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 five questions about text production, reception and mediation. In case you were wondering what a literary activist in Nicosia looks like, meet Nora Nadjarian!
Have you ever participated in collaborative author/reader projects? And if so, what do you find interesting about them?
Writing is a lonely and solitary business, but I think that once a work is published or performed it has to become ‘collaborative’ in some way. In other words, once writing gets a life beyond the page, it must ‘collaborate’ with an audience (real or imaginary), otherwise it will be shelved without being given much attention. And if a piece of writing leaves the reader or audience ‘cold’, then this collaboration has failed.
If we’re talking about collaborations in the conventional sense, I’ve had plenty: some have involved translating other poets’ work or even performing other poets’ or writers’ work. In the latter case, it was very interesting to act as an ‘extension’ of the person who wrote the work.
What is your favorite literary spot in …? (literary venue, bar, meeting area, city, etc.)
My favourite spot in Nicosia is the Weaving Mill, an innovative space in Old Nicosia, where you can read, write, have a drink, attend events or simply take in the atmosphere of musty books and old furniture.
My favourite spot anywhere in the world is anywhere facing the sea. I was born in Limassol and can’t go long periods of time without seeing the sea or breathing it in. It is my number one inspiration.
Which recent literary event fascinated you the most and why? (Please give us the link to the website of the event)
I was recently fascinated by a live performance (in Nicosia) of the theatrical performance ‘Stones’ by the Israeli group ORTO-Da. A unique and moving journey through memory and time, this powerful performance was inspired by Polish Jewish sculptor Nathan Rapoport’s ‘Monument to the Ghetto Heroes’ in Warsaw. The image of humans depicting ‘stones’ which come to life and tell a story was, for me, poetry without words: very poignant and totally inspiring.
How do you feel about readers’ comments and feedback on your texts? Do they affect / alter your subsequent writing?
Readers’ feedback is always very welcome. I have always enjoyed looking at my work from another ‘point of view’ due to an unexpected comment made by a reader or member of the audience. I’m not sure how much it affects my writing while I’m in the process of physically doing it, but certainly feedback after the work has been completed can lead to revision and rewriting.