/Detelina Kamenova, media relations, International Elias Canetti Society, journalist/

/Prof. Sashko Nasev, Executive Director of the Cultural Information Centre of the Republic of North Macedonia in Sofia/

“On the opening day of the Literary Festival, October 3, the Macedonian writer Sashko Nasev told us us about his “Encounters with the Devil”. Especially for the 15th edition of the festival, Sashko Nasev gave an interview that will surely awaken your interest for his works and the literary festival.”

  • What do you think gives a literary festival the strength to survive for 15 consecutive years?

The love and desire of its creators, its directors, its participants, and above all the passion of the audience for literature. I think that continuing education is of utter importance, and it is an event deserving of support. Happy 15th birthday!

  • What do you know in particular about the festival organised by the International Elias Canetti Society and what is its place among other literary festivals in Europe and Bulgaria?

Elias Canetti is from Ruse. Although he received the Nobel Prize for Literature as an Austrian writer, Canetti remains a Roussean and the city of Ruse pays him great tribute. It proclaimed him an honorary citizen, the family house was transformed into the Canetti House, and 15 years this festival was introduced and the city of Ruse started awarding the Elias Canetti Literary Prize. I have been to many important Bulgarian literary festivals: the Book Fair in Sofia, Plovdiv Reads, „Южна пролет“ in Haskovo, in Lovech, and I think that it will not remain with the 15th anniversary, but that I will also have the chance to be invited to the 30th anniversary of your Festival.

  • Why does a writer, a poet, an artist need to meet live with an audience and be presented at festivals at all?

The actor, the artist, is aesthetically relevant while performing in front of an audience. Poets want to sing for someone. You must have heard this folk wisdom, “He who sings, thinks no evil.” I think it applies equally to singers and poets because they say that poetry is the perfect music of literature. Personally, I am an old teacher and my students are my favourite audience. On the other hand, my performances have been played to audiences of many thousands. I love Bulgarian literature festivals because I meet young people and real readers.

  • What are you presenting to the audience in Ruse?

“Encounters with the Devil“ was created from 1990 to 2017. There are several short stories. It belongs to the comedic genre and has only one goal – to entertain the reading public. I am very fond of cities. Some people love mountains, others love seas, and I love cities very much. Ruse is a very nice city, on the Danube and with very nice people, who I hope will enjoy this entertaining farcical literature created in the last 30 years.

  • What do you expect from the live meetings with the audience?

To be lively and well, cheerful and nice, and if for a moment my dear Bulgarian friends from the audience in Rousse get to know Macedonian literature, it will be a grand success. And between you and me, I look forward to getting to know each other better, to drinking a spicy Macedonian brandy and to enjoying life.

  • What should the audience expect from meeting you?

Let them read “Encounters with the Devil,” because my book is more entertaining than I am.

  • Where is more space for artistic interpretation, in real life or on social media?

I don’t have Facebook, I only use Viber as a social network. And the basis of all playwriting from Euripides to Brecht, and still today, is to glorify life. So, we have to be present in real life and love it.

  • How do you see geographical borders today, when the world is experiencing tremors of a different, supranational nature?

Every normal person has to break down walls and build bridges. In Greek, the word “drama” means “action”, so let us act to remove all boundaries on planet Earth and sing John Lennon’s song “Imagine“.