Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Stefan Goncharov

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

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Stefan Goncharov

was born in Sofia, Bulgaria 1996. He has one published book with poetry and multiple publications in all of Bulgaria’s major literature-oriented  magazines, newspapers, and internet platforms. He has also been translated and published in the notorious Turkish magazine for contemporary literature: “Edebiyatta Üç Nokta” and received first prize at the national student’s competition for poetry in Bulgaria: “Боян Пенев”. Furthermore, he works as a film critic for a Bulgarian internet platform.

The Interview
1. What inspired you  to write poetry?

I don’t think I have been ever inspired to write. It just came out of some kind of necessity to confront myself and all my failings and shortcomings as a person. From then on it was the “existential inertia” of writing that kept me going. The whole process is beyond me at this point. I just can’t stop even if I wanted to. In this sense I have always felt as a prisoner of circumstance and not as an artist whose agency has played or plays a quintessential part in his art.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

I don’t think I’ve had a formal introduction. When I started I was 16 and hadn’t read any significant poets or writers. I knew that people wrote and I guess that was mystifying enough to get me to try it. My father is also a writer but at that time I had never read any of his works or talked to him about literature. When I started writing and reading we started talking but to this day I still don’t read him all that much.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

I was completely unaware. I had a strange intimation or inkling that all good authors are dead. I’am still not sure if I was right or not but I think that this way of thinking freed me from the burden of being influenced. I don’t think that I would have had the courage to start writing if I knew that there was an older generation whose tastes and feelings I have to take into account if I want to be taken seriously.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I just write something down every day. Sometimes I can go a week without writing but I always come back feeling sorry.

5. What motivates you to write?

I always feel as though nothing if I have to be perfectly honest. Although I must admit that I have felt motivated before. Its an ecstatic feeling. You can write for days and you do but then you stop and its all trash.So if there is something that motivates me I would really like to avoid it. I write best when i have nothing to loose and nothing to gain.
6. What is your work ethic?

Writing is a lifetime of work. You need rhythm and a somber tempo. A disciplined beat that can last throughout the years. My role model is a heart.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

I didn’t read a whole lot when I was young but when I finally started getting into literature I sometimes felt really pressured to conform to what most people deemed “good writing”. Then I started to diversify my reading habits and found kindred spirits in writers such as Antonin Artaud, Gherasim Luca, Clark Coolidge and many others but I don’t think that they influenced my writing per say. It is more the case that they made me feel as though I am free to become who I am.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most
and why?

For the purpose of this interview I will say Milan Kundera because “Life is elsewhere” is the only book that has made me feel truly ashamed to be a poet. It was a revelation.

9. Why do you write?

As I said it’s “existential inertia”. It will just cost toо much to try to stop it now. So I am along for the ride although I am not sure if I have always wanted to be. When all is said and done there is something pretentious in the sentence “I am a writer” and its not always easy to distance yourself from it. I feel like there are a lot of people who pride themselves on being writers or generally speaking – artists. For me that is truly terrifying.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

Impersonate yourself or someone else (Fernando Pessoa) and then just sit down and write. If life and art are to be interesting we need good actors/personas not proud and self-righteous individuals. When and if you finally write something play with it but remember subversion is never the only answer.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

I hope that I will get a second book published soon but other than that I’ll just keep on writing. I would like to try my hand at producing prose someday but I don’t know when I’ll feel comfortable enough with the idea to actually give it a shot. I don’t like to rush things es

 

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