers and the privileges and advances they enjoyed thanks to it … It looks as though the bulk of those who attended have no relevance in the literary market whatsoever. And it is they who most strive for being fed by the state … This was at once a shameful and pathetic scene of the buffoons of dead classic names and the mob of generally unknown literary fungus, to put it sharply.