The Editor's Desk My interview with Svet D'Naoumov
I just finished editing a book that deals with the fictional study of violence entitled, Raptus by Svet D'Naoumov. Provocative, scientific, and thought-provoking, the book looks at violence as an organic process spreading from one part of the world to the next. Where evil has a global mind of its own, and mankind is just a biological vehicle. From a global perspective, I found it frightening in its implication considering the present state of the Middle East, the London riots, and the North African violence. Can this global organic process be measured, evaluated, and predicted? Raptus was a page burner for me which was scary as an editor. I found myself reading rather than analyzing. In one sense, I suspect that Raptus was the culmination of Svet's educational and job experience. Besides a law degree, he holds a PHD in economics from Buxton University, U.K.
Svet has worked for such notables as George Soros, and his background includes jobs as Program Director for the Resource Center Foundation, funded by the USAID in the areas of: democracy strengthening and economic development. Senior Expert, National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, Committee on Local Self - Government and Regional Policy. Director PMU – World Bank Project “Educational Modernization”. Senior National Consultant, World Bank Cadastre and Property Register Project – Ministry of Justice. Head of Ex-Ante Department, PHARE Implementing Agency, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. Head of Programming and Monitoring Department, Directorate General Programming of Regional Development, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, Operational Program Regional Development (OPRR) – European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – Structural Fund (funded by The European Union).
Some of Svet's professional associations include an honorary membership in the NATO Defense College Ancients’ Association, Balkan Ethnic Studies Center, Europe Foundation World Law Association, National Youth Environmental Center (NGO) Bulgarian Institute of Peace & Preventative Policy (NGO) – Chair of Board Intercoms Association (NGO),Regional Economic Development & Investment Agency (NGO) – Kardjali, Bulgaria
Raptus is being submitted to different publishers via his agent as I write this. I was so passionate about the book that I asked both the author and the agent to allow me to write this article and the following interview.
Here it is -- My Interview with Svet D'Naoumov
What is Raptus?
Basically, Raptus is a medical term meaning sudden seizure or mass madness in Latin. It is a social phenomenon occurring in closed groups of people or collectives – for example, hospitals, ships, army, prison, etc. In my novel the main character gets the task to examine, investigate, analyze, and report to what extend the phenomenon of Raptus transfers itself from a typical medical illness to a social disease, especially among the leaders of the planet.
Did your extensive academic background, from your undergraduate degree in philosophy, a law degree, and a PhD in economics to your work in broadening democracy in Bulgaria play a role in writing Raptus? Was this experiential view of the world the motivation for writing Raptus?
To some extent it did, especially my philosophy background. Moreover, my participation in the transition to democracy in Bulgaria gave me the opportunity to know and meet with a variety of key players, international organizations, and famous figures. It was a period of fast change, and I could observe so many social processes at once – and some of them were productive and progressive, some were destructive and regressive. But my total motivation came from my international, world experience, not just from my experience in Bulgaria.
What inspired you to write Raptus?
My deepest inspiration came from the powerful thought of seeing the world free from any kind of dogmas, doctrines, cults, or enforced ideas that serve as an enslaving tool for the human mind.
When did you write Raptus?
The idea for the novel came to me one winter night in New York City still in 1991. America is the cultural leader of our world. Whenever something good happens here, it is good at global level. Whenever something goes wrong, it inevitably influences everybody else. It was a powerful impulse. It needed many years to become mature enough in my head. Plus, my life experience added a lot of new aspects. Finally, I wrote Raptus in the period 2007-2008.
Where did you write Raptus?
In my home in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and in New York City.
What impact on the book did it have working with many of the twenty-first century luminaries like George Soros? Who was the most influential in your mind?
Most of the characters are a collective synthesis, a product of many powerful personalities. George Soros could be mentioned only as an element in a chain of people, organizations, processes, and institutions which form the contemporary leadership. In my mind the most influential factors were all powerful think-tanks and closed groups who usually stay in the shadow while at the same time they pull the strings of the public institutions and the public figures. They are the masters of puppets.
Why did you write Raptus?
As a writer and as a thinking person, my duty is to serve to the truth. Moreover, I feel obliged to write with honesty and to try to unfold and disclose to the reader what I feel, what I sense, what I perceive, and what I believe. It is a common task; it is an esthetic partnership between the author and the reader. Together, they take this journey through our contemporary world and find the sources of good and evil.
Is there a message for the world in the book?
Yes, there is. Our human reason, our mind, is the most precious universal gift for us. If we lose it, we lose ourselves and our civilization and we go backward. Democracy is a complicated process. Freedom demands an everyday struggle. We should never allow our free mind to be enslaved by the ideas of leaders who have lost their common sense during their fight for power.
Thank you for your time.
If you are interested in contacting Svet's agent, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward on the information.