Page 43 - September 2020
P. 43


            NS: Do you see any crisis in modern/contemporary poetry? Could you elaborate on
            this topic?

            Niels Hav: The world economy is in crisis at the moment and this also affects poetry
            of  course.  It  seems  to  be  a  global  phenomenon  that  publishers  look  around  for
            bestsellers and publish less poetry. This could be a problem if poets at the same
            time accept to stay inside a special poetry-ghetto with no ambition to engage with
            real  problems.  Lots  of  writers  are  connected  to  universities,  and  of  course  the
            discussions  about  literature  in  classrooms  at  all  levels  are  essential,  but  poetry
            wants to get involved also outside campus. The world is on fire. Politics, bombs,
            ideology and religion ravaging the globe. This is what people are talking about in

            the cafe - and it’s the challenge for poetry to join this conversation. To find out and
            understand what’s going on, and if possible to say things as they are.

            NS:  The  world  of  the  internet  has  changed  the  way  people  deal  with  the  written
            word. Many people publish on the internet. How do you view the following?
                Regular newspapers, magazines, and journals vs.
                literary Websites, online papers & magazines, and blogs.
            ·     Paper books vs. e-books.
            ·     The facebook as a social networking website.

            Niels  Hav:  The  openness  and  freedom  on  the  Internet  offers  tremendous
            opportunities which are constantly threatened by commercial groups and regimes
            who  want  to  control  people.  Of  course  there  is  a  real  legal  conflict  between
            copyright holders and the net-user's interest in free downloads, but freedom on the

            Internet is a fundamental value that is important to defend, and this seems to be a
            serious  battlefield.  The  Internet  makes  it  possible  to  follow  what  is  happening
            around the world, to maintain contacts and exchange experiences in new ways and
            at high speed. A bunch of wonderful opportunities.
            That said, I must say that I love paper. I prefer newspapers, magazines and poetry
            printed on paper to literary websites and online magazines. The Internet is a deep
            container  which  tends  to  drown  everything  in  an  endless  flood  of  good  and  bad.
            You can take a thousand year old book in your hand and read it without problems,
            while  digitized  texts  and  the  electronic  universe  requires  constant  updates.  A
            healthy dose of scepticism is needed before we close our libraries and throw the
            books away. But fortunately the one does not exclude the other; the same work can
            be published as an e-book and printed on paper, that would be perfect.

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