One is a CROWD – Ervina Halili

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 three questions about text production, reception and mediation. In case you were wondering what a literary activist in Priština looks like, meet Ervina Halili!

“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 always remember Pessoa when I read Barthes, because Pessoa had the same theory about the presence of the author or of the man itself in or within reality but he projected it in a very poetic and mystic way. I remember that he closes one of his poems with this verse: “and none of this is mine, nor am I even I?” All of this, together with my way of thinking and living, brings me to the concept of irrationalism and deconstruction: irrationalism as it was conceived by Nietzsche, in the sense of deconstruction of the conventional morality and myth that people tend to modify and apply unwittingly nowadays as part of a subsisting survival instinct. I am and live as an author and researcher, but I do not think that I create something as an active member of society. I think that in my life I bring some personal forms that carry passively, automatically, all of the myths and memory of my culture (it can be world culture) and they universalise them from a very individual perspective and stylistic formation. And that text is then autonomous and functions independently of the author: it is paradigmatic, interlaced eternally in new contexts, new meanings, new concepts – a “new everything” which can be an “old everything” at the same time.

Have you ever participated in collaborative author/reader projects? And if so, what do you find interesting about them?

Yes I have, and I believe that if you are a writer then you should also be an investigator, observer and a hidden analyser. For me, art and literature are directly related to perception. For instance, (without trying to interfere with quantum physics and mathematics) during Cubism and Dadaism people were trying to deal with the fourth dimension as a rebellion against a realistic projection of reality and perception. Obviously your literature is not only limited to your perception and what you want to project even passively. Literature is the decomposition and deciphering of textual code in a variety of contexts that also depend on the activity and passivity of the reader. The activity depends mostly on social values, which means it is conventional, but the reader also has  a brain which absorbs passively and which unconsciously interprets the signs in such a way that it gives a meaning to the text totally different to that of the writer. It is very important to analyse how differently people read the second language, because not only will this improve your writing but also the general value of literature, because literature in my opinion should not be suggestive as much as it should be open and paradigmatic within its concepts. In this sense, the writer will be only an auxiliary hidden genius that will help open the passive brain.

What is your favorite literary spot?

Dit’ e Nat’ is a coffee library and a publishing house in Pristina and almost every weekend it holds a poetry evening, jazz music performance or movie showing, sometimes there are multimedia events such as videos with poetry, or slams with jazz music.

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