Robin Wildt Hansen ne-a vizitat după Târgul Internațional de Carte si Muzică și ne-a prezentat cartea sa, The World, în HOF.
Jumătate danez, jumătate englez, jurnalist, traducător şi copywriter, precum şi funcţionar la Parlamentul European, Robin, a susţinut prezentări ale acestei cărți în galerii, conferinţe şi evenimente din Londra, Copenhaga, Berlin, Luxemburg, Bruxelles, Bucureşti, Basel, San Francisco, Salvador de Bahia – Brazilia şi Marstrand – Suedia.
Așa că ne-am gândit să-l întrebăm și noi câte ceva. Pentru a păstra cel mai bine mesajul său, acesta a preferat să răspundă în engleză, așadar, vom reda interviul în varianta transmisă.
Dacă încă nu știți despre carte, The World este despre Arkin, un erou modern, care nu se luptă cu balauri şi zmei, ci cu preconcepţii şi limitări pe care impulsul său puternic de a merge înainte, până la capăt, le învinge.
Would you like to tell us a bit more about you, your journey around the world and this long term stop in Romania?
I am half Danish and half English. I always felt a relentless attraction to travelling and exploring other ways of seeing the world. Romania is one of the most special countries that I have experienced. It has taught me a lot about myself and my own culture. It was my encounter with Romania that made me write my first book. So this country has a singular place in my world.
Why “The World”? How did you got inspired to write about this theme and why this name?
The World is the final Tarot card. It is the card that unites this world and the magical world. It unites all four elements, and all the spiritual entities that move through the Tarot deck. It is the card that the protagonist, Arkin, is desperately searching for. He is threatened by madness, because he is often unable to distinguish between ”reality” and ”fantasy” or, more precisely, between the regular world that we all have in common, and the magical world that each inhabitant creates.
The World is the Tarot card that can resolve this issue of being torn between realities. This is because The World integrates the magical world with the regular world and makes it possible to live a magical life in the regular world.
Arkin, the main character, is diagnosed with schizophrenia or… something in between normality and schizophrenia. Why this disorder?
Schizophrenia is a condition that is not yet understood completely. It is described as being a disease of “inappropriate thought”. I think it is a very serious disease that often has tragic outcomes. At the same time, it is interesting that the delusions of schizophrenic or bipolar patients often have supernatural elements. This seems to me to be a key.
It is also interesting to note that people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are not necessarily condemned to a life of medication and institutionalisation. With the rise of the internet, a movement for drug-free healing of bipolar disorder has emerged.
Regarding the spiritual aspect of this disease, I was greatly inspired by a lecture by a biologist, Dr Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University, about the biological underpinnings of religiosity. In the lecture, Sapolsky argues that the incidence of schizophrenia remains the same despite the fact that schizophrenics have fewer children. This, he says, indicates that the genes that cause the disease may have some evolutionary advantages. Obviously, it is not an evolutionary advantage to suffer from a debilitating disease such as full-blown schizophrenia. However, research suggests that in shamanic and other societies some family members of schizophrenics and other people with a partial expression of these genes, tended to become shamans or priests. But what happens in our society when someone feels this spiritual call in an acute way? Is there a hope that such a person might fit in and have a happy life in our society? This is one of the main questions that The World explores.
If you would write this book again, would you change in it?
I wouldn’t change anything of consequence. I wrote The World many times until I managed to create the work that felt right.
Are there any plans for another book?
I am currently writing a nonfiction book about Reality. The book explores the fields of neuroscience, physics, philosophy and mythology. It poses the questions: why is there such a vast inconsistency between what we know scientifically about Reality and the way in which it appears to our senses? What does this inconsistency tell us about the nature of Reality? What are effective ways of relating to and interacting with Reality?