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 Stockholm looks like, meet Aase Berg!
Do you see yourself as an author? Are you the originator and main authority of your text? And if not, who is, if anyone at all?
Not really. Well, in a sense, yes. My brain is interesting. More interesting than I am as a person. Writing is a way of releasing my knowledge. But I wouldn’t consider myself an authority. On the other hand, I don’t believe in God either.
A text unity lies not in its origins, but in its destination or audience. What does that mean to you? And can a text be original?
I agree. I don´t even understand my poetry myself, it’s known to be strange. Meaning: use it as you prefer. Connect stuff from it to your own experience or imagination. Writing poetry is in itself translation. No one understands each other. Who cares. We can still co-exist. As with animals.
“To give a text an Author is to impose a limit on that text, to furnish it with a final signified, to close the writing” ( Roland Barthes) – Do you see yourself as an author and do you agree with this?
I’ m an author in one sense: I’m pretty brave, I write whatever I feel like, no matter what., no problems with going too far. And I don’t want people to like me.
That, on the other hand, unauthorizes me. Actually, I don’t care that much about my poetry. But I learn a lot of things from it.
Reading is writing is reading is writing … – why, and if, how?
All the things you have ever read cluster in a brain pool. When writing, you are swimming in that pool. Some thoughts get stuck and mix in new constellations.
That’s my text, run through my unconscious “personality”.
Do you like reader comments and feedback to your texts? What could be the consequences of a social editing?
I like comments and feedback, no matter positive or critical. It’s interesting.
Have you ever participated in collaborative author/reader projects? And if so, what do you find interesting about it?
Yes, I have. Of course you get new influences, but the problem is that you might become lazy, not going as deep as you wold do in your own, more frightening solitude. Social events takes away the anxiety of writing.
Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes a way of escaping from serious fear.
What is your favorite literary spot in …? (literary venue, bar, meeting spot etc.)
I don’t know.
Which literary event did fascinate you most and why?
International Poetry Nights in Hongkong. Unbelievably well directed by Bei Dao.
Photo: Elisabeth Ohlson-Wallin