Random winter thoughts…

By A.G.Billig
In Events
Dec 9th, 2012

It’s been a while since I last wrote on my blog. Lots to do about promoting “Four Doors and Other Stories” back home and the story behind it. A friend of mine scolded me for talking too much about the story and too little about the book but I still believe I’m right about what I’m doing.  Messages from people telling me that I inspire  them  to carry on with their projects, even though they  seem foolish or unrealistic to other people, make me happy…

Because, yes, I do believe in an engaged writer. Engaged in observing life’s beauty and magnificence  and transforming it in raw material for his work. No matter the words, the situations, the characters, I think writing should be uplifting and empower people.

If people lived in the now, really saw what is around them – the miracle of rain drops falling or ducks floating on the still surface of a lake, if they kept the inner child alive, writers would be useless.

I’m in a medium size room. The room has a small stage, some benches and several chairs. It is almost packed with a motley  crew. Young people, old people. Women in skirts. Women in shorts and black tights. Women in blue jeans. One man wears a large brim hat. Another, a pair of dark glasses. “I have an eye problem..”, he says. I think he has hazel eyes…. His hands, old, wrinkled hands, remind me of my father. I couldn’t possibly tell him that. I know he feels so young at heart.. If  the people in this room were the only ones who read books, publishing houses would go bankrupt. It’s “Bucharest International Literature Festival”(FILB), fifth edition.  A dozen of people, only one question.  For me international is synonymous with large, big, impressive, huge…

George Szirtes, I only discovered him last night. A fine poet. I keep `’great`’ for  others like Whitman. Am I too picky? I enjoyed his poems, his way of uttering words in English, his idea that poetry is necessary. Poetry and magic…

Although I wasn’t impressed with his poem (it was a translation), I enjoyed Daniel Boyacioglu’ s attitude. Well, up to a point. A poet is a craftsman, he said. He is a craftsman of the commas. Nobody knows how to move a comma better than he does.  I would have never thought of myself as craftsman of the punctuation signs :). The fact that all poets are friends now, it’s a sign of a crisis, he also said. I disagree with him. Writers, above all, ought to promote unity and love.

It’s election day, today. What people don’t understand, is that whoever they cast their vote for, the result stays the same. Because the system is the same.  The change starts within ourselves. Individual change added to individual change creates the global change.

And finally, happy! “Four Doors and Other Stories” is reaching India, Israel, South Africa and soon to be, Korea!






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