In conversation with the authors. Finland

It’s been three days since the tour started on 2nd May in Helsinki. Today the bus will reach the island of Hailuoto and the village of Marjaniemi, a seaside residential on the western flank of Finland with a historical lighthouse on its ground. The bus will stay on the island only for a few hours with eight authors now occupying the vehicle. Let’s take a breath and shed some light on them. Follow me to the textual and virtual conversation with the authors.

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Troubadours are hopping on and off the bus. Unoriginal as a bus is – as a means to transport – so are words. ‘Troubadour’ is connected to the French “trouver” and means “to invent, discuss and compose”. I have heard it, my heart, my skin’s getting weary before the first line is written. By the way, I saw Satu Taskinen is now on the bus, a Finnish writer who is living in Austria. Welcome back home to Finland and welcome on board. “A reader uses the text for his/her own purposes.” Thanks, Satu, I feel encouraged! And Peter Højrup, Danish author and editor of the journal banana split, acknowledges: “If you take the Author out of the equation, the text is no longer a conversation.”

But don’t think that this allows you to read alone and only for your own pleasure. And please don’t forget that libraries are open and public spaces as well. “Literature should communicate – it can never be a one way street“, Marko Tomaš adds.

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I was just eating lunch and talking with my room mate. She had quite a nice evening yesterday in a bar close by with some people who have been living in the same neighborhood in Berlin for their whole life. She told me that interacting with them was of a unique simplicity, telling stories she had heard several times in some variation or another in her lifetime. She found it soothing to an extent that she actually questioned the lifestyle she’d been living in Berlin.

Young Polish writer Kartarzyna Fetlińska is cultivating a style that takes on an open and experimental approach in order to create a new way of communication and writing. Her style oscillates between writing and performance. “Be it on the Internet or in everyday life, a reader-open approach does not always work. Nevertheless, I believe it is absolutely worth the effort, since social editing is a way to establish connections between real people, and not between people and text only. Besides, it demands a great deal of trust, empathy and mutual understanding, all of which we need in the contemporary reality.”

How does this world work, this contemporary reality? Dr. Alev Adil, British poetress who is engaged in a literary project in Cypress, LAC, states: “Sometimes I work alone, sometimes I work with others but I always think of my work as a collaboration. It is an enunciation to, and a complicity with, an imagined other. Having a partner in crime can make that adventure even more precious and delicious. (…)

And in a brutalised minimum wage world so many readers are looking for reassurance rather than liberation. Self-help books outsell poetry or literary fiction by far, and most of what passes for literary fiction is pedestrian middle brow bullshit.” says Alev.

The great increase of authors throughout the internet; the internet and computational technology itself working basically on language; the stress on communication and networks; publishing becoming less expensive and costly – these are just a few reasons one could consider to undermine Alev’s position. People maybe feel the need to be a writer. What is then special about literature?

Alev though has a similar answer as Katarzyna. “But I grew to learn that literature was a way of connecting to different people, that shared passions are a way creating intimacy.”

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A griot is a griot is a griot (Instagram, Fiston).

“Writing is just a way of using someone else’s words as if they were mine. In the end, you’re right: all of this (poetry and so on) is a big enterprise of plagiarism”, writes Andrea Inglese who also took the picture above. “We all live in different countries, we speak different languages, and we create something together using this temporal and spatial distance. The final goal of this collaborative project should be an exhibition, a book, or just a creative experience.”

Thank you, Andrea. It is different than different.

“Leaving one’s own prison-head is the best thing in collaboration.”

On the way to the lighthouse. (Please click on the picture.)

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There were two mistakes in the article which are now corrected. Dr. Alev Adil is not of Turkish origin. The words which are now attributed to Andrea Inglese have falesely been attributed to Ricardo Domeneck.

 

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