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Kanat Omar: “My another reality – literature – is perhaps the most valuable thing for me”

Another winner of “Novellasia” competition, Kanat Omar, shared his thoughts on literature and told about the people who influenced his creative career.

Kanat Omar was born on August 13, 1971 in Aktogai village, Pavlodar region, Kazakhstan. He spent his childhood in the city of Pavlodar. In 1996 he graduated from St. Petersburg State Academy of Culture as a film and TV director. Now he lives in Astana.

Besides prose, exactly thanks to which he won “Novellasia”, Kanat Omar has also been engaged in poetry for a long time. His poems have been published in a variety of magazines and have been included in numerous anthologies and collective almanacs.

“Sometimes it seems to me that everything I do in life, implies the existence of another reality, which is perhaps the most valuable thing in the world for me. Everything I do is eventually intended to the time to time appearance of amazing creatures in the guise of some text. They come out from nowhere and go to nowhere. This reality is called literature for me. Everything else is the background from which they appear”, – Omar says.

Photo from personal archive

Kanat Omar has never had intentions to become a professional writer. And besides, he always knew that literature mostly “doesn’t feed”, and therefore “there need to be something to do to in order to support the pants”.

“It leads to the fact that you allow unacceptably little time for the actual literary duties. But I’m working on that”, – Kanat says.

First significant publications and invitations to festivals occurred in the life of a writer and poet thanks to the attention of several people: Dmitriy Kuzmin, Stanislav Lvovskiy and Ilya Kukulin. Russian poet and literary critic Dmitriy Kuzmin helped the author with the publication of his first book of poems, “Cablegram” (“Каблограмма”) in 2008. He handed the manuscript to the poet Vadim Mesyats, who published it in a series of “Russian Gulliver” in Moscow. Preface to Omar’s book was written by the Russian poet and prose writer Stanislav Lvovskiy.

“Poetics of Omar is primarily poetics of the small details, – Lvovskiy notes. – It is not just “simple stories”, which, as we know, can be found behind everything, but even smaller smithereens without folding into a coherent narrative”.

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