Radovan Brenkus answers the questions of the editor-in-chief of the Slovak Perspectives.
1. Media and politics. There is some kind of tension between government and media. Who is right?
It is not possible to answer this question unambiguously, because the life is not controlled by the mathematical rules. Media and politics are simply about people. Government consists of individuals defending their interests and the same is true for the media. In the case of conflict of interests which we are observing, I would be surprised, if there were no tension between government and media. On the other hand, the opinion platform of the concrete medium is often in sufficient agreement with the politics of government and we can not talk about some kind of tension, since the medium becomes the strong device for the influence of the public opinion by means of people conforming to the state representatives. The relation between government and media is constantly changing; sometimes one side is right, next time the other. Opinion of the citizen, as long as he has his own, ultimately depends on himself, on his judgment and consideration of all the connections. I would not underestimate this possibility of searching for the truth which is typical for the minority. Basically, the medium regarded as the device of power by which the power is promoted, serves the groups of individuals who support it financially. It doesn’t have to be the government. Although the media often claim to be independent, no such depoliticized media really exist.
2. Media and culture. Unconcern of the media for culture. Do you have the possibility to present yourself publicly as a writer – publishing in the newspapers, radios, TV?
I have published in the literary papers in Slovakia (Slovak Perspectives, Literary Weekly, Touches, Revue of Contemporary Culture, Book Revue) and abroad – in Czech Republic (Outline-Tribe, Shape, Dog Wine, Wild Wine, Good Address), in Poland (Nadwislocze, Nasz Dom, Akant), USA (White Eagle), on Ukraine (Literaturna Ukraina). And it continues in this trend. Interest of the print media in my works is somehow increasing, either by the form of reviews in the dailies or annotations in the commercial magazines. Slovak Broadcasting Company has broadcasted several poetic programs and radio versions of three short stories – Sit down, the performance is about to finish, Deal with the Devil, and Curse from the Afterlife. They prepare with me a December broadcast Poetissimo. Similarly, Košice STV (Slovak Television) has many times informed the public about my recent books. I highly appreciate the work of the team of Košice editors; they produce the quality articles from the field of fine, musical and dramatic arts. I see the interest of media in the culture; people begin to interest more in different kind of reports like those catastrophic. Yes, I would welcome even a short cultural program within the main TV news, but it is generally known, that not only for private televisions, such type of program is not very attractive. It would be suitable to create a proper, in this way oriented regular broadcast that would be able to monitor objectively a basic overview of Slovak culture. Broadcast Art 07 actually propagates mainly the literary workshop from Bagala publishing house. Fortunately, like a spectator I still have the possibility of choice, I don’t watch what is not interesting for me.
3. Media and you. Have you not resigned yet? Do you read and write?
I read more than ever before, I prefer the book to the movie, because the television does not offer such amount of non-commercial movies like the commercial ones. I write too, but only sporadically. I’m the strict defender of quality, even if we are speaking about my own literary works. Therefore, I will not probably write a lot of them. Terrible authorial doubts, which concentrate and whirl through my mind, are the threatening finger that prevents me from publishing them. But I would definitely write even if nobody knew me, at least for the pleasure of discovering new worlds, connections, because here I have the feeling (maybe false) that nobody else knows them. I would not resign either in this case, although the author has some weak moments, e.g. when he thinks that he won’t write a single word. From the point of view of the media, I don’t have right to complain, much less to resign, because many of them are loaded in my favour.