“SHALL WE REINVENT LOVE?” with Cigdem y Mirol’s MYFACE BOOKPERFORMANCE (“copyrights reserved!”)
Dear Cigdem welcome to Loewak first of all, and can we know about you a bit more for our readers? Who is Cigdem y Mirol?
Thank you very much, Martinus, for inviting me to Loewak. I am happy to be on this platform. Sure, I shall introduce myself. Firstly, to be new in writing is a question of point of view, I guess. Actually, I have been writing for a long time, but been published recently. On the other hand, whenever I hear this question asking who Cigdem y Mirol is, I immediately and enthusiastically fall in the same repetition that I like so much and say: I am a reader before anything else.
I know that you not only write but also you are still a student. Would you tell us about your studies?
I studied American Culture and Literature at Bilkent University in Ankara, in Turkey. Then I did my MA at the same university at the department of Turkish Literature. My MA dissertation investigated the narrative dynamics of The White Castle of Orhan Pamuk. Before that, I was writing for a respected Turkish newspaper supplement called Birgün Kitap. Currently I am doing my PhD in a project called “Research on Authorship as Performance” at Gent University. My research focuses on Gertrude Stein’s authorship. I am also constructing the theory of “bookperformance” (copyrights reserved), whose content originated within my MA research focusing mainly on readership, and is getting articulated to my PhD. I am based in Bruxelles. I often go to Turkey where my family and some very good friends live. I do bookperformances with Myface Book / Yüzüm Kitap (copyrights reserved: written in August 2011, published in August 2012-ISBN: 978-605-4623-11-2) in Turkey, Europe and soon US. The practical construction of the bookperformance theory is done through “authoreader performance”s (copyrights reserved). Shortly, what I am writing is more like a bookperformance than a book.
What kind of things did you use to write except academic and creative work?
All my writings until I started writing the theory of and the practical expressions for “bookperformance”, which I claim to be an alternative literary expression, were especially dealing with literary forms and genres. That means, all my works, either academic or creative, have always been around this main issue that has been occupying my mind for a long time: literary form, its effects and recreation. My texts in any form have been published on diverse national and international platforms. Furthermore, I have taken part in several national and international performance-related events such as literature and theater festivals as a playwright, script writer or lecturer.
Do you mean that your first published book is a “bookperformance” in its form? What is a bookperformance then?
In my case, bookperformance is not only a public reading as some may think when they hear the words book and performance together. It is not only bringing performance and/or visual arts and a book together. It is possible to articulate any text (even a single letter) into these performativities, because reading, in its very basic sense, requires at least a minimum performance which consists of imaginations in reader’s mind. However, “Bookperformance Manifesto” (copyrights reserved) which is published in the first bookperformance, sets the rules which make a book into a “bookperformance” even when it is not read or performed out of its textuality. Basically, its textual and factual dynamics make it a bookperformance. A bookperformance is both the situations and actions of a textual body. I am offering bookperformance lectures to discuss it in detail with the interested readers or/and writers.
What do you think about copyrights and the internet? I see that you often mention that the copyrights of your ideas and texts are reserved.
I like this question, because it is a paradoxical one in my case too. However, yes, I am more sensible than irresponsible about this subject. As you might have noticed, today people think that everything they see or read online may potentially belong to themselves as long as they “like” them as well, which may be true to some extent. And, when they once “share” written or verbally what they have heard, seen or read online, they may even end up claiming it is their own idea or work. I connect this to a certain low consciousness-level that today’s readers and writers do really enjoy. Frankly speaking, I am even against digital humanities when it promotes the knowledge hang around without sources. Hereby, I kindly invite people with whom I share the internet, reading, writing and creating to be more respectful to others’ ideas, art, titles, terms and to show the maturity of giving references and carrying the ideas further on with a creative approach rather than enjoying a disrespectful copy-paste act.
What about your first bookperformance? It is called Myface Book, right?
Yes, it is called Myface Book or My Face is a Book, but not “facebook”, which means there is a conscious and parodical reference but not a copy-paste mentality in it.
How did you get to the idea of writing Myface Book? It is a collage of diverse texts and forms. What was the urge of such a work?
Needless to say, the biggest source of inspiration for Myface Book is facebook. And, as I have just mentioned, this source gave rise to a parodical relationship between facebook and Myface Book. That is, if facebook is a role model for Myface Book, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am praising it, but I’m more questioning and criticizing it through exaggerated emotional feelings and ideal thoughts for and against it. Still, while doing this criticism, I know that I am fair enough to the positive characteristics of facebook, as well. The beloved readers and the beloved author emerge for the first time in the literature history in Myface Book. That’s why, I will now strictly repeat once again that “copyrights are reserved” .
It is well traced in your perspective that you are an attentive and interested internet consumer. I read on the back of your book that next to writing the other three parts of your QUARTET that started with Myface Book, you are also writing a philosophy book called The Weird and The Absurd. Can you tell more about your current writings?
I can only say a few things: I am almost at the end of the QUARTET. The Weird and The Absurd is getting evolved with everything I write and read creatively and academically. They all are waiting to meet their readers sometime somewhere.
I guess “copyrights reserved”? (smiles)
Yes, certainly. (doesn’t smile.)
Who is your expected reader?
My reader… The beloved reader(s)!.
Could you tell about the characteristics of this “beloved reader” ?
It is a textual reader. I am writing it and for it at the same time , but for now I am letting the reader figure it out by themselves via Myface Book.
Do you think your literature is comprehensible?
It is definitely comprehensible and very enjoying for me, and I see that it is enjoyable for some others too, and I hope it will reach the readers with whom it shares the same kind of humor.
Why does a writer write primarily?
I don’t know. I am writing to share, but some write to show their authority, some write just for themselves, some pretend to be writing, so on and so forth.
You are also drawing. Do you separate writing and drawing from each other?
Yes I do. I am drawing letters and I am writing lines. Sometimes I do vice verse.
You’re telling on your website that “Shall We Reinvent Love?” is a love letter that has a role of opening stage of your Myface Book? Can our readers read it in other languages than Turkish?
Sure. You may find it in my website in English, Dutch, Italian, French, Arabic, Swedish, and many others languages are being added everyday. This letter declares the love between the beloved author and the beloved reader. That’s why I would love it to meet its universal readers.
You are also trying to meet your universal readers, I suppose. You have been doing those Myface Book-performances since your book was published. How can you manage to introduce a book without limits of language and place?
I love it and I know that I love it and I guess, some people may love it, too. I believe, today, we need a kind of love that is over all kinds of other kinds of love. It is the love between the author and the reader. This is why I have invented it, and this is why I have invented bookperformance as “the best of all possible worlds” for the love of the reader and the author. (copyrights reserved)
Who are your favorite writers?
My favorite writers may well be found in Myface Book. I have some favorite lines like Rimbaud’s “love must be reinvented” and Benjamin’s “love at last sight”, which are also sources of inspration for the love I reinvented between the reader and the author.
So, when can we read “Yourface Book” in English?
Myface Book is now being translated into English entirely. It may be available very soon. And some parts of it are being translated into several languages such as the “Bookperformance Manifesto” and “Shall we reinvent love?”.
Thank you very much Cigdem. I enjoyed our conversation. I am hoping to read you in other languages if I can. Welcome to Loewak once again. Hope you will bring your perspectives to Loewak as well.
It is my pleasure Martinus. I thank you very much for these questions and your interest in my bookperformance theory, reinvention of love between the author and the reader, my Quartet’s first piece and the first bookperformance Myface Book. I would like to share the love letter “Shall we reinvent love?” with the readers of this interview. Here is the link where they may find it in English, and maybe even in their own language. Enjoy: www.cigdemymirol.net