Professor Dimiter Kenarov is a freelance journalist who specializes in literary journalism. He graduated with a Master’s degree in English at the University of California, Berkley. Kenarov’s work has been featured in The Best American Travel Writing and has been labeled “notable” in The Best American Non-Required Reading.
Listen to the interview with Kenarov to learn more about his stance on the green economy, the attitude to power and animal rights.
“I started up my literary career really as a poet and I moved to journalism by chance cause things happen in life. Poetry is my first love and I still write poems and I still love translating poems…I like the attention we give to each and every word in poetry and the attention we give to the language and to the rhythm of the language. If you can transfer that love of the language to prose, then something beautiful can come out of it.”
Also known as long-form or literary non-fiction, literary journalism is the professional poison of choice for Kenarov and what he teaches within the course Creative Non-Fiction.
“It’s a genre where you combine real events, facts, characters with sort of literary techniques and you create actually a real story that’s well told,” Kenarov said.
The fact that it is based on reality presents quite the challenge
“You are really the toy of faith so to speak. To relinquish the control over the narrative or over what happens is really terrifying but also satisfying,” Kenarov said.
However, his craft is threatened by extinction especially in Bulgaria, where Kenarov is originally from.
“This kind of written narratives are disappearing because of the predominance of audio-visual culture. The movement is quite a lot away from print into visual and audio formats. I sometimes feel like I am teaching a kind of a disappearing craft but that’s okay,” says Kenarov.
According to Kenarov, a challenge for the journalism field is self-censorship.
“Self-censorship is your own terrorist in a sense. You blow up your idea even before it’s born.”
He believes that social media contribute greatly to this phenomenon.
“I feel that sort of constant surveillance of social media is actually making people less daring, more prone to self-censorship than in an environment when you are not constantly under surveillance.”
The Future of Journalism
With the advent of the Internet and the recent striking development of artificial intelligence, Kenarov believes that the future of journalism is uncertain.
“I don’t know what the future of journalism is really… I mean I’d say get into journalism because that helps you to find out more about the world and more about a world that you are not familiar with cause every story in a sense you get to live the lives of your characters and get out of your comfort zone.”
He further advices: “Being a journalist just by reading articles about stuff and by sitting in your office doesn’t work but being there, seeing it with your own eyes and trying to be honest with yourself, with the story, with your characters, I think we need more of that.”