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"Shore" inspired by the unique Greek nature

25 August 2014 / 19:08:03  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

"Shore" is the debut book by Stanislava Ivkova in which the author examines the eternal topic of human relationships, the humility of the modern man in the face of the power and beauty of nature and the way he or she reinvents him or herself.

"Imagine finding yourself on a shore where all your concerns look as small as the grains of sand on the bottom of the sea. Is there such a place? And who is waiting for you there?

Two women, friends, who go purposefully forward and have seemingly achieved a lot gradually feel that the gaps in their lives exceed the victories. The emergence of a strange Greek woman unlocks unexpected decisions. In the small village on the shore, the two women have completely changed within a few days. At least at first glance." This is the description on the back cover of the book, which "acquaints" the readers with it.

Although the book has been in the market only for two weeks, it enjoys positive criticism since, according to zonkobg.blogspot that is famous in literary circles, "Shore" overcomes two of the chronic deficiencies of contemporary Bulgarian literature. The book is short and different, it is a new manner of presenting the subject thread and of focusing on essentials.

The "shore" that is somewhere in northern Greece, the troubles that we ourselves create and live with them for years, and the simple ways to overcome them were the topic of the conversation between author Stanislava Ivkova and GRReporter.

What is your debut book about?

It is about a contemporary story that may have happened recently, it may be happening even now, and perhaps it is continuing because it has no definite outcome, as is with life. Some things happen, end, start, but we never know how these events will continue in our lives.

The story is about two women, who are very close friends and think they know each other pretty well. They think they could help each other with advice and action. But in the end it turns out that each of them has lived a long time with fears and doubts that do not match reality, or at least, after some thought, it could be said that are not nearly as serious as they thought.

One of the women is related to Greece in a special way - she had a very passionate love relation with a Greek man. Once they have parted, all she has is a flat where she is reluctant to go because of the memories and all the frustration after the end of this relationship. It is located next to his mother’s house. The two women visit this place, communicate with the man’s mother and largely change, or do not change, their thinking, but their lives definitely change in some way.

Therefore, there is some magic in the story, something that is highly exaggerated through the idea that you can find yourself in a place and time to dispel much of the stereotypes with which you have lived.

Is the story fiction or it is associated with you in some way?

It is fiction. I have just now realized that when you write you often tell your own stories or someone else’s, but never in the way in which they have happened in life.

Some of the characters are greatly inspired by specific people but by no means are they their descriptions. Sometimes a person can inspire you very much but then, in the process of writing, you continue imagining, thinking, exaggerating and styling to some extent his or her character in one direction or another. This is the same with my story.

What inspired you to write it?

Lots of things. People often believe in some things related to our relationships and connections with other people. We often strongly believe that there is a problem or that everything is all right. And we stick to these thoughts to such an extent that somehow we remain blind to what is happening around us and, due to all those doubts and stereotypes that we create ourselves, we ourselves take things to a not good ending. Just because we are afraid to look at the truth as it is. This topic about the gap between people, about the fact that we allegedly tell each other everything while everyone thinks differently concerns me a lot.

On the other hand, Greece has also inspired me a lot. My stay there in recent years, the sea, the spirit of the people there. Perhaps that is why much of the story takes place there.

Where exactly is this "shore"?

It is in many places. Physically it is in Greece, in its northern part. In the course of reading one realizes that it is in Halkidiki. I will not mention a village because it is not a particular one.

I travelled a lot in this area and the whole picture that I described is a mixture of many places. However, in a somewhat metaphorical sense, the shore is a place to which all of us strive and where one feels at peace with oneself.

Much of the book was written during your stay in Greece. Tell us why.

It was written there for many reasons. The first is that I go there to rest. When you rest and ease yourself of the burden of daily cares and unpleasant things, you are much more prone to fantasizing, writing and doing nice things.

On the other hand, when I am there I feel very humble and free. That is why it is probably easier to write about topics that concern me. In everyday life, we try to keep too many things in our own hands and control everything that happens around us. And when you find yourself at a place where you see so much beauty, sea and nature, you understand that all this pettiness and attempts to petty control are so transient and they will go away with us. And these wonderful things will remain after us.

In addition, I like a lot all the patriarchal atmosphere that I witnessed there, this very dignified feminine behaviour of women. I do not know Greece well but at least in this area I see that it is strongly expressed. There I even feel nostalgic for the fact that ultimately families around the world can be much more united, that people can be much friendlier, that women can be much more appreciated.

Perhaps many of these things are just my thoughts, I am passive as an observer, but anyway this is what I imagine when I see how people live there.

What is your job? How much is it related to writing?

I am working in the field of advertising. Basically, I am a writing person. I have written anything over the years. But writing for yourself or even for one reader is quite different because this is not commercial, you must be very honest and then the responsibility is much greater.

In fact, when I was writing the book it did not occur to me that it would be published. I was really doing this entirely for my pleasure but my work in advertising has taught me to be very precise in terms of expression, to the detail and to the fact that one must see the picture even in the second sentence, and to not waste people's time with much talk. Therefore, I was very critical of myself. I told myself I had to do it with all my soul, heart and effort although no one, or a very small group of close friends, would read it. In fact, some of my close friends were one of the reasons to decide to publish the book because they responded very positively.

What could I say about the book is that I was very honest while I was writing it. By this, I mean that I perceived every form of mannerism as sacrilege over what I was doing. Because when you sit down and work, and really do something for yourself, you should not be pretentious but honest.

Tags: LiteratureShoreStanislava IvkovaNorthern Greece
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