Thursday, June 1, 2023






JUNE 2023

NILAVRONILL: Why do literature and poetry in particular interest you so much? Please give us some idea about your own perception of literature or poetry in general.

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: In poetry I show my vulnerability and sometimes I hide it there. Through my books I talk about the tragedy of society and man as an individual. I see my work in the field of literature and literature as a quiet, solitary art. However, I categorically refuse to write or paint according to society's standards. I avoid trends, I'm almost not interested in striving to be according to society's standards. In my works, pain affects. Life is the basis of writing poetry, of art. I believe that literature is an oasis of life. Finally, through my books I deal with the fear of death.


NILAVRONILL: How do you relate your own self existence with your literary life in one hand, and the time around you, in the other.

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: For me, poetry is the art of remembering, of memory (individual and collective). As a poet, I never leave my world of ideas and my "magic formula". For me, every poem, mine or by another author, expresses a vision of the world. This means that poetry is a synergy of time and words. My poetry is many things. Poetry is an overflow of feelings. Poetry makes me shiver. Perhaps the most significant characteristic of poetry is its inability to be defined, marked, or pinned down.


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: I believe that peace and turmoil are equally important and complement each other. Sometimes peace is around us but unrest is inside us. And vice versa. Sometimes there is unrest around us but we have peace in our heart, soul and thoughts.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature have been largely extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: Today everything is fast and mostly disposable. The advantage of books is in their slowness and repetitiveness in reading. We live in an age of loneliness, materialism and iPhones. People of this time are not interested in the truth, and even less in love, and with that, romance. The focus is only and strictly on money. Money determines everything. I sincerely hope that after everything, I mean after the Covid-19 pandemic, the world will experience a renaissance.


NILAVRONILL: Now, in this changing scenario we would like to know from your own life experiences as a poet, writer and a creative soul: How do you respond to this present time?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA:  I like quality literature, to create such is very difficult. The book should be original. Freedom exists in the writer's head just as art exists, and literature is a part of art. Since the beginning of this year I started working on books for children, which I also plan to draw illustrations. The illustrations in my books are the culture. These are large and complex projects that, above all, take a lot of time. However, what is important is what remains afterwards.

NILAVRONILL: Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? And is this an incentive for or an obstacle against becoming a truly international writer?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: I believe that every writer is a product of several factors: education, talent, nationality and history, the opportunities available in the country in which they create, the environment, the time and place in which they write, and their own ambitions.

NILAVRONILL: Now, if we try to understand the tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in it?  If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself to the tradition and to modernism?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: Literature stands as a bridge between tradition and modernism. Without tradition we would not know who we are and without modernism it is impossible to know where we are going and what we are striving for. Back in time, throughout history, tradition was a great inspiration for many artists who drew ideas for new works from there. For example, it is almost impossible to write a book without writing something about the characters' past.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think literary criticism has much to do with the development of a poet and the true understanding of his or her poetry?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: Literary critics are in charge of carefully reading new literary publications, analyzing and evaluating their content, their linguistic and stylistic aspects, and the way in which the contents of the works are presented. Therefore, they must make clear and precise criticisms. Literary criticism tries to guide readers, therefore, objectivity must prevail in order to present a balanced review of a work, because, from this, the reader can have a general idea of what can be found in the book, what is the style of the author and if it is of your interest. It is so in theory, but in practice literary criticism (here, in Macedonia) does not have a great influence in the development of the poet or poetess and the understanding of his or her poetry. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a biased forcing of certain names that, although untalented, with family and friendly connections manage to impose themselves. However, time is the best judge. Time is a filter. Quality will filter through it at the expense of quantity.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think society as a whole is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: I would say that the family, the environment in which I grew up and the way I was brought up were decisive factors in the formation and building of me as a person, character and author.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think people in general actually bother about literature?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: Each time has its own beauty and advantages. No matter how fast technological and industrial development is, there will always be people who will write books and people who will read books. Not even artificial intelligence will be able to replace writers any more than photography has replaced painters. Personally, I would never want to read a book written by artificial intelligence because I know that there are no real emotions and feelings in that work. Maybe I would be curious and read, but nothing more than that.


NILAVRONILL: We would like to know the factors and the peoples who have influenced you immensely in the growing phase of your literary life.

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: When I was in school it was the poetry of Blaze Koneski, Ante Popovski, Aco Shopov, Guillaume Apollinaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Marina Tsvetaeva, Ana Ahmatova, Rabindranath Tagore, John Keats, Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath. Later I fell in love with Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, Jerome D. Salinger, Franz Kafka and James Joyce. Nowadays, I read Wislawa Szymborska, Elfriede Jelinek, Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, and Erika Jong.


NILAVRONILL: How would you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations for or expectation from the younger generation?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: I live in a time when the Macedonian language and nation are denied, attacked and belittled, that's why I look forward to every newly published book in Macedonia and abroad, and the younger generations got all my support.


NILAVRONILL: Humanity has suffered immensely in the past, and is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our future?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: It's hard to be optimistic in this world. It is almost impossible. I do not foresee anything good for humanity in the long term. IF we evolve into conscientious human beings, then perhaps there is hope for survival.


NILAVRONILL: What role can literature in general play to bring a better day for every human being?

GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: Literature serves as a bridge for the communication of knowledge, customs and culture of nations. the role the author takes in writing a work and his responsibility to his readers and the story is great. It must be understood that every literary work has a message that will affect those who read it, for better or for worse. Herein lies the importance of the commitment the writer undertakes in its creation. The language we use every day to exchange information has a communicative function. When the language is raised to a different, aesthetic level, then it has a poetic (aesthetic) function. The beauty of linguistic expression is the goal of literature. And in literature we get information, but they are not ordinary, everyday, but have an aesthetic function. Literature is an art whose means of expression is the word. Artistic literature vividly represents life and the world.


GORDANA KARAKASHEVSKA: Gordana Karakashevska is a poet, writer, essayist and translator. She is the author of the novel "Undressing", the book of short stories "Signor Giordano and..." and the books of poetry "The Broken Poet and Other Poems" and "House of Paper". This year (2023), her fifth book and third collection of poems, "The Path of Water", is going to be published. Her great passion is painting. Photography is her hobby.


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