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I was born in a legendary city of Odessa (Ukraine) - a motherland of world-famous political leaders, writers, musicians, artists (among them Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Anna Akhmatova, Isaak Babel, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, and others), and sparkling crooks whom Babel still owes the success of his Odessa Tales. People from Odessa insist that Odessit (the one who was born in Odessa) is a nationality, not a residency. If you are from Odessa you know what they mean.
Odessa is a city of humor, a mother of jokes, and a cradle of Odysseuses - most of its male population is seamen owing to the city’s marvelous location on the Black Sea. Odessa is also known for its peculiar language that some linguists arrogantly call broken Russian. Well, I can only tell you that no good joke can be told without this language.
I consider myself a trilingual English-Russian-Odessian writer. I know two more languages but use only these three, and I’m never sure which one of them I’d to use in my next writing.
My father was a captain and also the first and only sea-pilot who once navigated a sunken ship, sitting on its pipe. It sounds unreal and it had looked petty much so, but it was as real as the book you now hold in your hands. Owing to my Dad I learned that life is a fusion of “real” and “unreal” no matter how surreal it may sound.
I never make up my stories. I write what I experience and I experience what I write - no more, no less. The space of my stories is sometimes “quantum,” sometimes Euclidean, and sometimes a mixture of everything. Therefore, I simply call it poliverse.
Poliverse is a nice place to be for those who prefer pluralism to uniformity. Filmmaking and art photography are included in my poliverse along with writing music, fiction, poetry and scholarly books.
My favorite story is the myth of Creation. From it, I’ve learned two basic things:
1. Even if your environment is pitch-dark there’s still a chance for you to create light.
2. One must be truly imaginative to dream of light when there’s only darkness around.
My main task is to deal effectively with chance occurrences in order not to surrender to chaos. I was truly lucky to meet a person whom I owe my current philosophy of life - a late professor emeritus of Wharton School, Aron Katsenelinboigen. Together we had co-taught classes on decision-making dealing with the question of how to avoid two extreme states of the system - chaos and order. His pioneering predispositioning theory says that between these extremes there is an intermediate stage called a predisposition. Success and failure depend on the strength and richness of a predisposition that we create. A weak predisposition turns victory into a Pyrrhic victory.
I’ve also learned that there’s no such thing as luck or misfortune - every chance occurrence is absorbed by a certain predisposition. My motto, therefore, is:
LIFE GIVES CHANCES - PEOPLE MAKE CHOICES.
I believe life has no final goal and no Truth, nevertheless it’s not meaningless. The meaning of life is linked to the process of creation, not the result. There are no identical things in this world: no two snowflakes are alike, no two stars are the same. To me, the meaning of life is link to the endless cognition of diverging uniqueness.
I want to believe that uniqueness is preserved from vanishing…
V. Ulea. From The Snail