This interview with Saleh Razzouk was first
published in July 2006.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Syria in August 1959, and lived in two continents so far, or in three different countries, Syria my birth place, Poland, and England.
What was it that first got you into writing and when did you start writing?
It happened in my high school years. I wrote on Lorca, and the head master encouraged me to continue, but my first serious publication was on 1980 when I published 10 stories in a book entitled "Little Adam's Note-Books".
Which writers have influenced you the most?
As I said Lorca, and some left wing novelists. but strands of some others like Herman Hesse left brave fingerprints on my early bits.
Where do you stand on the nature v. nurture debate? Were you born a writer, or were there factors in your environment that enabled you to become a writer?
I had every thing from the real world and from my contacts.
There are a lot of courses teaching creative writing nowadays, but do you think that good writing can be taught?
I do not guess so. The talent comes first, but workshops (i.e. circles and societies) could influence the actual outcome.
Have you entered writing competitions? If so, have you won any prizes?
No, but I was nominated once and the story did not win, instead published in a literary supplement.
Do you have any short stories or poems published online? (If so, please provide the URLs):
Yes of course. Last year some (10 – 15) pieces appeared in different journals such as :www.arabworlds.com/literature/literature.html
and many others…..
What kind of things do you write?
Stories and studies on creative writings. In some instances I write technical reports on Fibre Technology. That is a duty. It is my official work.
What, for you, is the best piece of prose that you have ever written?
All in all. But I like a story was published online and in print entitled "The Obituary, The Last". It was on death and the transition of one family into smaller families with different scopes. It was published when father was dying from cancer.
What are you working on now?
A new book on semiotics of fiction. It is hard to find a publisher. I published only parts on the web in hope some interested foundation makes contact to finance the project.
What is your writing day like?
Nothing in particular.
Where would you like to be in 10 years time?
Somewhere in which human being can live in peace .
What’s the most exciting thing about writing for you?
Publication and reviews of course.
What’s the most frustrating thing about writing for you?
To repeat a piece many times in order to get it done.
What’s the best piece of feedback that you’ve had from your audience?
I was an editor in some stage of life, and letters come in daily. After conversion into technology, contacts and feedback are rare. I write and publish in absolute solitude.
Do you write for a particular audience, or is your first priority to satisfy your own creativity?
First I satisfy my needs and limits, then I look for a reader. Of course we interpret ourselves before abandoning the job to the others .
Do you have a homepage? If so, what’s the URL?
In English :
In Arabic :