Milan Kundera:”A nation which loses awareness of its past gradually loses its self”

PR: What is so characteristic of your prose is the constant confrontation of the private and the public. But not in the sense that private stories take place against a political backdrop, nor that political events encroach on private lives. Rather, you continually show that political events are governed by the same laws as private happenings, so that your prose is a kind of psychoanalysis of politics.

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MK: The metaphysics of man is the same in the private sphere as in the public one. Take the other theme of the book, forgetting. This is the great private problem of man: death as the loss of the self. But what is this self? It is the sum of everything we remember. Thus what terrifies us about death is not the loss of the past. Forgetting is a form of death ever present within life. This is the problem of my heroine, in desperately trying to preserve the vanishing memories of her beloved dead husband. But forgetting is also the great problem of politics. When a big power wants to deprive a small country of its national consciousness it uses the method of organized forgetting . This is what is currently happening in Bohemia. Contemporary Czech literature, insofar as it has any value at all, has not been printed for 12 years; 200 Czech writers have been proscribed, including the dead Franz Kafka; 145 Czech historians have been dismissed from their posts, history has been rewritten, monuments demolished. A nation which loses awareness of its past gradually loses its self. And so the political situation has brutally illuminated the ordinary metaphysical problem of forgetting that we face all the time, every day, without paying any attention. Politics unmasks the metaphysics of private life, private life unmasks the metaphysics of politics.

Source : http://www.kundera.de/english/Info-Point/Interview_Roth/interview_roth.html

David Whyte:”I think one of our great tasks as human beings is to find the part of us that is big enough for life”

When you experience that heartbreak and humiliation, are you able to make it useful in your work?

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David Whyte- I would certainly say so in poetry, and I hope it’s so in human relationships too. I’ve learned there’s a cycle of grief in every art form and relationship. When I finished my last book of poetry, Pilgrim, I realised the tide was about to turn, so I started writing furiously.

There’s that great line at the end of As You Like It, where Shakespeare says: “The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.” The songs of Apollo have poetry and lyricism, and Mercury is the messenger god who is getting the work out in the world—through printing it and reading it. I remember when I suddenly wrote a poem in a very different voice and I knew that particular tide was over. There was a kind of a beautiful, poignant grief to it. At the same time there was a sense of completion and harvest, and a sense of thankfulness.

If you read the great German-speaking poet Rilke, around the Duino Elegies, he had an experience of this visitation—of an enormous tidal current of creativity and presence and then the sense of suddenly being left. This feeling of being left is just the fact that you don’t recognise the new territory. You’re meant not to know. I think one of our great tasks as human beings is to find the part of us that is big enough for life, that can put its arms around the part that finds things difficult, that wants life to be different.

Source – https://www.dumbofeather.com/conversations/david-whyte-is-an-everyday-poet/

Vladimir Nabokov: “Only talent interests me in paintings and books”

Playboy: In terms of modern art, critical opinion is divided about the sincerity or deceitfulness, simplicity or complexity of contemporary abstract painting. What is your own opinion?

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Nabokov: I do not see any essential difference between abstract and primitive art. Both are simple and sincere. Naturally, we should not generalize in these matters: It is the individual artist that counts. But if we accept for a moment the general notion of “modern art,” then we must admit that the trouble with it is that it is so commonplace, imitative and academic. Blurs and blotches have merely replaced the mass prettiness of a hundred years ago, pictures of Italian girls, handsome beggars, romantic ruins, and so forth. But just as among those corny oils there might occur the work of a true artist with a richer play of light and shade, with some original streak of violence or tenderness, so among the corn of primitive and abstract art one may come across a flash of great talent. Only talent interests me in paintings and books. Not general ideas, but the individual contribution.

Source :  http://reprints.longform.org/playboy-interview-vladimir-nabokov

Rima Das :” I had no option but to do everything on my own. I had run out of money”

You’ve been called a one-woman army. Why did you decide to do it all on your own?

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Rima Das : I had no option but to do everything on my own. I had run out of money while making Antardrishti: Man With The Binoculars, my first feature film. So, when I started filming Village Rockstars I didn’t have the money to engage professionals. Besides, VR is a story about children, by children. This was a tough project. Working with non-actors, especially children who have never acted before, I knew I would need to spend time with them, feel their energy and conduct extensive workshops. This meant I couldn’t have a tight schedule in place. If I had engaged professionals, I would have naturally had to limit this exploration within a time frame and that would mean compromising on many aspects. The story began to develop as I started shooting, therefore I guess I needed the flexibility and freedom.

Source : http://www.vervemagazine.in/people/boss-lady-rima-das-on-village-rockstars-and-why-realism-is-intrinsic-to-good-cinema

Mohsen Makhmalbaf: “We have only one life, but each film gives us another life”

Some have said that these changes – the high-rise buildings, the crowd – have stifled creativity.

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Mohsen Makhmalbaf:
You could have your story. It doesn’t matter — high buildings or low buildings, empty city or crowded city. You can create your story, you can share your story, and through it we can understand your condition.

We have only one life, but each film gives us another life. Watching films and reading novels, they give eternality to the audience. So it’s very important to see different kinds of films, from different nations. Because many of Hollywood films are the same, they have no diversity.

Source : https://www.buro247.sg/culture/insiders/interview-with-mohsen-makhmalbaf-singapore.html

Pedro Almodovor: “I have no real interest in films that have to do with superheroes and sequels, prequels, reboots…”

What do you think about the state of Hollywood movies?

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Almodovor: It’s very difficult for me to go to the theater and find movies that I love — much more difficult than before. Maybe I’m getting old. Either that or I find it more difficult for a story to surprise me. I think that film right now is worse than it used to be. For example, I don’t think that you see the kinds of films you saw in the ’60s or the ’70s.

I have no real interest in films that have to do with superheroes and sequels, prequels, reboots — all this kind of business. Ironically, on some level, the fact that movies are so technically proficient works against them. I used to be interested in the adventure film or any chase film before the effects were so perfect. The digital, the synthetic aspect of the image, has taken some of that away from me. There was a sense of danger that was exciting.

Source : https://variety.com/2016/film/news/pedro-almodovar-interview-julieta-director-1201941446/

Philip Roth:”Fluency can be a sign that nothing is happening”

INTERVIEWER

How much of a book is in your mind before you start?

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ROTH-

What matters most isn’t there at all. I don’t mean the solutions to problems, I mean the problems themselves. You’re looking, as you begin, for what’s going to resist you. You’re looking for trouble. Sometimes in the beginning uncertainty arises not because the writing is difficult, but because it isn’t difficult enough. Fluency can be a sign that nothing is happening; fluency can actually be my signal to stop, while being in the dark from sentence to sentence is what convinces me to go on.

Source : https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2957/philip-roth-the-art-of-fiction-no-84-philip-roth