Nina Zivancevic answers to Bonifacio
- Do you have something against the ocean?
No, to the contrary- all for it.
- What parts of the planet Earth do you think poetry trees could be planted on?
To those parts which haven’t been abused yes, although, as Burroughs said “the man abuses everything”, so we can never be sure that trees will survive.
- Is solitude the beginning or end of everything in existence?
It depends, when, how, how much of it-- and in whom, it depends on a structure of a human being.
- Which would you prefer: to be a good writer, but utterly miserable, or a happy, mediocre writer?
I think I asked this question myself once, or twice and decided for the first option—today, I am not sure that it was the right choice, but to lie to oneself-is such a boring job.
- Is madness the basic ingredient of true genius?
No! Attention: it’s society that’s truly mad, and not an artist.
- Sincerely, what do you think of the people around you who aren´t writers or involved in any artistic activities whatsoever?
I think they live in such a sad and lonely world, but they may not agree with me on this one.
- Were you telling the truth when you lied, or did you mean what you said when you lied?
Well- if you think so, I must had been telling the truth- anyways every lie contains the truth and otherwise.
- Who or what is it that you can´t stand?
Just the lies we tell ourselves- to ourselves, sort of delusion.
- What is your biggest phobia or fear; your biggest pleasure or passion?
Biggest fear: I’m glad I’m over with it, it’s sort of the end of ends, sort of a metaphysical gutter, and the pleasure: well, music (that is poetry), of course.
- If someone told you they didn´t really like your literary works, regardless of the genre they were referring to, even if lots of people say they love it; how would you feel and what would you say?
When I was younger, I was hurt by such declarations, now I don’t care as I enjoyed love by many others who liked it (my work).
- Do you have any opinions regarding politicians or politics in your country?
I don’t trust them- I always think: had they been more honest and nicer people, they would have turned to arts and not to politics, so why should I trust them? As P.B. Sh. said, the poets are true rulers of the world, right?
- Why haven´t you read all the books sitting at your house? Do you periodically prune your collection down?
I can’t feel more guilty about it than I already do, I am waiting- I do not know what and how.
- Do you think you´ve written the book you wanted to write?
No, I feel very sad when ever I sit down ready to write that particular one…
- Given the above, why continue writing if you already said what you had to say the way you wanted to say it? Why keep using words?
It has to be some inner malady of spirit.
- Nightstand books? Coffee table? Jitney van/Bus reading? Subway? Books to read on the toilet?
Well, the toilets are used for other things, but subway? Why not, it is like some primordial encounter with darkness. It’s like reading in your mother’s womb. It’s a prenatal effort to get informed… about this world, why not.
- What would happen if there was no such thing as oysters or Malbec grapes?
It will happen whatever is meant to happen.
- If you were not a human being, what tangible or abstract thing/concept would you be?
There are already people who used to call me “a blue flower”, yeah, I could do with that flowery image of a plant, that I am in fact.
- Have you ever loved or hated more than you should have?
Hey, it’s like asking a poet: why do you have to be a poet and not a reasonable balanced out being? Poet is a creature of excess.
- Do you think the world would be a different place if there was no such thing as poetry?
Well, a bit superfluous as a question…
- Which do you prefer: the poet, or his/her poetry?
Wasn’t it Yeats who said “how can you tell a dancer from a dance?”?
- Do artists, as they are want to believe, suffer and enjoy more intensely than other mortals?
There you go again!!!
- Any issues with suicide?
The most narcissistic of all acts! The only act worse that suicide is falling into a big depression! The world is much bigger than that…
- How much of the image you think you project to others do you think is true about yourself?
Now you’re talking about the understanding of the world or how it understands you as a human being… I think there are really very few, but indeed very few people in life who have ever understood you; perhaps an immortal, superb editor is the one who had really understood you? I don’t know.
- What has been your most persistent déjà vu experience?
Well, that happens too, it is something what the Buddhists call “a karmic trace”, a feeling that you have already seen a person in your previous lifetime or you had already outlived an experience.. it happens from time to time, call it “intuition” or telepathy or whatever, and as they say, “watch out for your pupils- they get very dilated”.
- If you found out the world were to end at midnight tonight, what exactly would you do?
Probably get a bottle of the most expensive wine or champagne- with the money you were saving to pay all the bills- who cares anyways, I’d like to be able to laugh it out and say like the Stoics “death is nothing- and it does not interests me in particular”!!!
NINA ZIVANCEVIC, serbian poet.