JANUARY 2011

 

 

Sophie Chammas - Beirut / Lebanon

 

The virtual world is becoming an increasingly large part of the real world, which, in turn, is causing several important changes in the literary world. How do you see the role of writers changing in the future?


It is obvious that e–books, as well as other technological advancements, have significantly revolutionized the way books are sold and distributed. Some writers have already made their books available online, usually for a small fee. However, the Internet is much more than just a showcase; it is also a place of exchange, a channel through which dialogue between the author and his readers can take place without intermediaries. So, increasingly, we will see new groups of readers forming communities based on their similar literary interests. The members of these virtual communities will be able to fully interact, not only with the writers themselves, but also with each other. This is a development that will undoubtedly change the traditional literary world, although there will always be a place for promotion and publication of the old market, As a result, authors and publishers will have to adapt to this development, since it’s obvious that publishers will begin to use virtual tools as a means of communication, in addition to using technology in a creative and commercial way.




Mark Smith - Johannesburg / South Africa

 

What is your general opinion on environmental movements?

 

Although I’m glad that these movements exist, I am aware that not all of their members share the same objectives. What mankind needs most in order to learn to respect nature is to be attentive to what nature is experiencing and, in this way, gain an understanding of their own nature. I don’t underestimate the support of well guided initiatives, and the positive impact they can have on both the environment and our behavior, but I feel that having contact that is exclusively intellectual only leads to a rational relationship with nature. A sensory relationship, on the other hand, allows us to contemplate and become aware of the fact that there is indeed no separation between humans and nature. This form of contemplative awareness has the benefit of providing us with a universal insight, one that, by far, transcends all rational value systems. I hope that a day will come where no legislation is needed to protect the balance of ecology, and that future generations grow to have an innate respect for nature.



 

Fabrice Levy - Lille / France

 

How do you explain the perseverance of illusions; those false truths that are the cause of our drifting ever further away from reality? In other words, what stops us from seeing things clearly?

 

The world of illusion can be very fascinating and therefore can prevent us from seeing things as they really are. This can be blamed on our fragmentary way of thinking. To resolve this, we must change our usual thought patterns, and learn to see what really composes the fabric of the world around us in a more intuitive manner. This requires a very different means of perception, but it also simultaneously forces us to question our certitudes and verify their accuracy. However, it’s apparent that most people have no wish to renounce their old convictions and habits; and, so, it is this lack of desire to change that leads man to continue living in the world that is both illusory and unreal.



 

Andrea Wurth - Stuttgart / Germany

 

You dedicate most of your time to your two passions: travelling and writing, both of which are unpaid. What are your means of living?

 

I have always had a passion for travelling, and I realized at a young age that nothing else could enhance and enrich my experience of life in the same way as that of travelling, since I have the soul of a nomad and an incredible need for discovery. I have never had any other great needs or wants in life, because there is nothing that I could own, possess, or experience that could give me the same level of satisfaction. After living in Spain for a number of years I discovered another passion: writing literature, naturally, alongside my first passion. Today, with limited independent means, I practice these two passions full time. Even when these two activities don’t generate any income, I still don’t feel a lack for anything. I am surrounded by friends globally, and I know they appreciate my ambition and my desire to share my experiences with them.



 

Abebah Adi - Bandung / Indonesia

 

Do you think that it’s possible to generate a new way of thinking based on ideas expressed in a novel?

 

The power of change can be expressed in a multitude of ways, one being in the form of literature. In fact, novels can be dwelling places for the reader’s sensibilities and understanding. Some novels suit this role for a short duration, whereas others for much longer. There are still yet those novels- which we categorize as exceptional that have the power to fascinate and deeply impact people globally. These novels have the capacity to enlighten the reader, and thus give rise to a new way of thinking.