Apr 7, 2014


Thanks to Raluca Tanasescu for inviting me to the "my writing process" blog tour. You can read her own response here.

1) What am I working on?

I am currently working on a long and almost “boring” poem about nothing in particular but a stupid well-known political message; not a very profound one (stupidity can be quite profound sometimes, but my message is just a simple stupidity): “We all are capitalist bitches. So, face it and smile (if you can do it any longer)”. My poem consists of parts of discourses from different time periods, from XIXth century to nowadays. The blank page become a space, a homeland for all that different public and personal voices. A real war seems to burst out there; in fact, nothing happens and, in the end, everybody kisses everybody in the marketplace. That’s our daily dramas making us feel like tragic figures. 

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Now I have to get a little more serious, because I am to boast about my originality which consists in not being original at all. That’s why I try most of the time not to speak about that authorial I – the denial of the powerful/strong inner subject by getting out from my inside body and creating an extra-corporal network-like subject. In this respect, speaking of “I” is a self-delusion. Yes, of course, that’s a utopian attempt, but I try just to uncurtain that utopia and become aware of it. I don’t want a poetry of personal communication, I want a map-like poetry. The white paper sheet is nothing else, but the space of the poem, of coming into being for a large number of dead voices, powerless or powerful voices, dead and forgotten languages. The subject who writes must be a witness and a mark, an emptiness and a rhizome.

Most of my colleagues are still indebted to a specific type of personal discourse. The presence of a powerful I at the center of a poem is what I like to call: “return stroke”. In fact, that is a perpetuation of the old image of the dictator from communist era. In those times, those techniques worked like a mirror but also as a resistance attempt. Today such a discourse is useless and harmful. The distinction between aesthetical discourse and simple and everyday language is also misleading; the poems as such still promote the centered speech, built around that utopian I (more or less directly expressed).

In this respect, I admire a lot the works of Chris Tanasescu (MARGENTO) and Elena Vlădăreanu (her last collection of poetry: Spațiu privat). Both of them, although in different ways and using different techniques, succeed in atomizing personal discourse (I), making it marginal or drowned in an impersonal speech.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Why? Because I am suffering from Bartleby syndrome—a craving for writing and an impossibility to write. This impossibility stems from the absence of inner life. What we still have today are the remains of a socio-cultural constructed subconscious. It isn’t a mystery anymore. Bolaño put it to us quite right: “We are moving by in no time inputs… Something as such will destroy the subconscious and we’ll be free hanging. ”

4) How does your writing process work?

I am trying not be impressed by anything around. Not represent anything. Run and hide of what could express myself. 

I was born somewhere between the end of the twentieth century (a century of death and resentment) and the beginning of twenty-first, somewhere between the end of a dictatorship and the beginning of capitalism. The most suitable concept for this place where I live is the one of border or frontier. My whole poetry is an attempt to define that kind of existence, borderline existence. A border has its special meaning as closure or barbed wire, an inheritance from the death camps of the last century. But, this concept might become a crossing point to the other side. There will be always this space, this border, between you and the others and it has to be turned from a barbed wire into a median space or a war zone. On the formal level, the border as a barbed wire theory means to work with different kinds of speech, put them together and try to understand in-between relations. This meeting point of all those already written speeches is not a harmonious place, but under pressure. Poetry respects your right to being different.

All of the above have a major effect upon the act of writing. The concept of authorship, the anxiety of influence are out of date.

                                                                                                               --Iulia Militaru

Next week's blog tour participants are:

Caius Dobrescu – born 1966, at a still young age, around 15, became part of the Romanian underground literary scene inspired by the free experimental spirit of the counterculture of the Sixties. As a poet, he should be a disappointment for the Western mind in search of ethnic-exotic thrills. Together with Andrei Bodiu, Marius Oprea, Simona Popescu, Sorin Matei, Marius Daniel Popescu, he was part of the so-called Braşov group, developed in the eraly 80s around the influential poet and cultural critic Alexandru Musina, which had no taste for exploring the deep roots of the native Romanian spirit. On the contrary, such an archaic etno mystique, rather encouraged by the national-communist cultural policies of the local dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, was felt as totally false and revulsive. In his earlier poetry, Dobrescu explored the ,,rythms and blueses‘‘ of everyday language, simultaneously paying attention to the moral conundrums of life under the ,,real existing socialism‘‘.  His work was published only after the fall of the Communist regime (Efebia/Efeby, 1994, Spălîndu-mi ciorapii/Washing my socks, 1994, Deadevă/‘ndeed, 1998). In a later phase, he tried to mingle poetry with the theoretical reflection on social change, emerging order and the complex functioning of our adaptive mind (Odă liberei întreprinderi/Ode to the free enterprise, 2009 – the German version of this volume received the Prise for European Poetry of the city of Münster, Germany, in 2009).

Alberto García-Teresa (Madrid, 1980) is doctor in Hispanic Filology with Poesía de la conciencia crítica (1987-2011) (Tierradenadie, 2013). He has also published the study Para no ceder a la hipnosis. Crítica y revelación en la poesía de Jorge Riechmann (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, 2014). He has been coordinator of the magazine about speculative fiction Hélice, codirector of Jabberwock, annual anthology of essays of fantastic literature and editor-in-chef of Solaris. He writes critic of Literatura and Theatre in differents media: Diagonal newspaper –where he was coordinated the “Books” divison, Culturamas where he was directed the contents of poetry, Espéculo, Castilla. Estudios de literatura, Verba Hispanica, Quimera, Artes Hoy, Literaturas.com, El Viejo Topo, Viento Sur, cnt, Rebelión, La República Cultural, Ariadna-RC, Bibliópolis, Gigamesh or Prospectiva.
He has published the poetry books: Hay que comerse el mundo a dentelladas (Baile del Sol, 2008), Oxígeno en lata (Baile del Sol, 2010), Peripecias de la Brigada Poética en el reino de los autómatas (Umbrales, 2012) and Abrazando vértebras (Baile del Sol, 2013), and the plaquette Las increíbles y suburbanas aventuras de la Brigada Poética (Umbrales, 2008). Also he has published the book of micro-tales Esa dulce sonrisa que te dejan los gusanos (Amargord, 2013). His poems has been translated into romanian, english, french, serb and macedonian.

Elena Vlădăreanu was born in 1981, in Medgidia (Constanţa). She studied Romanian and French Litterature at the University of Bucharest and Visual Studies at Image Studies Centre in Bucharest (CESI – Centrul de Excelenţă în Studiul Imaginii). She published her first collection in 2002, Pagini after an underground collection, din confesiunile distinsei doamne m. She published also: Fisuri (2003), Europa. Zece cântece funerare (2005), Spaţiu privat. A handbook (2009 with drawings by Dan Perjovschi). She published also poetry in several anthologies, like The Vanishing Point That Whistles. An Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry (2011, USA) or No Longer Poetry. New Romanian Poetry (2007, UK). She works as a radio journalists and presents every week a very short contemporary poetry programme for Romanian Cultural Radio, named Poezie şi atât (Poetry and Nothing Else). Some poems in English on her website: http://www.elenavladareanu.ro/Multimedia--and--texts.php

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