This guy should write fiction.

If you’re inclined to believe Igor Panarin, and the Kremlin wouldn’t mind if you did, then President Barack Obama will order martial law this year, the U.S. will split into six rump-states before 2011, and Russia and China will become the backbones of a new world order.
Panarin might be easy to ignore but for the fact that he is a dean at the Foreign Ministry’s school for future diplomats and a regular on Russia’s state-guided TV channels. And his predictions fit into the anti-American story line of the Kremlin leadership.
“There is a high probability that the collapse of the United States will occur by 2010,” Panarin told dozens of students, professors and diplomats Tuesday at the Diplomatic Academy — a lecture the ministry pointedly invited The Associated Press and other foreign media to attend.


Oh, wait. He just did.
But how was the speech received?

It wasn’t clear how persuasive the 20-minute lecture was. One instructor asked Panarin whether his predictions more accurately describe Russia, which is undergoing its worst economic crisis in a decade as well as a demographic collapse that has led some scholars to predict the country’s demise.

“Every Man Dies Alone.”

Catchy title.

“From the minute I sit down and write the first line,” he once explained, “I am lost, a compelling force is in command. That force dictates just how and how much I must write, whether I want to or not, even if it makes me ill. . . . A hundred times I have wondered what it is that drives me so.” It was as if he had no choice. On another occasion, he compared his need to write to an “intoxication,” like the morphine he once craved. He called it “a poison that I could not shake out of my mind or my body, I was thirsty for it, I wanted to drink more of it, to drink it always, every day for the rest of my life.”

–author Hans Fallada (a pen-name taken from Grimm’s Fairy Tales), a troubled writer from troubled times, on his craft, from this NYTimes article.