Ian McEwan & Steven Pinker discuss conversation and the rules of engagement; the treatment of underlings; mutual knowledge vs. innuendo; “seeing one’s etchings”; ritual and primitive emotion; transacting intimate relationships in words; rage and desire in Joyce’s “The Dead”; misunderstandings in The Odyssey; and Bartleby the Scrivener as the most annoying man in the world. This conversation took place at the 2008 PEN World Voices Festival.