Cornelius Hell is an Austrian writer, translator and literary critic. Especially for the Ruse Literary Festival he briefly answered a few questions before meeting the audience on 11.10.


What will you present at the Literary Festival? Give us more information about the book we will be reading from, more about the idea and in particular how will you intrigue the audience?


I will present my “self-portrait with Elias Canetti” and some chapters from my book “Without reading, life would be a mistake”. It’s a personal reading of various writers and poets. Since I am Austrian, I will present my thoughts on Austrian authors.


What do you expect from the 16th edition of the literary festival under the motto “The Dream of Reason…” (“The Dream of Reason gives birth to monsters” by Francisco Goya)?


My first expectation is to see the place where Elias Canetti grew up and to meet other writers. The theme of the festival is very topical because we can see these monsters already in the political sphere.


When the future is seen as something distant and well protected, when the consequences of major breakthroughs, revolutionary discoveries, innovations, etc. are not foreseen, what damage can they do to the life of humanity? Is this in fact the cause of our daily anxiety?


This question is too far-reaching for a short answer. But it is true, I sometimes experience this daily anxiety.


How do you see artificial intelligence – as a help or a hindrance in your profession? Do you fear it?


This is a help as well as a hindrance. I have no experience with artificial intelligence so far. Sometimes I’m afraid that my job as a translator will no longer be necessary.


The writers (or easily called writers) are multiplying. What are the pros and cons of the accessibility of book publishing?


The pros – it’s worth more people writing, expressing themselves and of course more books being read. The cons – books seem less valuable and many unnecessary books are published.


Should the writer, the artist in general, be a factor in politics? Whether your answer is YES or NO, argue for it.


Yes, the artist should be a factor in politics. His opinion is very special. Politicians should listen to them, defend and support their work.