In the past the sailor on the fishing ships, now a doctor of computer science and chemistry major research Institute in 2001, wrote the book “loneliness in the network”, which has become extremely popular in Russia, survived several editions and was filmed. He is the most well-known on the planet, a male feminist and a connoisseur of the female soul. At the meeting with readers in Krasnoyarsk Janusz Wisniewski told about how he wrote his first bestseller, and also about love, creative inspiration, and Russia.
Janusz Leon Wisniewski
- Karen Stepanyan about Dostoevsky, who read Cervantes, and the search for God in the literature
- “Parents are offended that we drop their credibility”
- Lyudmila Ulitskaya: the First gospel I’ve bought customs for 25 rubles
- Kilometers: I always try to write honestly
- Ruben Gonzalez Gallego: “I take the person and explore”
In Europe, no matter where you live
Janusz, you speak very good Russian. You taught him on purpose.
– Russian language I was taught and continue to teach, as always wanted to read Russian literature without translation. My dream is to read “Anna Karenina”, especially if you find a copy with stamped accents, as I don’t always do it right. Your language is very beautiful.
In my life every day I speak 4 languages. The scientific Institute in which I work is collaborating with 14 countries. The Director of our Institute does not speak German, he’s from Holland. So at work, we all communicate in English. On the street in German, the building – in Polish. To speak good Russian, we have hired two Russian specialists and one Ukrainian. Communicate with them only in Russian.
– You are a Polish writer, living in Germany and popular in Russia. Who do you feel?
– I live in two countries: Germany and Poland, officially I have two passports. But still feel Polish and all my art books in Polish. In Europe generally no matter where you live. It’s not interesting. My home in Frankfurt-on-main, but for an hour and a half by plane, I fly to Warsaw to drink with friends. Sometimes food from Germany to Poland by car and forget documents.
Sometimes I don’t even know what passport arrived in Poland. The main thing is that you have in your mind, not in the passport.
I recently decided to go back to Poland, bought a flat in Gdansk, 20 metres from the beach there is incredibly beautiful. Arriving there, I feel like I’m on vacation.
– What in the world is considered the most wonderful?
– Thanks to my writing I have lived in so many countries and cities and stayed in thousands of hotels. But the most beautiful city for me was St. Petersburg. It feel so incredible tension culture. I took to St. Petersburg so many Germans, poles, Americans! I really like new York because it’s a free town. I dream to visit in French Polynesia. But prefer to live in Frankfurt-on-main. This is an unusual city, sort of the German Manhattan. For some, “megapolis”, for others “small village by the airport”. For me it’s just my hometown.
Wrote for himself and wasn’t going to publish
– What do you particularly like from Russian literature?
I know that you have a 50 percent fat and 50 percent of Dostoevsky (smiles). In General, Russian literature in Europe, a very popular and important. In Germany it is read, even more than in Poland. Love all the classics.
The modern – Boris Akunin, it is read throughout Germany, and Ludmila Ulitskaya is my favorite Russian writer. One reader at a creative meeting in St. Petersburg gave me a book by Ludmila Ulitskaya, where she hands in every word put down the stress. It was the best gift.
– Your first book “loneliness in the network” became very popular in Russia. And in Germany, in love with her?
– No, in Germany in General for a long time did not know me as a writer. My books have appeared in 18 countries around the world, but I did all that in Germany they were not. I wanted there looked at me as a scientist, and not as a bestselling author, which make films.
Of course, now that we all have the Internet, it is impossible to hide something. My colleagues, when they learned that I write much surprised. A friend of mine once saw a poster with my picture in a bookstore in St. Petersburg. Returned to Germany and first of all asked what I was doing there. I had to tell you that it was the announcement of the meeting with readers. “Janusz, I thought you were a serious man, and you’re writing novels,” he exclaimed to me.
– How did “Solitude”?
– Honestly, I didn’t expect that this first novel will be so popular, not even thought about it, wrote it for himself and wasn’t going to publish.
The leitmotif of the novel – “of all that forever, with a brief period of love”. Heroes “Loneliness” acquainted ICQ, fall in love, share with each other their feelings and experiences. Certainly with the advent of the Internet and social networking this has happened with many.
Later, after many trials, they will meet in Paris, and it appears that the main test – this meeting itself.
Someone thinks that the main character – Jakub – it was me. But it is rather a collective image of the ideal man does not exist in nature. Perhaps that is why the book is so popular with women.
The story itself I took from life.
This is a real story of two people that I know. They are my friends. And they agreed that I used their story in his book. The creation of this novel coincided with my divorce and with the fact that I received a “doctorate” in chemistry. I was very sad at this time. I decided to write a story is cheaper than to go to a therapist. But after a book was published, I realized that I wanted to relive the feelings he experienced when he wrote. So began to appear other books. Now I am very dangerous to say anything, because I will definitely be publiciprivate.
I can’t do it on an empty space to write a good story. For example, the protagonist of the book “the Grand” – a bum. I met him in Gdansk, near the “Grand hotel”.
Of course, I try to make their characters unrecognizable. Change the city or country, never use real names.
– For some time there was a myth that the author of “Loneliness” – a woman. The book very precisely written thoughts and feelings of the protagonist. How do you manage to convey women’s feelings?
I was always wondering why women were so different from men. They seem to me much better than the last. I read a lot about them.
But the most important thing about women I learned from them. They talk a lot – up to 35 000 words a day. And I love and know how to listen to them.
At parties, if possible, always talk with women and not with men. Although I would not dare to say that learned women to the end. And that’s good, the woman should be a mystery, which it a little bit every day opens. I also helped that I have two daughters. They talk to me about everything. And it is very valuable. I love them, they are the main women in my life.
Feelings are chemistry, only different
– In what area do you do science?
– I design computer programs in the Institute, which deals with synthesis of chemical compounds. We have the largest database of chemical compounds and reactions. If you want to do something new in pharmacology or cosmetics, we have all the information. Without us there is nothing new in chemistry is not synthesized. In that area, which I do, sort out only fifty people worldwide. I am very interested in this work. But after it I come home and write about chemistry. Because emotions, feelings are the same chemistry, but in a different sense.
– What do you feel is more: a scientist or a writer?
– My main is a science. We can say that science is my “wife” and literature – “lover”. Originally, I thought it would be only one novel “loneliness in the network”. Now the novels have more than 20. And every year I ponder whether I stay with wife or go to “mistress”. Recently the Institute I began to work part-time and time for writing appeared more.
Even earlier, in my youth, I was a sailor and sailed on fishing ships. After finishing school he entered the College of marine fish farming. But not because they loved the fish, I just wanted to travel and experience life in something new. Travel is the only thing worth spending money, I think so.
– Your most controversial book “On Facebook with my son”. Tell me about it and how did such an unusual idea?
This book is the most important for me and very intimate. My mother died when I was still a student, in 1977. And I had the feeling that I was deprived of many conversations with my mother. Because children think that parents will always. And sometimes they are so suddenly gone. Every mom’s birthday I was thinking about it. In 2011 on this day I said to myself, why not end this conversation?
Imagined that if my mother were alive today, she certainly would be contemporary and would like to communicate with me. So she might have had a profile on Facebook. And I opened up this profile. And began to tell the story in dialogue from her face.
This book is about the love between son and mother in the first place. For me it is very strong and important love. But the book in any case – a work of art. There is a lot of surrealism and science.
– What else do you write and what are working on now?
– I write about relationships, about science fiction books and popular science, in collaboration and independently. Recently at the exhibition (the largest book fair in the world – approx. ed.) in Frankfurt am main, I was approached by representatives of children’s publishers and invited to cooperation. I tried to explain to them that I write stories, but for adults. But they offered to try to write for children. Then called every week.
And I decided to write a scientific story about the universe where I explain what it is at the level of physics. In may 2018 in Poland he published a collection of stories for children called “Feelings.” It is 12 short stories about the most ordinary feelings: hate, love, written so that it is clear 10-year-old boy. About feelings because children sometimes very difficult to tell. In Russia books yet, they came only in German, English and Polish.
The only thing I don’t write ever, that’s politics. I’m not interested absolutely. So brought my parents. Our family never discussed politics, my dad did not like neither “red” nor “black” nor “green”. I remember as a child I once said I didn’t want to go to school, and want to play ball. Dad said, “johnny, if you don’t study, you become a politician.” I didn’t understand what it is, but I thought, if my dad said so, to be a politician – it’s terrible. So I began to study hard.
– Heroes of your books are always listening to music. It is a large space in your life?
– I’ve always been around music. I come home from work, and I need to move from one universe where I write the program in another where I am waiting for the book. For this you need to prepare yourself.
To create a mood of melancholy and a little sadness. I never write when happy and things are going well. Cause sadness helps music. Schumann, Bach – the most suitable composers for this. It also really helps poetry. Of Russian poets of the apotheosis of sadness – Sergei Esenin.
– Who is reading your books immediately after writing? But editor and proofreader.
– I never show written by the people close to me. They will want to change something. But I wrote it, I felt that way, and I take responsibility for everything that happens on the pages of my books. So when I write, I’m always alone. My first book read by the editor. It’s a woman, just because 90 percent of editors were women.
My parents are incredibly talked a lot with each other
– Who were your parents?
– Mother is German, father is Polish. Dad was the third husband of my mother, her last love. And the most important in a person’s life if not first love, always the last.
Mom spoke German, and my dad 4 years spent in a concentration camp. But they met and fell in love with each other. Two years later I was born, then my brother.
Between Germany and Poland have always had a very complicated relationship, but it strenghtens my family. When the mother and grandmother of the house spoke German, and my dad came into the room, his arm hair stood on end. But he never rebuked any mom or grandmother. He did not teach me hatred against the Germans. He never said that the Germans fault that he was in a concentration camp. He said – “blame specific people from Germany”. Not the people. It was just an incredible example of humanity for me.
– You write a lot about the relationship between a man and a woman. What is your formula for happiness?
– Happiness is 90 percent of the interesting conversations and 10 percent sex. And not Vice versa. So it was with my mom and dad. They are incredibly talked a lot with each other. My brother could not sleep because they talked and talked and talked and opened a new bottle of home-made wine and spoke again. And so many years, they always had interesting conversations. I do not believe, how can so much interesting to say, if you know each other for twenty years. And now I understand that it is happiness.
Recorded Svetlana Hustik
Photo from archive Janusz Leon Vishnevsky