Sunday, October 30, 2011
ESSAY: DOG´S FREEDOM (Oct.2011) Iowa City&Chicago Panel discussion (short version)
There is an aphorism from Franz Kafka I always remember when I speak about freedom: “A cage in search of a bird.” I would like to adjust it for my essay to say: “A chain in search of a dog”.
My motto is: “I am a writer, not a fucking bestseller.” I created it not for the provocation, but because I felt it to be a truth. Sure I know that the freedom in this motto is limited. The basic sense is this: the writer is an individual; the bestseller is a part of the system, and happy.
There is a chain of fast food in the US called Jack-in-the-Box. I visited one recently; during my quick visit to Spokane, I found only fast-food restaurants on the highway. The feeling of sitting there and actually being a jack-in-the box, chained to simple, unhealthy food, made me vomit.
They put us in this prison, in that box. When they told me that, first and foremost, I was Eastern European and I should write about my experiences as Eastern European, about the politics. Shall I do violence to my soul and mind, and start writing what the literary business demands from me? No. My mind is not committed to politics. Politics in literature is for me nothing more than nonsense.
I started becoming ill; when they put me and my literature in that cage and told me “You are not needed, if you don’t write as we wish,” I got crazy. What madness, being useless! This was the absolute precipice; after this there was nothing else, only madness or fortunate survival through a great miracle… Being a writer and not fitting in with the current topics, the current spirit or melody in the framework of a society is like being a jack-in-the box – popping up and down, suffering and howling to be noticed while still alive. Must the writer suffer? Not rich, not accepted. Hm. I don’t want to suffer; I want to live a good life as a needed, respected writer…and enrich and motivate the others. Limitations shouldn’t damage creativity. I see this not as a grotesque game but as a serious one. To have no means for communication as an unnecessary writer, with nothing but humanity – no readers for my writing, no audience for my performances – is what I dread most, like all creative souls. We know many examples of such writers from the world´s literature.
But one thing is clear: I say loudly - Milena, a new regime is being formed. A quick switch from communism into the new art of oppression and of limitations for art, the so called Media-Regime. Media dominate us and set the rules of the freedom. This limited freedom of creativity and expression is the first sign of a world gone wrong! No more kindred spirits! Human beings are walking towards stupidity.
What a blessing to be a writer, to be able to sense hidden truths. I know there is something wrong about politics? And about the world’s hidden social structures that make individuals anxious. I see young and old people demonstrating. Now! In NYC, in Chicago, even in Iowa City - all over the world. I took part in “Occupy Chicago”. I prompt my soul to go on strike, too. I want to create a revolution in literature. I will start that revolution! It is fate that forces me to forsake my power and my courage. I am not giving up fighting. I fight for my freedom and for the freedom of being a writer! I am a writer, not a fucking best seller! I don’t want literature to become fast food literature, the literature of business and empty profit.
I am convinced that I can act, not just carry a story through action like a chained dog, but also to register emotions and portray a real character with my individual loves, loyalties, and hates. Literature must become individual again, to the same degree that it had been for ages in Europe.
Hold on, writer, if you don’t fit in this current world. The world is still changing. I have a vision. I am keeping on track, not on the chain, not in the cage. I’ll start the revolution as a fucking writer!
Chicago/Iowa City, 10.10.2011