The third event of the “Ethnocafe” format took place on May 10, 2023. Our guest was the writer Eddy Rumyan, author of the collections “Banitsa with Turkish Delight” (2019) and “Last Chance” (2022). Nikolay Todorov spoke about Eddie Rumian, who read his writing through the concepts of sincerity and authenticity. He also focused on the characteristics of the dialogue in his stories. We offer an interview with the author on the topics that were part of the event.
I want to ask you one such question – do you avoid calling yourself a writer? Why, what is writing for you – you’ve been writing for quite a long time, since when actually?
I created my first “writing” at a very young age, at the very beginning of democracy, after the first episode of the series “Octopus” was broadcast. It grabbed me right away, I wanted to write about the mafia, but since I was also reading a lot of Emilio Salgari at the same time (“The Last Battle of Sandokan” is the book I’ve read the most times, maybe about fifteen times), I called my villains members of World Pirate Mafia. My main character was called Ralph, with super fast reflexes and ability to catch flying bullets, I think even Jackie Chan would envy such skills. Even then, I focused my writing onthe dialogue, I put in the directions what I remembered from last night’s episode of “Octopus”, and the other nonsense was added by me. With the mind of an 11-year-old, naturally, I considered myself too original.
In your new book I notice an interest in characters who are faced with a choice; most often hey are, as it were, amorous. Where do you get your stories from?
I can’t say that the choice is always related to love thrills. I do not deny that my new book is more feminine, not by chance, and the leading narrative touches on such a theme, especially with the line that “nothing wears a woman out more than the time she is unhappy.” However, there are also quite a few stories where love is not affected, or at least not in such a melodramatic way. Of these stories, I like the last one the most – “Gas Stove”. Otherwise, my favorite story (even from both books) remains “42”. It really talks about choices, and more specifically about the series of choices that predetermine our life path to such an extent that from a certain point there is no new choice that can change things, let alone bring them back to the way they were. You also ask me about the plots, to this day I realize that I was probably too influenced by the cult line from the movie “The Counselor” written by Cormac McCarthy (I haven’t read the book yet): The world in which you seek to undo the mistakes that you made is different from the world in which mistakes were made. You’re now at a crossing and you want to choose, but there is no choosing there. There’s only accepting. The choosing was done a long time ago.
You only write stories so far, do you want to look at other genres as well?
I would like to write a novel, but when I’m ready, it’s very likely that it will never happen. And if you ask what kind of novel would this be – I will answer with a line from another very good movie with my most favorite actor Jack Nicholson, I also adore Harvey Keitel, they play the main roles in “The Two Jakes” where one says to the other Jake, you think you understand what is going on here… , but you don’t!
You specifically told me that you don’t know Armenian and that you couldn’t speak, but you know five words – tell me some memory you have with them, what do they mean to you?
To be honest, they mean nothing. But now I’ll let you in on a little secret – I know another Armenian word that many Armenian speakers don’t know – it doesn’t have an exact Bulgarian equivalent, it’s pronounced something like “gerrtatsvi“, I can’t spell it exactly, but the meaning is for a girl who immediately catches all eyes on her with grace and charm. Maybe I should be inspired to write something on the subject, though I doubt it.
Your work is far from literature, you are an economist by education. How do you combine these two different activities of thought – the exact sciences and the fantasy that writing requires. When do you find time to write?
Whoever has a desire always finds time, this is a very frivolous excuse. And every profession is combined with writing, let’s not forget that Chekhov is not the only doctor who became a famous writer. And as for me – there are periods when I don’t write, now I’m in one, it lasts almost a whole year. But this morning I woke up and had an idea to write something, so maybe the dry spell is coming to an end.