It is common for a writer to be asked what his job is. On the whole, it is inconceivable that a writer's job is based on his own writing. This is because, in Brazil, the professionalization of the writer is not a reality, except for a minority.
Ricardo Lísias from São Paulo is one of those who manages to make a living from literature. Not just copyrights – although his still have a good value, considering the market average -, but everything that involves his activity, such as events, translations and research. “I live, yes. You can't say it's the best way possible”, jokes Lísias.
He is one of the participants of the Profession Cycle: Writer, held at Estação das Letras, in Rio de Janeiro, on Saturday (14). The activity, which is curated by Michelle Strzoda, brings in its scope precisely the idea of training writers and everything that involves the medium.
At a time when artists and show technicians are fighting to not have their right to a registration extinct by the Federal Superior Court, with a movement entitled Artist Profession, Ricardo addresses the fact that writers are a class that has no registration. According to him, the registration would make it easier for writers, who suffer from bureaucracy to participate in events, for example.
“Many places require the author to have a legal entity (PJ) in order to participate in activities”, says Lísias, who, shortly before the interview, had just been uninvited from an event for this reason, as he does not have a PJ. Still on the struggle of artists and show technicians, he states: “My concern is that this is being done at a time of subtraction of rights”.
For the author, the professionalization of the writer will only be possible when a greater number of readers of literature appear in Brazil: “We have a readership of entertainment, but of literature – considered as art – it is not so broad”. Ricardo agrees, then, that the issue must be related to school-based education, which would form this readership. According to him, this would make it possible for there to be more people willing to participate in events such as meetings with writers, for example.
Ricardo also believes that one of the ways to achieve this professionalization is to have creative writing courses better incorporated in the country. “I think the university should have these courses, as far as I know there is only one at PUC in Rio Grande do Sul”. Elsewhere in the country, creative writing courses are not part of a fixed curriculum.
Read an excerpt from an interview given to Daniel de Mesquita Benevides for the 74th issue of Revista Brasileiros, in which Lísias talks about her literature:
Brazilians - Did you say that writing was a form of therapy, of resistance?
Ricardo – I don't know if it was a form of resistance. I wrote some texts after a trauma I had, fiction texts, I don't know if resistance texts as proof that I was able to continue the work, perhaps.
Brazilians - What moves you to write?
Ricardo - I believe it's something I do more or less well, I've been writing every morning for about 12 years and it makes me feel better. I discard texts, I rarely publish them, but in ten years I think there have been 20 days that I haven't written. Even on Christmas Day or New Year's Day. Today, for example, I wrote. When it doesn't, then it's a bad day for me.