A conversation with Stratis Papaioannou (University of Crete) about the mismatch between modern ideas of literature (on the one hand) and the texts, conventions, and goals of Byzantine authors (on the other). In what sense are those texts "literature"? Should they be compared to classical texts, modern literature, neither, or both? We talk also about how much of it has survived, and how much might have been lost. The conversation was prompted by the release of Stratis' edited volume,The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Literature (Oxford University Press 2021).