Prague On The Future

The Prague Writers’ Festival, Of Which Turkish Airlines Was A Sponsor, Took Place April 14 To 18 On The Theme ‘Only The Future Exists’. Here Is What Five Writers Who Took Part In The Festival, Had To Say About The Relationship Between Literature, Technology And The Future.

MICHAEL
U.S.
“The future keeps our hopes alive, but hope may not be as good a thing as we think. Saadallah Wannous says that we are ‘condemned to hope’. Most of the time, hope dangles in front of people as bait for the future, when in fact we need the future to unleash life’s potential energy.”

ANITA DESAI
INDIA
“Technology has speeded everything up, but it’s essential to think hard before putting thoughts on paper. Snap decisions are the greatest enemy of the process of producing a work of literature. That’s why my narratives are like a gradually widening spiral. Even though technology shortens a person’s attention span, there are still writers like Haruki Marukami who produce long works.”

DUO DUO
CHINA

“When I came to Europe seven years ago, I realized for the first time that the visual media are having a big impact on the language of poetry. It worried me then that the effect of technology would lead to a standardization of poetic expression. I’m not saying this to criticize young people, but I do believe that diversity has declined, and there is nothing to be done about it.”

JEROME ROTHENBERG
U.S.
“In the nineties, the digital world came into contact with a number of different fields including literature. This contact with technology changed a lot of things in the world of literature, from narrative style to distribution. I see this more as an invitation than as a threat. And now the hypertexts used on the internet are providing a whole new reading experience.”

GÜNDÜZ VASSAF 
TURKEY
“The hypertexts provided on the internet definitely create a kind of schizophrenia. This can become pathological; or, you can experience that fragmentation in a positive way.  You flit from one text to the other, and while you’re flying around some things stick in your mind.  You experience a process of stimulation. One way or another the flight fills up. That’s the thing
about hypertexts.”