“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”
Writer, poet, critic, traveller and a peculiar admixture of Peter Pan and Epicurus. Let’s not forget graphomaniac. For those unfamiliar with the term I’ll let Oxford help you out: “Overpowering urge to write [From Greek graphein to write + mania madness].”
Though my writing rainbow may seem eclectic, ranging from Joycean novels to classicist poetry to travelogues, there are several thematic consistencies belying my every word written down. Namely I am interested in the way people find meaning in their life. In a purposeless vacuous universe the onus is on all of us to carve out our own purpose. Some find it at the gym, some in Missions others in the one they live with. Literature and travel exposes you to an infinite range of life-views and they inevitably affect your own.
I have come to define myself as an Epicurean. Life’s joy comes from the simple pleasures such as food, drink, philosophy and family. And I also think a whole lot of the world’s billionaires could to with a dose of frugality. It might do the state of the planet some good. Yes, I am a Socialist too – and a green one, no less. Conservation and inequality also underpin most of my musings.
In travel I want to see for myself the way other people live, eat, drink and interact with their environment. I look at people the way renowned biologist Desmond Morris does: like a naturalist observing any other animal. Looking into the Human Zoo.
Therefore, I’m not the roving type. I like to stay in a place long enough to get a feel of a different way of life. It could be in a city or in a small town in the middle of a mountain range (preferably the latter). My travel writing is people-centred and, despite my better efforts, novelistic. Hemingway is my shining light in this field.
When it comes to literary reviews my two beacons are Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis: though, one would agree, that these are massive boots to sniff at. Yet, as in the above quote, books are not something to be taken likely – so, if your book is out there, it best be damn sure it deserves to be. If it deserves it then I am more enamoured than a Roman plebeian in a Lupenare.