AR: Hello viewers, and welcome to Anaxios TV’s blockbuster new show, A Chat with an Orthodox Librarian. I am your host, Reader Alexis Riggle, and today we have on our show the infamous Father Vasiliy Vasileivich, official spokesman for COROC, the Church Overseas of Orthodox Christians, and pastor of Saints Boris and Gleb and Vladimir and Olga Russian Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia. Welcome, Father Vasiliy.
VV: Is good to being here.
AR: You say that every time I interview you.
VV: I have permission from bishop to say little white lies.
AR: I’m not sure what to think about that.
VV: Before we are beginning interview, I have question.
VV: Are you librarian?
AR: Well, no, but I do own a lot of books.
VV: Does bishop know you are telling little white lies?
AR: We had meant to get a real librarian, but couldn’t talk one into coming on the show.
VV: Why am I not sur–
AR: So, Father V, why don’t you tell us about your new book, Borscht Soup for Orthodox Soul?
AR: I can’t believe you did that.
VV: How long have you been interviewing me?
AR: Oh, I don’t know, seven, maybe eight years?
VV: This was rhetorical question.
AR: Your book?
VV: Yes. In new book, Borscht Soup for Orthodox Soul, I have collected many inspirational stories of ordinary Orthodox person across English- and Russian-speaking world. These stories show–
AR: Why only the English- and Russian-speaking world?
VV: I cannot afford translator. Must you to interrupt?
AR: How long have I been interviewing you?
VV: – power of love of God and power of love between good Orthodox persons everywhere.
AR: Everywhere in the English- and Russian-speaking world.
VV: I am ignoring you now.
VV: Actually is not quite accurate to say only across English- and Russian-speaking Orthodox world. Some I steal from lives of Desert Fathers, some from Prologue of Ochrid.
AR: Isn’t that a copyright violation?
VV: Desert Fathers are dead for over one thousand years.
AR: Did you translate them yourself?
VV: Do I look like I am speaking Greek or Latin?
AR: What does somebody who speaks Greek or Latin look like?
VV: Hellenic or Roman, of course.
AR: What is the first story in your anthology?
VV: First story is called, “How to Live Your Podvig.”
AR: I thought these were feel-good stories about love. Isn’t a podvig a difficult and strenuous spiritual undertaking?
VV: I love difficult and strenuous spiritual undertakings. Do not you?
AR: I refuse to answer that on the grounds it might incriminate me.
VV: Tscha! Americans.
AR: Like Lady Gaga says, I was born this way.
VV: Ask about second story.
AR: What about your second story?
VV: I thought you never would to ask. Second story is, “Together, Achieving Our Olympic Podvig.”
AR: This podvig thing is quite a theme here.
AR: What’s an Olympic podvig?
VV: I am not sure. I am only anthologist, not author. But writer is from Greece, so maybe this is referring to mountain.
AR: You didn’t read it?
VV: I am busy man.
AR: How many of these books that you have published did you actually write?
VV: Third story is, “Follow Your Podvig.”
AR: What exactly does any of this have to do with Borscht?
VV: Borscht is comforting to body. These stories are comforting to soul.
AR: How is it comforting to read about somebody else’s podvig?
VV: When you are reading these stories, you are thinking, “This could to be my podvig. How comforting that my podvig is not so hard as this podvig is hard.”
AR: What if your readers have more difficult podvigs than the ones in the book?
VV: Then they are thinking, “How comforting to know that somebody has easy podvig. I was thinking they were all as hard as mine.”
AR: Maybe these podvigs are actually very hard to the people who wrote the stories?
VV: Then you are thinking, “How comforting that I am not only one with podvig that is hard to me.”
AR: You seem to have covered all the bases.
VV: You are forgetting home plate.
AR: Which is?
VV: If these podvigs are harder than your podvig, but these people find them easier than you find your wimpy podvig.
AR: And how is that comforting?
VV: Is not. This kind of person probably should not buy book.
AR: How do you know all these baseball metaphors? They don’t play baseball in Australia.
VV: When young, I spend one summer in Japan.
AR: Did you see the Nikolai-do?
VV: No, I am not enjoying the martial arts.
AR: I meant–
VV: I am knowing what you meant. I am pulling leg. Yes, I see beautiful Nikolai-do, and meet many beautiful Orthodox Japanese persons.
AR: Did you get any stories for your book from them?
VV: I was 17 years of the age. I did not know I would be writing–
VV: –this book.
AR: Were you able to get any stories from famous authors, like Freddi Meadows-Green?
AR: Is not important.
VV: My accent is rubbing off on you.
AR: Any last things you would like to say about your book?
VV: Only to say, please to buy. Is published by Anaxios Press, and is available at Orinoco.com, or fine brick-and-the-mortar bookstores everywhere, all five of them.
AR: Thank you, Father Vasiliy.
VV: Is pleasure.
AR: Is that a little white lie?
VV: Being polite to smarty-pants obnoxious American so-to-call-him editor is part of podvig.
AR: I’m glad you’re so polite.
AR: And that’s all for this week’s A Chat with an Orthodox Librarian. Be with us next week when we talk with Spanky Schiffer about his new book, And I Didn’t Much Like My Grandparents Either.
Copyright © 2012 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.