"Shargh" daily newspaper - Page 4

Was Andrei Tarkovsky in touch with you as he was producing the film "Solaris"? What is your opinion about the films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Steven Soderbergh? Do you agree with the changes which the directors made in your stories?

Tarkovsky was crazy about the idea of filming "Solaris"... During those times he was told by a number of high-ranking members of the Soviet Communist Party that one should not film this book, because this work is ideologically flawed:idealistic, subjective and metaphysical. However he would not listen to them because Tarkovsky was entirely made up of this idealistic-metaphysical stuff mixed with a "Russian soul" - hence he was not a good addressee of such warnings. I have serious reservations regarding his film adaptation. Firstly, I would like to see the planet Solaris. Secondly, during one of our arguments I told Tarkovsky that he never made "Solaris" - but "Crime and Punishment" instead. From this film we gather that this horrible Kelvin-guy lead poor Harey to suicide and later had some remorse about it - while the latter was strengthened by her reappearance in strange and incomprehensible circumstances. What was just awful, was the introduction of Kelvin's parents and an aunt. But his mother was the worst, since this was the Russian mat', i.e. Rodina - the Mother Earth. This really angered me a lot. At that point we were like two horses dragging the same cart in different directions. Peoples' lives, that we get to know at the station, are no existentialist anecdotes, but grand questions concerning the place of humans in the Cosmos! My Kelvin decides to stay at the planet without any hope, while Tarkovsky created a vision with some island and a hut. I am quite irritated by this image... I cannot stand the "emotional gravy" in which Tarkovsky submerged my heroes, not to mention the fact that he entirely removed the scientific landscape of the planet and replaced it by a number of eccentricities. I can tell you very little about Soderberghs' remake. I hear that critics perceive it as derived from Tarkovsky. From the financial point of view this movie certainly was a spectacular fiasco.

Is it true that you gave up writing novels? What is the reason for that?

I have up writing novels some twenty years ago. I just don't feel like it. I published more than forty volumes of prose, hence the very administering of these works - particularly in the world domain - exceeds my abilities. Wereally do get lost sometimes in the sheer number of publications in various languages (including Finnish or Basque editions). Not to mention larger contracts, like the one with Cameron. "How do you comment on 20th Century Fox production of your novel?" - the journalists ask. Well, I cannot comment on something I don't know about. I don't even feel like watching the adaptation of my work, hence I lost the motivation to produce something new. I simply lostthe appetite for fiction. My current reluctance to write is also caused by the fact that I don't see the necessity to write yet another book - in contrast to my publishers, who perceive this matter in mercantile terms regardless of what the book would be used for (to prop up a table leg?). I really do care about my readers.

What is your opinion about Internet? Is Internet a new revolution in human life?

Each new technology has its advantages and disadvantages. And each one may be used for or against human beings. I am somewhat afraid of this. There is nothing wrong with the tale of Hansel and Gretel, the witch and her hut made of sweets - as long as it remains in the domain of fantasy. However eating the entire roof of a real eatable hut made of sweets would certainly result inindigestion. Everything that is tempting always lies between the outstretched hand and the fruit. Once picked, the fruit turns out to be rotten and it does not suit us any more. The same is the case with the availability of information. What are the advantages of great possibilities to process information if all networks may be paralyzed by Internet viruses? The technology opens new possibilities for wrongdoing. I am a cruel person, hence I hate people who create the "I LOVE YOU" - types of viruses; I would gladly havethem whipped and had "enemy of mankind of the first degree" written on their foreheads. I am irritated by evil and stupidity. Evil results from stupidity, while stupidity feeds on Evil. Television is full of violence and desensitizes us. Internet makes it easier to hurt our neighbors. I recently read an article about a young man who tried to (almost successfully) gain control of a computer of a large American aircraft carrier. Had I written such a story some thirty years ago, everybody would consider me mad. However nowadays such a paradox is possible. The entire history of humankind is just a little second on the geological clock. We live in a period of an incredible acceleration. We are like a man who jumped off the roof of a fifty-story building and reached the thirtieth floor.Someone looking out of the windows asks: "How are you doing?" and the falling man replies: "Everything is fine, so far". We are unaware of the speed that captured us. The technology moves forward, however the control of its direction is very weak.