Please tell me some of your impressions of…

Please tell me some of your impressions of ‘normality’, Volodimir Yeshkilev!

“Normality, for me, is a temptation, and from another side, a responsibility. One can describe ‘the norm’ as a liturgy of the deflowered or as a poetry of losing your virginity. So, any kind of perversion gradually becomes a norm. But the source of a norm one can find in a moment of divorce of perversion and that which is considered to be a core. The germinating seed of the norm is interesting because each norm in its epoch is something new and it becomes a norm in the course of its dying.

Because of this, one can talk about the cheerful tomb of the norm. Standing at this tomb, the anti-norm claims the next liturgy of the deflowered and conjures up a new norm. So we have a dialectic, or dichotomy, or binary, or generally, like in a Buddhist tale, the goose in the pot. The pot is a norm, and the goose is a norm. And around them and around the norm’s cheerful tomb, the liturgy of the deflowered is spoken.

I think that contemporary society should keep its distance from norms and the canon, because norms and canons are this kind of responsibility which disturbs us from having a cup of coffee with a friend. And having a cup of coffee with a friend is, itself, also a norm and the liturgy of the deflowered too.In Ukraine the norm exists as a tradition, not as a standard. And that is a difference! Because of this, the norm in the Ukraine is more like an earthworm than like a beetle. In other countries the norm is more like a beetle because it is rigid and it has horns.

The earthworm-like norm is better than the beetle-like norm because it is easier to cut into pieces and then it will not disturb again. And the beetle-like norm is more rigid and one has to try harder to squash it. That’s why I prefer the norm as a tradition rather than as a standard.”

­Volodimir Yeshkilev is an Ukrainian novelist and philosopher and lives in Ivano-Frankivsk, Western Ukraine.

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