With well-known Ukrainian writer and publisher Ivan Malkovich, we met in his publishing house “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA”. The foreman’s office in the heart of the capital is buzzing like a beehive: someone came to buy a bright new books, one expects a personal meeting with the publisher, and someone decides to work issues. Malkovich himself at the centre of all processes: negotiating, at the same time helping advice to customers. In interview “” the publisher said, what is guided by, choosing a manuscript for publication, any new products from “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-GI” we should expect this year and where she finds the time to write their own works.
— How many at your table gets a good manuscript, and how much outright junk?
I must say that in my experience — and this year’s “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-GE” 25 years — books are no more than 5% of all manuscripts that come to us in the mail. The main manuscript came to me the other way — often I’ll go to the writers… the fact that people often, when it comes to their work, not very self-critical. Come to me hundreds of letters that start words: “I love your publishing house, your book is a miracle of miracles…”. But the author or artist cannot relate critically to the quality for which he loved us both, and those “creations” that he offers us. The man somehow difficult to understand that if I were given such as writes or draws it, he would never be able to admire our publisher. Sometimes come such good people, that as much ashamed to point out their creative failure. It is very hard to refuse. And all you’re being attacked and I want you to read their manuscript and call people come, and are sent and a phone ply: “But you’ve already read?” Comes to the fact that quietly begin to hate reading, because I just can’t hide and read what your soul asks. What you don’t have time to read. Therefore, each editor produces certain forms of failure.
— Often get offended?
— Very, very! And you are your own enemies multiply. And often do not even guess, because if I “rejected manuscripts”, it does not mean that I’m bad to the person who created it. There are a lot of acquaintances, even friends, whom I love as people, but their works we are not very good. And then it turns out that the person is very offended and has you for an enemy. And it’s very sad that it happens, but such is the fate of editors.
— And finally, choosing the manuscript, than you are guided — your own taste?
— Only your own taste. Sometimes I even give someone to read, when it happens, I doubt whether the quality is or just something so I got in the mood. But since our publishing house is called “Publishing house Ivan Malkovich “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA” and there is my name, I must choose for myself.
— How hard the young author to break?
— It is important to feel confidence in the text. I edit for the 31st year, and when the eye glides over the text, it should get something special — an opinion, a phrase, a name… Because the editor is actually the gateway, which is designed to care to to the reader did not come bad lyrics. At least “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-GE”. And if we have something to give, then it is a definite sign of quality.
— President Petro Poroshenko called the book of your publishers (“anthology of the Ukrainian poetry of the twentieth century”), among the five books that impressed him last year. What are your feelings about this?
— It’s good when the President talks about books is always good. I understand that there are advisors who could recommend other books, but this time more luck to us.
— And you have a top 5 books of last year that impressed you personally?
— Should think about it a little longer to answer. I’m now on some kind of coil memory, and may forget some things that I recently liked. It amazes me a lot, but I’d rather call our books.
— Then let your. Be proud of what projects?
— For me personally was very important “anthology of Ukrainian poetry of the twentieth century”, in fact she was named President. Physically, I worked on it for six months, but really — it took my whole life in literature, because here you can find poems poets, where I grew up, whom he loved throughout life. The book was quite large — almost 1300 pages…
— Yes, actually, I have it.
— It looks small, and unfolds well, and there’s really good selection. And almost 3 thousand copies sold out in three months. However, we sold at a loss. This is for me this is such a special missionary book, which in addition to six months ‘ work and more than 40 thousand hryvnias of losses have brought me incredible pleasure and delight. When we usually publish the anthology, a thousand copies sell for ten years, and here’s another story. Now I modify it and it will be a full picture of the twentieth century — from the center to Zhadan. Volume on more than 2000 pages — more printing our simply cannot digest, because it has to be high quality in every book. My dream is to make it to the spring Book Arsenal.
Next book is “an anthology of young poetry of the USA”, which we did. I think this is an important book. In addition, we have published very dear to me the book of Samuel Beckett’s “Wat”. She came out with a very good design, I’ve always wanted to give it. I’ve often said in interviews that this is philological novel that I ever read, because there is a hero in the end goes back and says the same thing. Such moments are a luxury for the scholar, and it was one of the first live, fixed Ukrainian translation, which made very good writer Volodymyr Dibrova somewhere in 90-m to year. I’m glad this book we have.
I see you have such a busy schedule. You have enough time to myself to create, to write?
— Not enough, but I’m glad I have this year (not in priority) has published his book called “Plantain with a new poetry.” It includes new poems that I have over the last years wrote. This for me as a poet was very important to show own mind, that I’m still alive and that I can emerge from under the tons of these manuscripts, to sound, to breathe, to grab air and say, “I am still with you, I am still with you, I still sometimes write”.
— When have the time? Probably late in the night?
— No, late night is an anthology, because the anthology is, you know, how many books to read? The poet has a lot of collections and need more to read. Libraries work with friends work because I can’t stand some books to find. You expect it to have in your library, but you someone gave her to read, and, it turns out, it is not returned. And you don’t know where this book is. So it was with Dodosim Oimachi, had his book 1943 edition and not this book. And I understand that I borrowed three people, but one of them is she? Everyone says not to have it. And this book is no more, because it came out during the war somewhere in the Ukraine, and it was a very small circulation. A lot of stories. This consumes time.
Besides, I work with children’s books, I edit them, I proofread the galley proofs. After the proofreader reads all the edits I make only. I don’t trust the markers 100%, because if they trust in the Ukrainian language will remain 20 thousand words at the most. If the book is printed and colored it, then I go to the factory and there the whole night to print. This year I have already spent two nights in the factory. Despite the fact it was those books, the circulation of which we have already repeated, but I first they were printed in Ukraine. Previously printed in Europe, but now these duties, with the fact that the hryvnia has fallen — this makes the book inaccessible to people. Although it is very expensive, because we have, in Ukraine, is not made of paper, and we have to pay in euros for all this. But that’s another conversation.
— How do you feel about the decision of the Verkhovna Rada to ban the Russian books the anti-Ukrainian contents?
— I have already said that books are like drugs, it is difficult to deny. But it’s not a law banning the import of Russian books is a banned book anti-Ukrainian direction, and it should have been done a long time ago. And we had to lay a huge responsibility, even more than now, those who import these books. During the war, no state will not allow this and we allow that too much, here and reap the benefits. It is clear, when it comes to science books, medicine books, for some of the narrow disciplines, which we have not published because it is very expensive, then such books are needed by our people, would have been useless to deny.
Russia buys a lot of rights to foreign authors, and they came out earlier than us. They had the overall best translation school because they worked a lot of people. For example, we give your the “Harry Potter” but “Harry Potter” in Russian calm and have sold. Where, in what state could that be? English “Harry Potter” is not sold in America. In America gives him a publisher in England — the other, and a single language. We, on our own land, we allow the Russians to compete in the same books. I think if the rights to the book sold on the territory of Ukraine and if there is a book in the Ukrainian language, the Russian same book should not have to go into our territory. Each protects its market. And the book market is also a market. Although, again, what we have, you can not deny.
But now in Ukraine began to buy more foreign rights started this fight, and I really like it. As the Russian books a little less now comes to us — they always came very left, and very gray — and now slightly covered, although it still is present. However, significantly increased the demand for Ukrainian book began to give more Ukrainian books, more writers can rely on the fact that they can make their writing talent, money. At the book factory before the New year it was impossible to get through. Comes to the fact that for two and a half month it is necessary to order book printing, our printing is already unable to cope with the demands of the publishers. And this is the first time in 25 years that I was a “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-GOY”, a stir, this is very encouraging.
Now still a bit limp in General, Ukrainian translations, because the old German school, slowly, sadly, walks away, and now more books published and need more translators. But where to take them if they are still “not sharpened your pen.” Now I am not always satisfied with the quality of translations, to be honest, and I spend a lot of time to ensure that our translated books well, naturally read.
Therefore this law, which restricts access biased to Russian books, but I would have made it more severe. It would be possible to issue in Ukraine and the Russian classics, because copyright is valid 70 years after the author’s death, and Pushkin and Lermontov, and many others to give Ukrainian publishers, the Ukrainian factories to the money remained in Ukraine. But this should be done nicely, not anyhow.
— You said that the demand for Ukrainian books increased, but I’ve read some sociological studies that show that Ukrainians are less read. Do you believe these studies?
I believe you. But it is not only Ukrainians.
— Why do you think?
— Time is. I need to see the annual results and other publishers, but we have pluses and circulation, and turnover, compared to last year. And last year was a big plus from the previous so we feel this growth, but “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA” is the publishing house that at the hearing, so I don’t know how it looks like the overall picture very interesting to me.
— There is an opinion that in 5-10 years electronic books will displace printed. What do you think?
— Asked me at the end of the second Millennium, it’s a funny concern. When J. K. Rowling published “Harry Potter,” and he went tomellini copies, this issue disappeared. I have often said that when we are in normal human form, for us is very important tactile sensations, flipping, the smell of paper, ink. But at the same time, our publishing house is doing and a very good interactive books, like “the snow Queen”, which even in Japan for some time was in the first place. This is one of the finest books that exist in the world. This is a very difficult job, and it was done by our pros.
And it is clear that — as the piano and synthesizer, as film and theatre, it myself there and then, and then. And I have a theory that these e-books God prepares us for distant travels, because otherwise we can take your favorite books, pictures, music? Only gadgets. And if we travel on other planets? And it will happen. And it is much longer, at least several years to achieve some of the planets where life is possible. It is clear that we take all the gadgets and it’s fine. And when we travel, and when will be born the people in the space, and they will not like us — because that will have big heads, big eyes — much as we imagine “enest”. And then muscles, tactile sensation would not be so important, and then already precisely will reign only e-books.
But now, well, there and then, and then. E-books allow people to read travels, vacations, business trips. It is clear that there are side effects, because now the information age, not the knowledge age. Here you’ve run on Facebook, but after half an hour I can’t say what you read, after spending two hours on the Internet, because the information on the information that in one ear and joins, while the second follows.
— You said earlier that your dream is to make the Ukrainian book fashion. Did you manage to do it?
— I think managed to a certain extent, but small. Who thought that 25 year independence of Ukraine we will have what you have? If we kept an eye to the Russian information and zamocnicka not neguse tumble to Ukraine, if its developed, if there was a far-sighted state leaders who would not have levied taxes Ukrainian book, equating it to any product, as they have done some very “democratic” our Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers at a time when Russia had tax holidays in the Russian book production that has captivated the Ukraine.
But the “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA” which year in a row — the most popular and well-known Ukrainian children’s publishing house. We tried to raise the profile of Ukrainian books. The world has 22 countries have issued our books. For example, China last year we signed a contract for 21 book, for the first three came out. Trying little by little to acquaint the world with the Ukrainian children’s books, and we sometimes succeed. We do what we can. Hasn’t happened yet miracle, the breakthrough that the Ukrainian government was firmly on its feet, and, consequently, the Ukrainian book as a derivative phenomenon may not be given a proper place. And we read a lot less when compared with the same Japanese that read more in the 3-4 than we do. And this despite the fact that the book is very cheap, but people don’t earn much money. Now, when we buy right, it is very difficult to convince the same English that we book can be worth two-plus euros. They think that it is just a hoax, what is impossible. Only in India the prices of books a little cheaper than us. Even in China, the book is already more expensive.
— Tell me, what to expect from your publishing house this year?
— Just before the interview I worked on two projects — a “Big picture book of fairy tales Ukrainian and foreign writers.” We have such popular books, longseller — “100 fairy-tales” in three volumes and “Favorite poems” in two volumes. In the same format, but “the Big illustrated book of fairy tales.” This must be the Deluxe edition, we are preparing it for spring. In addition, this poetry anthology to 2048 pages, which I have already spoken. And look forward in particular to new prose book by Lina Kostenko, she has finished work on the manuscript. And I hope that maybe in the first half of this book will see the light.