Sunday, June 9, 2013

Interview Sessions: Volume 1.4

Meet Jakub Wasikiewicz.

After taking a quick poll, the experiences we feel are most similar to reading Jakub Wasikiewicz's writing are: 1. Getting socked in the gut with an aluminum baseball bat (in a good way); 2.Having someone loudly itemize all your private regrets in a public forum (in a good way); and 3. A romance between face and concrete (in a good way). There's a savage current to it, a sort of undertow that drags you under the tide of words and won't let you go. So, naturally, his name was one of the first on our minds when we started scrolling through our digital rolodexes for writers to call at three in the morning, begging and pleading, tears in our eyes... (But enough about us.)

Like his work, Jakub is a hard man to pin down. Never having been one to shy away from new artistic depths, Jakub has experimented with poetry, spoken word, short stories, blogs, haiku, and personal essays  and that's without saying anything about his visual works, which include photography and photo manipulation. Jakub's personal blog is a perfect showcase for the sheer magnitude of his portfolio  but unless you have a couple hours to fill, beware all ye who hyperlink here (it's like an all-you-can-read Jakub buffet). Along with a recent stint as a blogger for UTSC Pulse, you may have seen Jakub's work in Scarborough Fair or The Continuist. In an attempt to steel our minds for the thunder he's going to be bringing to The Only Cafe on the 15th, we sent him our patented Ruckus Readings Vol. I Questionnaire("Guaranteed to give you pep!"). Here are his answers:

Let's start with something easy: Give me the cereal box break-down of your style  how would you describe it if you only had a blurb on the side of a Wheaties box to sell someone on what you do? (For bonus points, give me a cereal-style title for your body of work, a tagline, and/or some mock nutritional information.)

New Jakub's Works! It's the philosophically interested semi-sci-fi you love, now with more dicks!

Can you remember the first time an writer's work really reached out and grabbed you? If so, who were they, and what about their writing caught your attention?

Bukowski was the poet that really caught me when I was a teenager, he made pain and ugliness into its own brand of revered beauty that earned respect even when most people thought it shouldn't. Before that I was just reading a lot of scifi and scientific non-fiction about the nature of consciousness. Godel, Escher, Bach, and The Master and His Emissary are two books that I remember reading as a tween but I don't remember if I understood them or not. Probably not.

In your own work, are there any themes, images, or characters (etc.) that you find yourself drawn to, intentionally or otherwise? What are they? Why do you think they resonate with you?

I focus a lot on the sensations of being in the body (eg, itchiness, tightness, hot, wet, cold) because I don't really think most people are capable of properly evaluating their own thoughts. I often combine those sensations with computers and machinery to confound the sensations of being connected by technology and being present in technology with the actual sensations of being. I'm also a pervert, so cunts.

In the spirit of celebrating reading and writing, how do you like to read? Are you an out-louder? Do you prefer peace and quiet? What's the ideal set of conditions and location for you to read?

I think reading for me is mostly about how much energy I have. I'll do it anywhere I'm tired but alert (while walking, on a curb, on the train, in my room). Also, I like to read technical stuff like soda pop ingredients in an awful hip hop rhythm to annoy my friends.

Just for fun, give me a pairing: one of your favourite works/authors and one of your favourite beverages (alcoholic or not). Why do they go together? How do they complement one another?

Have you ever felt so thirsty outside during the Winter that breathing in the cold air feels like drinking water that never fills you up or satisfies you? That's what I feel like without Rainer Maria Rilke. Water and Rainer Maria Rilke are both refreshing, enlivening, and feel as though I wouldn't be able to live without them.

Because we're all insatiably curious little bastards, can you give us a little taste of what you think you'll be reading come June 15th?

I'm going to be reading gross sci fi about having sex with yourself.

Last question: give us a short (less than 75 words) third-person bio blurb about yourself which covers any awards/distinctions you're proud of and what you're tackling right now.

Jakub is a foundling artist who used to go to school and write for a blog, UTSC Pulse, his old boss said he liked working with him.

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