Writers discussed the fate of books and their authors


December 14, 2015 as part of the official program of the IV St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum under the auspices of the section "Literature and Reading" was held a round table on "Literary creativity - a way to myself and to the modern reader." In the General Staff of the Hermitage gathered one of the most famous writers of our time, to discuss the fate of the book and its creator in a contemporary cultural context. Partner of the event was the St. Petersburg Book Network "Bookvoed".


At the end of the year of literature the White Hall gathered together such iconic figures of the modern Russian literature as a poet Andrey Dementyev, writers and philologists Eugene Vodolazkin, Andrey Astvatsaturov, Oleg Roy and Alexey Varlamov. Conducted the discussion Russian journalist, writer, playwright, broadcaster, theater director Andrey Maximov.


What awaits the book publishing in the new digital reality? What literature should be considered high-quality and, therefore, worthy for the general public? What does the public want itself? What distinguishes a really good product from the popular, what criteria are relevant today? How to start an interest in reading and whether you want to teach today's children to read the usual books? These and other issues have caused a lively debate.


The first topic has also discovered diametrically opposed views of the audience. How the writer imagines the reader? Could a good literature be a mass one? Or is what majority likes, is at its best average, has nothing to do with high culture?


"I write for those who ride the subway every day and get on the bus, - says Oleg Roy. - I want my novels to be understandable and accessible to the widest possible range of people." Eugene Vodolazkin disagrees: "My reader is my alter ego - he says - a man with my ideas about life, my cultural baggage - but not me. Yes, not everyone will understand this literature. But do not be afraid of elitism - by definition culture is elitist, is not for everyone, and we need to get over it. If I, for example, know that I will not be understood, but still want to write so - I'll do it."


Subject of mass and elite art has caused heated debate. "Tovstonogov, Mark Zakharov, Ulitskaja, Rubina - they are not elitists, they are understood by all, - says Andrey Maksimov. - Does that make them less than great? ". Andrew Astvatsaturov agrees: "Culture - is not only Mandelstam and Brodsky, not only high art. It is also a way of life, daily. And now, it seems to me, there is no clear distinction between elite and mass. Welbeck - is elitist or mass? And early Tarantino? ". "Elitism - is not something remote and confusing - explains Vodolazkin. - For me it's just a refusal to compromise, abandoning their principles for the sake of art understood by the most."


"People actually do not read anything - do not agree Oleg Roy. - What do they read, if we do not give them a clear, accessible book? "Andrey Maximov commented: "I recently asked students: Who are Fazil Iskander? Answer - some Chechen terrorist. Who's Sakharov, they do not even know. And this is a liberal arts college students!".


"We are losing the language, because we have less respect for our culture, - said Andrey Dementyev.- The schools is constantly decreasing its literature lists. We need somehow to oppose it. After all we are the people who do usually read. I now have two books coming out - these are reissue and poetry! So it is necessary for someone, so people are buying them if publishers reissue those.I travel a lot around Russia - in each city on my creative meeting come a lot of people, they listen, ask questions, ask for autograph. And I am glad that we are talking about literature, about the word - here, for example, here at the Cultural Forum. So it is important not only for us, but for many."