One is a CROWD – Ruzanna Voskanyan

Literature as a European mother tongue: In our series “One is a CROWD”, we introduce you to authors from all over Europe who will be involved in the CROWD omnibus reading tour, taking place from May to July 2016, featuring 100 authors who will be travelling through 15 European countries. We asked them questions about text production, reception and mediation. In case you were wondering what a literary activist from Yerevan looks like, meet Ruzanna Voskanyan!

Who are you as a poet/writer/author/artist?

I am a poet who tries to represent the world, the colors, the feelings of other people and herself with the words, sounds. I can’t say that I am an innovator and have discovered a new way of writing. The most important points for me in literature are heartiness and honesty.

What kind of literary tradition, authors or concepts have you found inspirational for your work?

Many authors have been before me and many will born after me. Each of them makes me a little bit richer. I can’t segregate anybody of them, maybe the whole 20-th century with its unexpected solutions, with different writing styles and extraordinary way of thinking.

Please name several contemporary authors who you think are most significant – in any possible sense – and why?

Yoke van Leuven – what attracts me in her literature is the language. She can speak about difficult, painful things in easy way, with light in her voice.
Marko Pogacar – symbols in his literature transfer a reader to another world, to another reality and justify our escape in any way.
Husik Ara – especially his love poetry: reading his poetry you feel the greatness of human’s spirit and smallness of it against the love.

What do you think about the current state of the relationship between the author and the reader? Is there a mentionable shift in that relationship through New media as in terms of being alienated on the one hand or being enlivend on the other hand?

Due to media the relationship between the author and the reader has become easier. Having opportunity to follow the author, read not only his/her literature but even his/her thoughts, makes new and sometimes faithful readers. But on the other hand media gives fast literature, fast names of new authors and no residue. It makes illusion of being modern and sometimes the author trying to keep that gross does some concessions.

There always have been interactions and disputes between the discourses of poetry and politics. Do you see possibilities of emancipatory strategies concerning contemporary interactions between poetic and political discourses and agendas? How can/should/do these literary strategies look like?

In our century it’s very difficult not to think about politics or to be impartial, as saying metaphorically even air is absorbed with it. Despite this literature, particularly poetry must be higher and from that height look at discourses and try to show solution. In my opinion the literature can’t triumph if it is wholly politicized.

Photo by Arman Karakhanyan

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