Quotes by Yuriy Tarnawsky

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I find that biographical material holds me back, hampers my creative process, cramps my imagination. more...

Imagination is so much more fertile than life. more...

I am uneasy about the practice of other people telling you how to write. This is especially true for beginners who haven't yet developed their style and their writer's persona and are easily pushed off the course. more...

In fact, the very phrase "teaching creative writing" sounds to me oxymoronic. How can you teach someone to be creative? more...

How can you teach someone to be creative? You have to create yourself. more...

I feel that other people's suggestions are very dangerous. Yet, I can't say that they are always destructive or not useful. Perhaps, rather than having other people tell you how you should improve your work, they should just tell you how they understand your work, what they got out of it, so that you can figure out yourself if what you did was right or wrong. more...

I always lived in a multilingual society (Polish-Ukrainian, German-Ukrainian, English-Ukrainian), and was open to outside linguistic influences. I think it was within three years of coming to the US that I started writing in English, although purely for myself, not trying to get it published. Living in America, I was constantly in touch with English, and Ukrainian was for me a private language. more...

I was always creatively stubborn, adverse to editing by others, and wanted to use the kind of Ukrainian we spoke among ourselves rather than the more artificial prescribed literary Ukrainian. The problem was the greatest in prose, where editors would change my language because "it sounded better this way." My poetry they left alone probably out of deference to that hallowed genre. more...

I've done a lot of going back and forth with my own writing, in particular translating my English language stuff into Ukrainian - poetry as well as prose. But I actually hate doing it. It is a thankless, mind-numbing process, additionally unpleasant for me because it reminds me of my ambiguous status of not belonging anywhere. more...

That is one more reason why I write in English only right now. I prefer writing in the language I hear around me for the people by whom I am surrounded. more...

Except for the usual house chores, doing income tax, etc., I am free to write whenever I want. more...

It is true that I didn't write any poetry between 1995 and 2011. The reason for this was probably because I had stayed away from fiction for so long and couldn't tear myself away from it. more...

I must say that, on the whole, I prefer fiction to poetry. more...

I think I view myself primarily as a fiction writer. Poetry is more of a "hobby," a time of rest from the hard work of writing fiction. more...


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