I have shared my great sympathies with you. You are among today's best publicists, and personally, I am my favorite. What is your secret to writing so beautifully and charmingly?
Thanks for the nice words! Honestly, I don't know exactly what the "secret" is, but I still think that to write interesting, you first have to read a lot. This helps to make historical analogies, references to literary texts, insert appropriate citations to enrich the available material. And it most often revolves around the same, all around the same individuals who, unfortunately, do not deserve to be analyzed. This is quite tiring, at times even annoying, so I try to somehow "pack" it so that it doesn't present something predictable and banal. Observance also helps. It develops a sense of detail, it teaches you to notice the absurd, the ridiculous.
I know you're reading David. I'm a big fan of it. He has an unkind appreciation for journalists: "Journalists are folk courtesans" or "Journalism is about always writing about things." Don't you even be tempted to "inflame" the crowd with rebellious words: "down" this and the one, "death" for this one and the one, "let's jail all those"?
I really admire David. If I'm not mistaken, he is the "discovery" of another person, to whom I also have great respect and admiration - Dr. Nikolay Mihailov. Both are thinkers in the true sense of the word. The ability to synthesize, to compile in one phrase what others can express in 200 sentences, is a genius to me. That is why I also love the aphorisms of Stanislav Jerzy Lecz in his Unfair Thoughts. Shortness is the sister of talent, as my beloved Chekhov says.
And on the issue of journalists… In fact, there are journalists and "journalists", as there are doctors and "doctors", engineers and "engineers", etc. Not everyone is a mascara, I mean. This, let me tell you, is a very difficult profession, and I am personally annoyed when someone calls journalists "the magazine". Writing is exhausting, the thought of graphics, of having to deliver a text that is good by your own standards, is terribly stressful. I can only speak as a writing journalist, of course, but I'm sure it's the same in other media. I'm talking about journalists without quotes… Otherwise, the Bulgarian media landscape has been really sad for some time now, because the dependencies on the strong of the day and the fear of getting into trouble prevail. You have just lost your job, that is, the miserable but secure salary.
Maybe I was tempted to be extreme, I was told I was too subjective in my texts. However, I am convinced that a publicist should not be afraid of more categorical assessments, of his biases and disagreements, of his personal positions. Well, one should not go to death sentences for this and that, as you say. Rather, it is a free manifestation of honest treatment of dishonesty and their personification.
Your articles show intentions to make sense of the Bulgarian language. You do not divide people into quality ("smart and beautiful") and low-quality ("others"), you do not set against each other - "rich against poor", "ethnic Bulgarians against non-Bulgarians". From whom did you learn this type of writing? I ask because today it does not seem fashionable to show sincere concern for loved ones, without pathos and zeal…
I learn from reading. I collect old texts that broaden my understanding of the so-called. national identity. These are articles written a century ago, and more, some already collected in the wonderful compilation "Why are we?" With compilers Ivan Elenkov and Rumen Daskalov. Others I found on my own, digging through old newspapers, memoirs, diaries, etc., and others accidentally "found" me - of course, through friends archivists, historians, librarians.
Most recently, I have found that many texts use an interesting, forgotten word - sedition, which describes most accurately the state in which we reside. It means that we are not just fighting, we are stuck in quarrels, we are intoxicated by curses against each other. We split into camps and "throw grenades" at the enemy with no intention of retreating into any dispute. Sedition is not just a quarrel, a quarrel - it is a quarrel, a quarrel, a quarrel, a shout. An Old Bulgarian word that comes from "challenge" and "yard" because in the old days people used to "run" outdoors. When two neighbors had a dispute, he made up his mind, both of whom went out into their yards and held a high-profile debate. Or rather, they screamed, blaming themselves as the audience listened to take sides and rule in favor of… the more vocal.
When you open Facebook, for example, you will immediately come across a sedition. She's like Radichkov's Camel. What is absurd is that we most often cry out for things that are not directly relevant to our lives. We "light up" from the past, "bite our bones" and stubbornly throw ourselves at statues and monuments, as if the present did not concern us at all, and our future was indifferent. We scramble to the last drop of virtual blood, screaming and screaming through social networks. We don't even shout - we "get used".
It hurts me to say it without pretense! And if sometimes it is too critical, it is because it really hurts me too much and I am sad that we are wasting our days "united" by intolerance against each other, instead of working on our current problems.
I have unintentionally witnessed (on Facebook) your disappointment with Bulgarian political life and what has been called the "Bulgarian intelligentsia". Is there any hope after all this disappointment?
I'm not sure disappointment is the right word - disappointment is felt when you believed and hoped. What a disappointment to experience a person from Tsvetan Tsvetanov, for example? If we are able to broadcast this, more precisely, it is worth it. "This" is ourselves - we either cannot or do not want anything else. Worse, we don't want to, because if we wanted to, we would have learned how to.
Look at the tiles on the sidewalks, the facades of the blocks… As if we have an amazing talent to create and maintain ugliness. When he was little, my son used to enjoy watching the old panels and the strange new buildings. He watched for hours as they stood at random angles, axes, and spatial perspectives on each other, how indiscriminately they protruded vertically, astonishing the gaze with bizarre bevels and angles, Gothic roofs, hexagonal towers, and penthouses. He asked me, "Why is it so ugly?" But he stopped asking me that question a long time ago. As he grew older, he seemed to accept the absurd sight, while in the pure child's soul there was still instinctive anxiety and resistance. And once a child gets used to the ugliness, it ceases to impress him. How, then, can I answer whether there is hope?
I also asked you about the Bulgarian intelligentsia…
This is the place to quote a wonderful thought from David: "One of the worst intellectual disasters we find in the misappropriation of scientific concepts and vocabulary by mediocre intellectuals." The most unpleasant are the mediocre intellectuals (or semi-intelligentsia) armed with the claim. that they are intellectuals. Such people willingly participate in the "bacchanalia" of the Bulgarian public and often play the role of intellectual "spy commands" according to the political situation. They cast their votes in collective declarations or devalue them with the constant tapping of television studios.
You have said that you are not an intellectual, but what do you think is an intellectual?
Yes, I don't! That would be ridiculous. By the way, your question reminds me of what Michel Foucault answered when he was asked to define the figure of the intellectual: “The word intellectual seems strange to me. Personally, I have never met any intellectuals. I have met people who write novels, others who treat the sick… I have met people who teach or draw, and people for whom I have never been able to understand what they are actually doing. But never intellectuals. ”And in 2007, Foucault was named the most cited intellectual in the humanities in the Times' Handbook of Higher Education! The irony is remarkable because until his death in 1984, he himself did not want to be "classified" as an intellectual.
But there is another point of view, not so ironic. "It is the duty of the intellectual not to be neutral," says Noam Chomsky, for example, adding that "devoid of restless conscience, he will be a mere craftsman." That is, in order to claim to be an intellectual, you have to fill the deficit of meaning. It is not enough to state it simply because you are expected to offer meaning, to draw perspectives. This simply differentiates the "awakening civic conscience" from the true intellectual insight.
I do not believe that a bad person can write beautifully. Have you thought about this?
Interesting question… I know people with an extremely unpleasant character who write beautifully at the same time. There is a difference between talent and character, often it is amazing. Some time ago I attended a premiere, the author behaved very arrogantly, at times even rudely, but I do not know if this necessarily makes him a "bad" person. Sometimes arrogance is an expression of shyness… And yet, if you are a real bastard, it is inevitable. Falsehood, vanity, hypocrisy always come to the surface and you see what kind of person is behind the author.
Is writing a calling? Have you ever thought of giving up?
At least I know for myself that I could do nothing else - neither to paint, nor to compose or to play ballet. But beyond self-irony I will say that the worst thing for a writing person is to do it on duty, then writing becomes a burden. And I won't hide that it was time for me to drop it. In the beginning, I told you that writing about the same things is tiring, so sometimes I feel tired. However, I have learned the discipline and am trying to get my hands on it. It seems to me that the surest way to avoid wasting is to continue to be interesting. Digging around, wondering where the text will take you, genuinely enjoying the happy twists and turns of the writing process. Because often you thought about writing one, and you thought of another that suddenly opened up a completely different perspective for you.
I appreciate your taste for books. Would you recommend some that one must read throughout your life?
I have been reading more documentary lately, it is very important for my work. Otherwise, the book I will never stop reading is "The Adventures of the Good Soldier Schweik in World War I." In general, I consider the humor, not only of Yaroslav Hasek, of course, the greatest achievement of man, the crown of human intelligence. To write funny is a supreme skill, a gift from God, though there are still people who consider it something frivolous, superficial, almost easy.
I will not make a list because I would not like to impose my taste, it is not relevant. And there are books that have been important at certain times in my life, and then others have appeared. For me, reading is an endless wonder, and I have often wondered, with great doubts: "And where are you pushing, baby?"