Интервју са Пенелопи Фицџералд

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Новалисова мисао коју сте употребили као епиграф за Плави цвет каже: „Романи се рађају из мана историје“.

Тај цитат нисам знала док нисам почела да читам о Новалису, али мислим да је опаска врло истинита.

Како је текло истраживање материјала за „Плави цвет“ и преображавање Новалисове приче у фикцију? Nastavite sa čitanjem

Ђорђо де Кирико на Трећем програму Радио Београда

У радио емисији Искуства која је емитована 15. септембра 1968. године на Трећем програму Радио Београда, гост Радмиле Глигић, новинарке и ауторке емисије, био је Ђорђо де Кирико. Интервју са њим можете послушати на приложеном снимку.

Можете чути сликарев доживљај у возу Nastavite sa čitanjem

Радница у култури Југославије: Војка Смиљанић Ђикић

Дама на фотографији је Војка Смиљанић Ђикић.

Питате се: „Ко је она?“

У питању је жена коју сам једино знала по томе што је превела роман „Алексис“ Маргерит Јурсенар чије сам одломке објављивала на овом месту.

Име ништа не може Nastavite sa čitanjem

A . A . A u internet magazinu „Plezir“

Na poziv Katarine Đošan, istoričarke umetnosti, dala sam intervju za internet magazin Plezir. U pitanju je novembraski broj za 2018. godinu. Intervju možete čitati na njihovom sajtu, a ja ga ovde prenosim u celini.

Razgovarale smo o umetnosti i putovanjima u jednom unutrašnjem Nastavite sa čitanjem

A . A . A u online izdanju magazina ELLE

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Marija Mićanovič, novinarka internet izdanja magazina Elle, pozvala me je jednog julskog podneva na intervju. Kao dugogodišni čitalac – otkrila je moje pisanje u Portugalu – smatrala je da treba razgovarati o različitim temama koje su u vezi sa stvaralaštvom, sa time šta ja radim, šta mi radimo. Mi smo, podjednako, ja koja pišem i uređujem, i vi koji ovo pratite, čitate, u ovom radu nalazite smisao, lepotu i obećanje entuzijazma. U nastavku prenosim celokupan intervju, Nastavite sa čitanjem

Josif Brodski o klasičnoj muzici

MANFREDI, Bartolomeo 1610

U nastavku sledi intervju koji je Jelena Pjetrušanska vodila sa Josifom Brodskim. Pitanja su se odnosila na klasičnu muziku. Poznato je da je ruski pesnik bio veliki ljubitelj klasične muzike, njegovi lirski pasaži o Veneciji, na primer, izloženi u knjizi Vodeni žig, to potvrđuju. Ovde, pesnik nam navodi razloge zbog kojih voli muziku Hajdna, Vivaldija, Baha, Pergolezija, Mocarta i Monteverdija, a zašto ne voli muziku svojih savremenika, Stravinskog i Šostakoviča. Nastavite sa čitanjem

Intervju sa Miloradom Pavićem

Kritičari kažu da ste Vi i klasičan i antiklasičan pisac. Da li biste to objasnili?

Reč „klasičan“ može imati dva značenja: pisac koji ima klasičnu osnovu i pisac koji svojim značajem postaje klasik. A antiklasik je onaj koji uništava klasičnu formu i normu. Nastavite sa čitanjem

Intervju sa Brankom Miljkovićem

Pablo Picasso Woman in Profile 1952

Razgovor sa pesnikom Brankom Miljkovićem povodom njegove dve najnovije knjige pesama: Poreklo nade i Vatra i ništa. NIN, septembar 1960.

Ko je naš najveći savremeni pesnik?

Nesumnjivo Vasko Popa.

Postoji li za vas poetska formula sveta? Ako postoji, recite je.

Sve istinske formule sveta su poetske. Nastavite sa čitanjem

Vladimir Pištalo o Veneciji (intervju)

Sledi intervju koji je pisac Vladimir Pištalo dao za dnevni list „Politika“. Intervju je objavljen u kulturnom dodatku 2. jula 2011. godine. Intervju je vodila Vesna Roganović, a isti je objavljen pod nazivom „Bekstvo u karneval“. Intervju je ovde dat u celosti. Nastavite sa čitanjem

Intervju: Silvija Plat i Ted Hjuz

Intervju naslovljen Two of a Kind: Poets in Partnership snimljen je 18. januara 1961. godine, a emitovan 31. januara iste godine. BBC novinar bio je Oven Liming. Ovaj interesantan razgovor može doprineti razumevanju odnosa dva pesnika, ali i razumevanju pojedinačnih stvaralačkih ličnosti kao što su bili Silvija Plat i Ted Hjuz. Nastavite sa čitanjem

Barok nedeljom: Frančesko Boromini

Paolo Portogeze je savremeni italijanski arhitekta i teoretičar umetnosti. U ovom fiktivnom intervjuu Portogeze, koristeći se formom dijaloga, pruža čitaocima na uvid hronologiju Borominijevog života, njegovih stvaralačkih načela, promena, borbi i sumnji. Esej u formi intervjua je pred vama. Nastavite sa čitanjem

Margerit Jursenar o smislu putovanja

Za Jursenar

Odlomak iz intervjua koji je Margerit Jursenar dala Matjeu Galeju, a koji je objavljen u knjizi „Širom otvorenih očiju“.

Vi ste po temperamentu dosta avanturističkog duha?

Idem napred, to je sve. Međutim, svako putovanje, svaka avantura (u pravom smislu te reči „ono što dolazi“) udvostručuje se unutrašnjim istraživanjem. Ono što radimo i što mislimo, to je kao unutrašnja i spoljašnja linija jedne vaze: jedna drugu oblikuju. Nastavite sa čitanjem

Intervju i poetika: Ali Ahmed Said (Adonis)

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Kakvo je značenje krugova o kojima govorite u pesmi i za koje kažete da vas guše?

Unutrašnjost je preuska, a spoljašnjost nije za mene. Unutrašnjost – to je moja domovina, a spoljašnjost je sav ostali svet; no moj lični problem nije mesto boravka. Mesto nije rešenje. Kad napuštamo naše tiranske, diktatorske zemlje zamišljamo da ćemo rešenje svojih teškoća i problema naći na nekom drugom mestu, ali to nije tačno, barem ne na zemaljskoj kugli. Ako se udubimo u suštinu ljudskog življenja vidimo da je takvo uverenje bez ikakvog osnova. Ono je naivno i površno. Nastavite sa čitanjem

Štefan Cvajg u 2014. godini

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Ova godina može se označiti godinom ponovnog otkrivaja čitalačkom oku dela Štefana Cvajga, austrijskog pisca na prelazu vekova koji je, svojevremeno, bio najčitaniji i najprevođeniji evropski pisac, poznat po novelama, ali i po biografijama znamenitih ljudi kao što su Marija Stjuart, Marija Antoaneta, Zigmund Frojd, Onore de Balzak, Fridrih Helderlin, Fridrih Niče, Anri Bel – Stendal, Đakomo Kazanova.

Ove godine je u fokusu javnosti delo Štefana Cvajga zbog pojavljivanja filma Grand Budapest Hotel američkog reditelja Vesa Andersona. Istovremeno kada i film pojavile su se dve značajne knjige. Objavljena je biografija The Impossible Exile čiji je autor Džordž Pročnik. Potom se pojavila knjiga Stefan Zweig and World Literature (21st Century Perspectives) koja predstavlja zbirku eseja na temu Cvajgovog stvaralaštva.

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THE IMPOSSIBLE EXILE

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By the 1930s, Stefan Zweig had become the most widely translated living author in the world. His novels, short stories, and biographies were so compelling that they became instant best sellers. Zweig was also an intellectual and a lover of all the arts, high and low. Yet after Hitler’s rise to power, this celebrated writer who had dedicated so much energy to promoting international humanism plummeted, in a matter of a few years, into an increasingly isolated exile—from London to Bath to New York City, then Ossining, Rio, and finally Petrópolis—where, in 1942, in a cramped bungalow, he killed himself.

 

 

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STEFAN ZWEIG AND WORLD LITERATURE (21st CENTURY PERSPECTIVES)

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Knjiga online: Stefan Zweig and World Literature

O knjizi: JSTOG  |  Boydell and Brewer

 

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THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

 

I had never heard of Zweig until six or seven years ago, as all the books began to come back into print, and I more or less by chance bought a copy of „Beware of Pity“. I immediately loved this book, his one, big, great novel and suddenly there were dozens more in front of me waiting to read. – Wes Anderson

 

 

Margerit Jursenar o svom obrazovanju i književnim uticajima

Mnogo ste čitali?

– Ah, mnogo. U to vreme već je bilo malih džepnih knjiga po ceni od deset santima (ondašnjih), mora da još negde imam jednu koju sam sačuvala iz vremena kad mi je bilo osam godina, Aristofanove Ptice, kupljenu na stanici metroa „Konkord“. Čitala sam ih sa zanosom.

Koliko Vam je bilo godina?

– Osam ili devet. Očigledno nisam shvatila pouku, zaplet, ali to nije važno, meni je bilo lepo to što su ti ljudi bili velike ličnosti, zanimljive za procenjivanje. Na primer, volela sam Fedru.

Rasinovu Fedru, sa osam godina?

– Da, smatrala sam da je to lepo. Međutim, ko je tačno bio Tezej, ko Ipolit, to možda i nije bilo tako važno. Bilo je lepo, kao pesma. Žena koja već pripada prošlosti, supruga Pjera Abrahama, sestra Žan-Rišara Bloha, poreklom iz vrlo obrazovane i liberalne izraelske porodice, i duboko francuske, čiji su pojedini članovi herojski umrli u vreme Gestapoa (jednoj nećakinji je odrubljena glava), srela me je u Parizu između 1954. i 1958. godine. Objavila je, skoro nekomercijalno, delo o ženi koja je bila, ako se ne varam, njen profesor dikcije, izvesnoj Žani de Vason, od stare loze iz Bosa, takođe učenoj, koja nije težila nikakvom uspehu ni popularnosti, a u svojoj potpunoj nezavisnosti bila je prava aristokratkinja, u etimološkom smislu koji ja pridajem toj reči (najbolja). Ta se žena, kao i ja, obrazovala „kod kuće“, na seoskom imanju u blizini imanja Žorž Sandove, koju je upoznala kad je Žorž Sand već bila stara gospođa, a ona sasvim mala. Pa, u tim čudnim a ponekad i izuzetnim beležnicama koje je Elena Abraham sakupila, vidimo da Ženi de Vason, kao devojčica od osam ili devet godina, čita Šatobrijana ili prevod Dantea, koji su je svakako obogatili za ceo život. Naša epoha slabo poznaje i previše potcenjuje duh detinjstva.

– Zar Vam je otac dozvoljavao da čitate sve što hoćete? Zar Vam nije savetovao šta da čitate?

– Ponekad mi je čitao knjige, upravo Šatobrijanove odlomke. Čitao mi je Meterlinka, između ostalog Blago poniznih, i odatle potiče moja ljubav prema misticizmu, koji se kasnije samo razvijao. Ponovo sam osećala da tu postoji jedna vrsta svetlosti, a Meterlinkove mane, koje mi sada izgledaju vidljive, određena monotonija govora na primer, sa devet ili deset godina nisam ni primećivala.

Čitao mi je i Marka Aurelija, ali u pomalo specifičnim uslovima: bilo je to 1914, avgusta 1914. Upravo smo bili stigli iz Engleske, izbegavajući belgijske obale i severni deo Francuske, koji je, naravno, bio odsečen od Pariza gde smo hteli da se vratimo. Bio je sebi zacrtao da me nauči engleski i mao je čudnu, vidovitu ideju da me nauči engleski preko prevoda Priručnika Marka Aurelija. Ali, on nije bio profesor. Zamislite utisak koji Marko Aurelije na engleskom ostavlja na dete od jedanaest godina koje ne razume nijednu reč tog jezika. Mucala sam i lupetala, pa je posle dve lekcije bacio Marka Aurelija kroz prozor, što pokazuje da ga taj mudri rimski imperator nije naučio strpljenju.

– A, kad ste počeli da učite klasične jezike?

– Latnski oko desete, a grčki oko dvanaeste godine. Isprva me je podučavao otac, a zatim sam imala profesore koji su dolazili u kuću. Ali, on je ipak počeo prvi. To je bilo za vreme rata i bilo je veoma hladno. Nikad mi nije bilo toliko hladno kao tada u Parizu 1915. godine, gde smo se konačno vratili, posle godinu dana provedenih u Engleskoj. Živeli smo u Parizu otkako je Crno brdo bilo prodato 1912. ili 1913. godine. Otac ga je napustio 1912, ubrzo posle smrti njegove majke. Prodao ga je bez žaljenja, budući da je tamo doživeo dosta muka i porodičnih svađa. Nastanio se u Aveniji d’Anten, koja je zatim postala Avenija Viktora Emanuela III, a potom Avenija predsednika Ruzvelta, u iščekivanju da jednog od ovih dana postane Avenija Mao… u kući koja više ne postoji, jer je srušeno krilo u kojem smo mi stanovali. Pokušala sam da pronađem to mesto pre šest ili sedam godina, ali ga nisam mogla prepoznati.

Na broju 15 se nalazila lepa stara kuća iz XIX veka, sa unutrašnjim dvorištem. Stanovali smo u stanu na prvom spratu, iznad tog dvorišta. Tu sam dosta čitala, a posebno sam posećivala muzeje. Preseljenje sa sela u Pariz pre 1914. za mene je bilo veličanstveno, jer je bilo muzeja.

– Govorite o muzejima kao što bi neko drugi govorio o bioskopu gde su ga vodili četvrtkom.

– U suštini ima toga. To je bilo rađanje mašte. Kažem to pomalo olako, jer ne treba se nikad opterećivati, ali to pokreće jako velike probleme: mašta prihvata ono na šta se usredsredi; ali postoji takođe ono, neću reći što odbacuje, već što ne poznaje, što propušta. Postoje naklonosti, izbor koji nije lako objasniti. Uostalom, morate shvatiti da sam ja imala i period oduševljenja filmom između dvadeset pete i trideset pete godine. A onda me je to prošlo, izuzev, naravno, nekoliko retkih velikih filmova. Međutim, uvek sam pomalo nepovreljiva prema senkama na celuloidnoj traci. To sam, uostalom, objasnila u Novčiću iz sna.

– Sećate li se nekih posebnih trenutaka vezanih za te posete?

– Vrlo dobro se sećam moje prve posete Vestminsterskoj palati. U gotskim grobnicama otkrivala sam misteriju srednjeg veka. Isto tako se dobro sećam i savremenih stvari, Meštrovićeve izložbe, što je bio moj prvi susret sa slovenskom umetnošću, a imam utisak da je to, istovremeno, bila i prva nit koja me je kasnije odvela prema Balkanu, prema Istočnjačkim pričama koje se dešavaju na slovenskom Istoku.

– Već više puta spominjete srednji vek. Međutim, nemam utisak da je to za Vas bio posebno inspirativan period.

– Recimo da nisam ništa pisala o tom periodu, ali ima puno slučajnosti u onome što pišemo. Vrlo dugo sam maštala o jednoj Elizabeti od Mađarske, koja bi nas vratila u sam srednji vek, oko 1220, sa velikim ličnostima koje su, manje ili više, dominirale životom te mlade svetice: Franjo Asiški, koga nikad nije upoznala, ali kojim se nadahnjivala, Fridrih II od Hoenštaufena, njen rođak, ateista, skoro uzvišene inteligencije, ali tvrd i okrutan, za koga se zamalo udala, zatim Konrad od Marburga, Veliki inkvizitor, koga su joj odredili za ispovednika, što je ponekad moralo biti užasno. (Osećamo iz njenih vrlo oskudnih reči da joj se dešavalo da ga osuđuje svojim slabašnim osmehom mlade bolesne žene.) Zatim, njen muž, mladi Nemac dobrodušnog srca, u čiju se postelju, prema hroničarima, „radosno bacala“, a čija je smrt bila jedna od nesreća njenog kratkog života.

Da sam napisala tu knjigu, ona bi me sigurno odvela u srednji vek. Nisam je napisala najviše zbog toga što se nisam vratila u Nemačku – ne u taj deo Nemačke, Istočnu Nemačku – a i zato što ne čitam dobro nemački. Bilo bi potrebno mnogo posrednika između mene i starih hronika.

– Vaši književni uticaji?

– Dešavalo mi se da pravim spiskove mog dečjeg i mladalačkog štiva, imajući stalno na umu Šta? Večnost, treći tom Lavirinta sveta. Treba vrlo jasno praviti razliku među dobima: uticaji detinjstva nemaju ništa zajedničko sa onim kasnijim. U suštini, njih je bilo toliko mnogo da mora da su poništavali jedni druge.

Prvo su bile bajke, koje sam mnogo volela. Kao i sva deca, trudila sam se da ih ostvarim šetajući sa štapom, trljajući predmete tražeći da se pretvore u zlato: predmeti se nisu menjali, ali to je bila predivna igra.

Zatim je došlo čitanje naglas, sa mojim ocem, čitanje dela koja je cenio, na primer Blago poniznih, o kojem smo već govorili. Čitao mi je – imala sam oko jedanaest godina, i ta tajanstvenost, pomalo razvodnjena, skoro „mondenska“, ipak je morala imati određenog uticaja na moje buduće usmerenje – istorijske romane Mereškovskog, koji je u to vreme bio u modi. To se dešavalo u stanu u Parizu. Nisam najbolje razumela, ali to mi je ostavljalo utisak gomile, što ruskim romanima uvek uspeva, bilo da su Mereškovskog ili Tolstoja.

Čitala sam, takođe, i Šekspira. Sve klasike sam pročitala u jeftinim izdanjima koja sam kupovala sama – kao što sam vam rekla – Rasina, Labrijera, i druge. Pamtim jedan utisak kad sam tek počinjala da čitam; konačno sam bila naučila da čitam, ali je čitanje za mene bilo još sasvim novo; bilo mi je najviše šest i po ili sedam godina. To je bilo jednog dana kad smo se selili i moj otac me je ostavio samu u njegovoj sobi, dok je on zatvarao kofere. Dao mi je prvu knjigu koju je našao na stolu: roman jedne zaboravljene žene, koja je danas potpuno nepoznata, čije sam ime slučajno našla na jednoj ploči postavljenoj na njenoj kući u Monpeljeu, kad sam pre nekoliko godina boravila u tom lepom gradu. Zvala se Rene Monlor. Poreklom iz dobre, mislim protestantske porodice iz Langedoka, pisala je evangelističke i biblijske romane. U takvim knjigama nisam nikad posebno uživala, ali se sećam da se radnja te knjige odvijala u Egiptu otprilike u Hristovo doba. Jedva sam znala gde je Egipat, a zaboravila sam i zaplet, ali postoji tamo odlomak na koji sam naišla kad se ličnosti ukrcavaju u čamac na Nilu u zalazak sunca. Snažan utisak: opčinjena zalaskom sunca na Nilu, sa šest ili sedam godina. Utisak koji se zadržao, iako mu je trebalo dugo vremena da se pretvori u trenutak Hadrijanovog putovanja u Egipat. To mi se urezalo u sećanje. A to bi iznenadilo i autora tog pobožnog romana…

– Da li je Vaš otac imao književnih strasti koje je mogao da prenese na Vas?

– Voleo je mnogo da čita i imao je svoje omiljene pisce, ali književne strasti, sumnjam. Voleo je, na primer, Šekspira, Ibzena. Zajedno smo čitali Ibzena kad sam imala šesnaest ili sedamnaest godina. Još uvek imam puno njegovih beležaka na tekstovima: hteo je da me nauči da čitam naglas pa je zamislio jednu vrstu muzičke skale da bi obeležio mesta gde se treba zaustaviti, i mesta gde se glas podiže ili spušta. Od Ibzena sam mnogo naučila o potpunoj nezavisnosti čoveka, kao u Neprijatelju naroda, gde glavni junak jedini primećuje da je grad zagađen. Ti veliki pisci XIX veka često su bili nepokorni, subverzivni, opozicija čitavoj svojoj epohi i svom okruženju, protivnici svake vrste ljudske osrednjosti. Takvi su bili Niče, Ibzen i Tolstoj i upravo sam svu trojicu čitala sa svojim ocem.

Međutim, nije baš mnogo čitao Balzaka. Čak ću reći, što će izgledati vrlo nadmeno s moje strane, da sam ga u određenoj meri ja navela na čitanje jednog dela francuske književnosti XIX veka. Ja sam njemu rekla, na primer: „Čitajmo Parmski kartuzijanski manastr.“

Mnogo smo zajedno čitali i to naglas. Dodavali smo knjigu jedno drugom. Čitala sam, a kad bih se umorila, on je preuzimao. Čitao je veoma dobro, mnogo bolje od mene: bio je mnogo izražajniji.

– Kada ste otkrili Prusta?

– Ubrzo prosle njegove smrti; imala sam oko dvadeset pet godina. Ali, to otac više nije bio u stanju da prati. Bilo je to ono staračko odbijanje, odvartnost prema čitanju najnovijih dela. Za njega je Prust bio pojam nerazumljivosti. Više je voleo Ruse. I Selmu Lagerlof, o kojoj sam kasnije napisala esej, a koju i dalje smatram genijalnim piscem.

– A Dostojevskog?

– Njega sam čitala kasnije i divila mu se sa jednom vrstom zaprepašćenja, kako da kažem, na trenutke bez daha, toliko mi je to izgledalo veliko. Ali nikad na mene nije mnogo uticao. Njegovo hrišćanstvo je bilo – ili mi se tako činilo – sušta suprotnost onome što je za mene značajno, iako gajim veliko divljenje prema starcu Zosimu. Međutim, nikad kasnije nisam mnogo iščitavala Dostojevskog, a to je ono prema čemu se procenjuju uticaji.

– A pesnike?

– Pesnike? Pesnike XVII veka, naravno, pesnike renesanse, i Igoa; Uvek sam mnogo volela Igoa i pored toga što je moda bila drugačija. Ostali pesnici kao Rembo, Apoliner, došli su kasnije. Uostalom, u predgovoru za Aleksis kazala sam kako mi se čini do koje mere se jedan mladi pisac ne bavi svojom epohom, sem ako potpuno ne pripada nekoj grupi „u trendu“ koja se trudi da sledi modu ili da u njoj prednjači. Uopšte uzevši, mladi ljudi se nadahnjuju delima prethodnih generacija. To je posebno uočljivo kad izbliza pratimo romantičare. Nikad se ne pozivaju na neposredne prethodnike, već na one iz dalje prošlosti.

– Koji su to prethodnici u Vašem slučaju?

– Možda Jejts, Svinbern, D’Anuncio se u to vreme mnogo čitao. Najčešće pesme, često vrlo lepe, koje sam ja čitala na italijanskom. Bila sam sposobna da pravim razliku između njegovih romana, koji su veoma značajni, i pesama koje su i dalje dobre, pod uslovom, naravno, da zanemarimo poetsku nadmenost ili barokno ulepšavanje koji kod njega smetaju isto koliko i kod Baresa.

Bodler da, ali sam ga okusila jako kasno, kao poznavalac, kao neko ko s aspekta zanata procenjuje izuzetno savršenstvo bodlerovskog stila. To je, na neki način, bilo prekasno za naivno oduševljavanje.

U mom slučaju, pre sam ga upoznala zbog poezije XVII veka i poezije renesanse: zbog Rasina, manje Lafontena (ritmičku lepotu Lafontenovog stiha osetila sam mnogo kasnije), engleskih pesnika, posebno metafizizčara, naravno u originalu. A zatim, kod Italijana, pesnike srednjeg veka, pesnike „veselog znanja“ i čitavu njihovu školu. Pesnike koji nisu daleko da budu i metafizičari.

Ako hoćete da govorimo o uticajima, onda bi ih verovatno trebalo tražiti među filozofima. Mislim, na primer, da se ne može dati mnogo mesta uticaju Ničea, ne onog Ničea iz Zaratustre, već onog iz knjiga Veselo znanje, Ljudsko, suviše ljudsko, Ničea koji ima poseban način posmatranja stvari, istovremeno izbliza, kao i iz velike daljine, lucidnog, izoštrenog, a u isti mah skoro površnog.

– A neko kao što je Šopenhauer, da li Vam je nešto značio?

– Da, samo što se to vrlo brzo pomešalo sa budizmom, jer Šopenhauer, to je u suštini prvi pokušaj prilagođavanja budističke misli jednoj evropskoj zemlji. Međutim, uvek sa uzbuđenjen pomislim na Manovog Tomasa Budenbroka koji, posle jednog konvencionalnog i obeshrabrujućeg života, u Šopenhaueru istovremeno pronalazi smisao očaja i, možda, najveći mir.

Izvor: Margerit Jursenar, Širom otvorenih očiju. Razgovori sa Matjeom Galejem, preveo Stanko Džeferdanović, Politika, Narodna knjiga, Beograd, 2004.

Intervju za „Parisku reviju“: Maja Angelou

U nastavku slede neki od najzanimljivijih odlomaka iz intervjua koji je američka književnica Maja Angelou dala za časopis The Paris Review. Autor intervjua bio je Džordž Plimton, osnivač i dugo godina glavni i odgovorni urednik tog lista. Intervju je dobro polazište za otkivanje biografskih detalja i stvaralačkih rituala ove umetnice. Boca šerija, Biblija i hotelska soba neki su od neophodnih detalja pre početka rada na jeziku.

INTERVIEWER

You once told me that you write lying on a made-up bed with a bottle of sherry, a dictionary, Roget’s Thesaurus, yellow pads, an ashtray, and a Bible. What’s the function of the Bible?

MAYA ANGELOU

The language of all the interpretations, the translations, of the Judaic Bible and the Christian Bible, is musical, just wonderful. I read the Bible to myself; I’ll take any translation, any edition, and read it aloud, just to hear the language, hear the rhythm, and remind myself how beautiful English is. Though I do manage to mumble around in about seven or eight languages, English remains the most beautiful of languages. It will do anything.

INTERVIEWER

When you are refreshed by the Bible and the sherry, how do you start a day’s work?

ANGELOU

I have kept a hotel room in every town I’ve ever lived in. I rent a hotel room for a few months, leave my home at six, and try to be at work by six-thirty. To write, I lie across the bed, so that this elbow is absolutely encrusted at the end, just so rough with callouses. I never allow the hotel people to change the bed, because I never sleep there. I stay until twelve-thirty or one-thirty in the afternoon, and then I go home and try to breathe; I look at the work around five; I have an orderly dinner—proper, quiet, lovely dinner; and then I go back to work the next morning. Sometimes in hotels I’ll go into the room and there’ll be a note on the floor which says, Dear Miss Angelou, let us change the sheets. We think they are moldy. But I only allow them to come in and empty wastebaskets. I insist that all things are taken off the walls. I don’t want anything in there. I go into the room and I feel as if all my beliefs are suspended. Nothing holds me to anything. No milkmaids, no flowers, nothing. I just want to feel and then when I start to work I’ll remember. I’ll read something, maybe the Psalms, maybe, again, something from Mr. Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson. And I’ll remember how beautiful, how pliable the language is, how it will lend itself. If you pull it, it says, OK.” I remember that and I start to write. Nathaniel Hawthorne says, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” I try to pull the language in to such a sharpness that it jumps off the page. It must look easy, but it takes me forever to get it to look so easy. Of course, there are those critics—New York critics as a rule—who say, Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course it’s good but then she’s a natural writer. Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language. On an evening like this, looking out at the auditorium, if I had to write this evening from my point of view, I’d see the rust-red used worn velvet seats and the lightness where people’s backs have rubbed against the back of the seat so that it’s a light orange, then the beautiful colors of the people’s faces, the white, pink-white, beige-white, light beige and brown and tan—I would have to look at all that, at all those faces and the way they sit on top of their necks. When I would end up writing after four hours or five hours in my room, it might sound like, It was a rat that sat on a mat. That’s that. Not a cat. But I would continue to play with it and pull at it and say, I love you. Come to me. I love you. It might take me two or three weeks just to describe what I’m seeing now.

INTERVIEWER

How much revising is involved?

ANGELOU

I write in the morning and then go home about midday and take a shower, because writing, as you know, is very hard work, so you have to do a double ablution. Then I go out and shop—I’m a serious cook—and pretend to be normal. I play sane—Good morning! Fine, thank you. And you? And I go home. I prepare dinner for myself and if I have houseguests, I do the candles and the pretty music and all that. Then after all the dishes are moved away I read what I wrote that morning. And more often than not if I’ve done nine pages I may be able to save two and a half or three. That’s the cruelest time you know, to really admit that it doesn’t work. And to blue pencil it. When I finish maybe fifty pages and read them—fifty acceptable pages—it’s not too bad. I’ve had the same editor since 1967. Many times he has said to me over the years or asked me, Why would you use a semicolon instead of a colon? And many times over the years I have said to him things like: I will never speak to you again. Forever. Goodbye. That is it. Thank you very much. And I leave. Then I read the piece and I think of his suggestions. I send him a telegram that says, OK, so you’re right. So what? Don’t ever mention this to me again. If you do, I will never speak to you again. About two years ago I was visiting him and his wife in the Hamptons. I was at the end of a dining room table with a sit-down dinner of about fourteen people. Way at the end I said to someone, I sent him telegrams over the years. From the other end of the table he said, And I’ve kept every one! Brute! But the editing, one’s own editing, before the editor sees it, is the most important.

INTERVIEWER

So you don’t keep a particular reader in mind when you sit down in that hotel room and begin to compose or write. It’s yourself.

ANGELOU

It’s myself . . . and my reader. I would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a fool—and I’m not any of those—to say that I don’t write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues. There’s a phrase in West Africa, in Ghana; it’s called “deep talk.” For instance, there’s a saying: “The trouble for the thief is not how to steal the chief’s bugle but where to blow it.” Now, on the face of it, one understands that. But when you really think about it, it takes you deeper. In West Africa they call that “deep talk.” I’d like to think I write “deep talk.” When you read me, you should be able to say, Gosh, that’s pretty. That’s lovely. That’s nice. Maybe there’s something else? Better read it again. Years ago I read a man named Machado de Assis who wrote a book called Dom Casmurro. Machado de Assis is a South American writer—black father, Portuguese mother—writing in 1865, say. I thought the book was very nice. Then I went back and read the book and said, Hmm. I didn’t realize all that was in that book. Then I read it again, and again, and I came to the conclusion that what Machado de Assis had done for me was almost a trick: he had beckoned me onto the beach to watch a sunset. And I had watched the sunset with pleasure. When I turned around to come back in I found that the tide had come in over my head. That’s when I decided to write. I would write so that the reader says, That’s so nice. Oh boy, that’s pretty. Let me read that again. I think that’s why Caged Bird is in its twenty-first printing in hardcover and its twenty-ninth in paper. All my books are still in print, in hardback as well as paper, because people go back and say, Let me read that. Did she really say that?

Full Interview

Intervju za „Parisku reviju“: Simon de Bovoar

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir

U nastavku sledi intervju sa francuskom književnicom Simon de Bovoar čiji su priloženi delovi preuzeti iz američkog književnog časopisa Pariska revija (The Paris Review) u kome ona govori o svom univerzitetskom iskustvu, o radnim navikama, o tome da li je dobro rano objaviti knjigu, o svom doživljaju vremena i osećaju da je oduvek bila stara, o ženama kakve jesu (u njenim romanima) i ženama kakve bi trebalo da budu (Drugi pol).

Više puta sam pominjala i insistirala na činjenici da je intervju sa umetnikom veoma značajna književna forma. Ona može teorijski i kritički biti pogodna za dalju analizu umetnika i njegovog rada, ali može po sebi imati odlike umetničkog kvaliteta. Takvi su Ekermanovi razgovori sa Geteom, kao prvi u ovom žanru, a takvi su i mnogi drugi čiji je sadržaj moguće naći u brojevima pomenutog časopisa, ali i, svakako, van njega.

INTERVIEWER

What do you think about college and university education for a writer? You yourself were a brilliant student at the Sorbonne and people expected you to have a brilliant career as a teacher.

DE BEAUVOIR

My studies gave me only a very superficial knowledge of philosophy but sharpened my interest in it. I benefited greatly from being a teacher—that is, from being able to spend a great deal of time reading, writing and educating myself. In those days, teachers didn’t have a very heavy program. My studies gave me a solid foundation because in order to pass the state exams you have to explore areas that you wouldn’t bother about if you were concerned only with general culture. They provided me with a certain academic method that was useful when I wrote The Second Sex and that has been useful, in general, for all my studies. I mean a way of going through books very quickly, of seeing which works are important, of classifying them, of being able to reject those which are unimportant, of being able to summarize, to browse.

INTERVIEWER

Were you a good teacher?

DE BEAUVOIR

I don’t think so, because I was interested only in the bright students and not at all in the others, whereas a good teacher should be interested in everyone. But if you teach philosophy you can’t help it. There were always four or five students who did all the talking, and the others didn’t care to do anything. I didn’t bother about them very much.

INTERVIEWER

You had been writing for ten years before you were published, at the age of thirty-five. Weren’t you discouraged?

DE BEAUVOIR

No, because in my time it was unusual to be published when you were very young. Of course, there were one or two examples, such as Radiguet, who was a prodigy. Sartre himself wasn’t published until he was about thirty-five, when Nausea and The Wall were brought out. When my first more or less publishable book was rejected, I was a bit discouraged. And when the first version of She Came to Stay was rejected, it was very unpleasant. Then I thought that I ought to take my time. I knew many examples of writers who were slow in getting started. And people always spoke of the case of Stendhal, who didn’t begin to write until he was forty.

INTERVIEWER

People say that you have great self-discipline and that you never let a day go by without working. At what time do you start?

DE BEAUVOIR

I’m always in a hurry to get going, though in general I dislike starting the day. I first have tea and then, at about ten o’clock, I get under way and work until one. Then I see my friends and after that, at five o’clock, I go back to work and continue until nine. I have no difficulty in picking up the thread in the afternoon. When you leave, I’ll read the paper or perhaps go shopping. Most often it’s a pleasure to work.

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir

INTERVIEWER

Do your writer friends have the same habits as you?

DE BEAUVOIR

No, it’s quite a personal matter. Genet, for example, works quite differently. He puts in about twelve hours a day for six months when he’s working on something and when he has finished he can let six months go by without doing anything. As I said, I work every day except for two or three months of vacation when I travel and generally don’t work at all. I read very little during the year, and when I go away I take a big valise full of books, books that I didn’t have time to read. But if the trip lasts a month or six weeks, I do feel uncomfortable, particularly if I’m between two books. I get bored if I don’t work.

INTERVIEWER

In The Blood of Others and All Men Are Mortal you deal with the problem of time. Were you influenced, in this respect, by Joyce or Faulkner?

DE BEAUVOIR

No, it was a personal preoccupation. I’ve always been keenly aware of the passing of time. I’ve always thought that I was old. Even when I was twelve, I thought it was awful to be thirty. I felt that something was lost. At the same time, I was aware of what I could gain, and certain periods of my life have taught me a great deal. But, in spite of everything, I’ve always been haunted by the passing of time and by the fact that death keeps closing in on us. For me, the problem of time is linked up with that of death, with the thought that we inevitably draw closer and closer to it, with the horror of decay. It’s that, rather than the fact that things disintegrate, that love peters out. That’s horrible too, though I personally have never been troubled by it. There’s always been great continuity in my life. I’ve always lived in Paris, more or less in the same neighborhoods. My relationship with Sartre has lasted a very long time. I have very old friends whom I continue to see. So it’s not that I’ve felt that time breaks things up, but rather the fact that I always take my bearings. I mean the fact that I have so many years behind me, so many ahead of me. I count them.

INTERVIEWER

In every one of your novels we find a female character who is misled by false notions and who is threatened by madness.

DE BEAUVOIR

Lots of modern women are like that. Women are obliged to play at being what they aren’t, to play, for example, at being great courtesans, to fake their personalities. They’re on the brink of neurosis. I feel very sympathetic toward women of that type. They interest me more than the well-balanced housewife and mother. There are, of course, women who interest me even more, those who are both true and independent, who work and create.

INTERVIEWER

None of your female characters are immune from love. You like the romantic element.

DE BEAUVOIR

Love is a great privilege. Real love, which is very rare, enriches the lives of the men and women who experience it.

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir

INTERVIEWER

You’ve never created an independent and really free female character who illustrates in one way or other the thesis of The Second Sex. Why?

DE BEAUVOIR

I’ve shown women as they are, as divided human beings, and not as they ought to be.

INTERVIEWER

Some people think that a longing for God underlies your works.

DE BEAUVOIR

No. Sartre and I have always said that it’s not because there’s a desire to be that this desire corresponds to any reality. It’s exactly what Kant said on the intellectual level. The fact that one believes in causalities is no reason to believe that there is a supreme cause. The fact that man has a desire to be does not mean that he can ever attain being or even that being is a possible notion, at any rate the being that is a reflection and at the same time an existence. There is a synthesis of existence and being that is impossible. Sartre and I have always rejected it, and this rejection underlies our thinking. There is an emptiness in man, and even his achievements have this emptiness. That’s all. I don’t mean that I haven’t achieved what I wanted to achieve but rather that the achievement is never what people think it is. Furthermore, there is a naïve or snobbish aspect, because people imagine that if you have succeeded on a social level you must be perfectly satisfied with the human condition in general. But that’s not the case.

“I’m swindled” also implies something else—namely, that life has made me discover the world as it is, that is, a world of suffering and oppression, of undernourishment for the majority of people, things that I didn’t know when I was young and when I imagined that to discover the world was to discover something beautiful. In that respect, too, I was swindled by bourgeois culture, and that’s why I don’t want to contribute to the swindling of others and why I say that I was swindled, in short, so that others aren’t swindled. It’s really also a problem of a social kind. In short, I discovered the unhappiness of the world little by little, then more and more, and finally, above all, I felt it in connection with the Algerian war and when I traveled.

Full Interview 

Intervju za „Parisku reviju“: Toni Morison

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

U intervjuu koji je američka nobelovka Toni Morison neposredno po dobijanju Nobelove nagrade dala za Parisku reviju (The Paris Review) možemo čitati o njenim ritualima pred pripremu za pisanje, od kakvog je značaja uloga urednika u životu pisca, zašto je teško pisati o seksu, zašto je oduvek želela da bude čitalac pre nego pisac i zašto je najčešće pisala pre svitanja.

INTERVIEWER

You have said that you begin to write before dawn. Did this habit begin for practical reasons, or was the early morning an especially fruitful time for you?

TONI MORRISON

Writing before dawn began as a necessity—I had small children when I first began to write and I needed to use the time before they said, Mama—and that was always around five in the morning. Many years later, after I stopped working at Random House, I just stayed at home for a couple of years. I discovered things about myself I had never thought about before. At first I didn’t know when I wanted to eat, because I had always eaten when it was lunchtime or dinnertime or breakfast time. Work and the children had driven all of my habits . . . I didn’t know the weekday sounds of my own house; it all made me feel a little giddy.

I was involved in writing Beloved at that time—this was in 1983—and eventually I realized that I was clearer-headed, more confident and generally more intelligent in the morning. The habit of getting up early, which I had formed when the children were young, now became my choice. I am not very bright or very witty or very inventive after the sun goes down.

Recently I was talking to a writer who described something she did whenever she moved to her writing table. I don’t remember exactly what the gesture was—there is something on her desk that she touches before she hits the computer keyboard—but we began to talk about little rituals that one goes through before beginning to write. I, at first, thought I didn’t have a ritual, but then I remembered that I always get up and make a cup of coffee while it is still dark—it must be dark—and then I drink the coffee and watch the light come. And she said, Well, that’s a ritual. And I realized that for me this ritual comprises my preparation to enter a space that I can only call nonsecular . . . Writers all devise ways to approach that place where they expect to make the contact, where they become the conduit, or where they engage in this mysterious process. For me, light is the signal in the transition. It’s not beingin the light, it’s being there before it arrives. It enables me, in some sense.

I tell my students one of the most important things they need to know is when they are their best, creatively. They need to ask themselves, What does the ideal room look like? Is there music? Is there silence? Is there chaos outside or is there serenity outside? What do I need in order to release my imagination?

INTERVIEWER

Who was the most instrumental editor you’ve ever worked with?

MORRISON

I had a very good editor, superlative for me—Bob Gottlieb. What made him good for me was a number of things—knowing what not to touch; asking all the questions you probably would have asked yourself had there been the time. Good editors are really the third eye. Cool. Dispassionate. They don’t love you or your work; for me that is what is valuable—not compliments. Sometimes it’s uncanny; the editor puts his or her finger on exactly the place the writer knows is weak but just couldn’t do any better at the time. Or perhaps the writer thought it might fly, but wasn’t sure. Good editors identify that place and sometimes make suggestions. Some suggestions are not useful because you can’t explain everything to an editor about what you are trying to do. I couldn’t possibly explain all of those things to an editor, because what I do has to work on so many levels. But within the relationship if there is some trust, some willingness to listen, remarkable things can happen. I read books all the time that I know would have profited from not a copy editor but somebody just talking through it. And it is important to get a great editor at a certain time, because if you don’t have one in the beginning, you almost can’t have one later. If you work well without an editor, and your books are well received for five or ten years, and then you write another one—which is successful but not very good—why should you then listen to an editor?

INTERVIEWER

Did you know as a child you wanted to be a writer?

MORRISON

No. I wanted to be a reader. I thought everything that needed to be written had already been written or would be. I only wrote the first book because I thought it wasn’t there, and I wanted to read it when I got through. I am a pretty good reader. I love it. It is what I do, really. So, if I can read it, that is the highest compliment I can think of. People say, I write for myself, and it sounds so awful and so narcissistic, but in a sense if you know how to read your own work— that is, with the necessary critical distance—it makes you a better writer and editor. When I teach creative writing, I always speak about how you have to learn how to read your work; I don’t mean enjoy it because you wrote it. I mean, go away from it, and read it as though it is the first time you’ve ever seen it. Critique it that way. Don’t get all involved in your thrilling sentences and all that . . .

INTERVIEWER

You mentioned getting permission to write. Who gave it to you?

MORRISON

No one. What I needed permission to do was to succeed at it. I never signed a contract until the book was finished because I didn’t want it to be homework. A contract meant somebody was waiting for it, that I had to do it, and they could ask me about it. They could get up in my face and I don’t like that. By not signing a contract, I do it, and if I want you to see it, I’ll let you see it. It has to do with self-esteem. I am sure for years you have heard writers constructing illusions of freedom, anything in order to have the illusion that it is all mine and only I can do it. I remember introducing Eudora Welty and saying that nobody could have written those stories but her, meaning that I have a feeling about most books that at some point somebody would have written them anyway. But then there are some writers without whom certain stories would never have been written. I don’t mean the subject matter or the narrative but just the way in which they did it—their slant on it is truly unique.

INTERVIEWER

Why do writers have such a hard time writing about sex?

MORRISON

Sex is difficult to write about because it’s just not sexy enough. The only way to write about it is not to write much. Let the reader bring his own sexuality into the text. A writer I usually admire has written about sex in the most off-putting way. There is just too much information. If you start saying “the curve of . . .” you soon sound like a gynecologist. Only Joyce could get away with that. He said all those forbidden words. He said cunt, and that was shocking. The forbidden word can be provocative. But after a while it becomes monotonous rather than arousing. Less is always better. Some writers think that if they use dirty words they’ve done it. It can work for a short period and for a very young imagination, but after a while it doesn’t deliver. When Sethe and Paul D. first see each other, in about half a page they get the sex out of the way, which isn’t any good anyway—it’s fast and they’re embarrassed about it—and then they’re lying there trying to pretend they’re not in that bed, that they haven’t met, and then they begin to think different thoughts, which begin to merge so you can’t tell who’s thinking what. That merging to me is more tactically sensual than if I had tried to describe body parts.

Full Interview

Интервју за „Париску ревију“: Вилијам Фокнер

William Faulkner

Вилијам Фокнер

У наставку следи одломак из интервјуа који је амерички нобеловац Вилијам Фокнер дао за књижевни часопис Париска ревија (The Paris Review) у пролеће 1956. године. Пишчеви одговори могу бити корисни онима којима је књижевност фасцинација, било да је у питању реципирање или стварање исте. Такође, они су значајни и са поетичког становишта јер су одговарајуће полазиште за приступ његовом делу док су, истовремено, бритки, духовити и налик афоризмима.

Теорија књижевности не мора нужно бити изложена пред читаоце својим специфичним лексичким и синтаксичким језичким апаратом већ може бити дата у одговорима који, попут романтичарских афоризама и фрагмената, имају стваралачки и креативни потенцијал. Фокнер одговара на питања која су у вези са одговорношћу писца, са садржајима његових романа који су утемељени у личном искуству, са његовим односом према сопственим делима.

INTERVIEWER 

Is there any possible formula to follow in order to be a good novelist?

FAULKNER

Ninety-nine percent talent, ninety-nine percent discipline, ninety-nine percent work. He must never be satisfied with what he does. It never is as good as it can be done. Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.

INTERVIEWER

Do you mean the writer should be completely ruthless?

FAULKNER

The writer’s only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is worth any number of old ladies.

INTERVIEWER

Some people say they can’t understand your writing, even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?

FAULKNER

Read it four times.

INTERVIEWER

How much of your writing is based on personal experience?

FAULKNER

I can’t say. I never counted up. Because „how much“ is not important. A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination—any two of which, at times any one of which—can supply the lack of the others. With me, a story usually begins with a single idea or memory or mental picture. The writing of thestory is simply a matter of working up to that moment, to explain why it happened or what it caused to follow. A writer is trying to create believable people in credible moving situations in the most moving way he can. Obviously he must use as one of his tools the environment which he knows. I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, since it came first in man’s experience and history. But since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better. That is, music would express better and simpler, but I prefer to use words, as I prefer to read rather than listen. I prefer silence to sound, and the image produced by words occurs in silence. That is, the thunder and the music of the prose take place in silence.

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