3 December 2013 Magdalena Tulli for Dwutygodnik: “I don’t fling characters around”

“I don’t fling characters around. I try to save them as far as possible. I can’t save them entirely. But I would like their suffering not to go to waste,” says Magdalena Tulli to Agnieszka Sowińska in the Dwutygodnik.pl portal. We would like to remind you that the writer was a guest of last year’s edition of the Conrad Festival.

Agnieszka Sowińska: Books don’t change the world?

Magdalena Tulli: I am tempted to say that they do. Literature is a place where people try to establish the image of what happened to them. There comes a time when a new type of book starts to appear. But we don’t know what comes first. Do books change the world or does the world change books? I’d say the latter. Books are important not because they change something, but because they show something, something we haven’t seen before. They show, for instance, what other people feel. Some of them teach us how to deal with something we’ve seen, but would prefer not to have seen. Then we read them with goosebumps.

Agnieszka Sowińska: Writers must be the most difficult readers, aren’t they?

Magdalena Tulli: The best music listeners are other composers, and the best readers – other writers. These people see how the thing is made. If it’s made well, they derive more pleasure from it than non-composers and non-writers. They know all the tricks, so when they see a new trick, they are really impressed. They hear the harmony, they know why it sounds the way it sounds, they don’t need it to be catchy. What else can one wish for? On the other hand, writers and composers are a fraction of a percent among other people. How many books can they buy? How many tickets to concerts? That much less, since they usually receive them. Tryby was the best of my books. But sales statistics show that only writers have read it. And maybe some composer.

Read the entire interview with the writer.

pic. Michał Ramus, www.michalramus.com