Yossi Faybish’s six 100 word microfiction stories, “Blood Ties”, “Metals”, “Yellow Dust”, “Isaac”, “Liberation”, and “Job”, will appear in the second issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 1, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2020). Yossi graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the stories “Blood Ties”, “Metals”, “Yellow Dust”, “Isaac”, “Liberation”, and “Job”?
“Blood Ties”: I came across a horrifying article which, frankly shook me to the core, about “Spain’s Stolen Babies”, a scandal uncovered by Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno. During Franco’s reign, hundreds of thousands of babies were stolen (claiming death at birth) from “undesirable” families to be placed with “desirable” ones.
“Metals”: I always felt for those who give their lives, sanity, family, and body integrity to a system which later on lets them down in various ways; sometimes even forgetting them. Stories which make me cry.
“Yellow Dust”: As an engineer, I am inevitably a (good) sci-fi story lover. Humanity is eternally torn between good and evil, and an “alien” may not be so tolerant of this fact. So I devised another “Armageddon” tool, not necessarily with a good ending. One bad act could end humanity. See Corona. Fact.
“Isaac”: The history of the Jewish people, a mix of pain and glory, and their relentless, incomprehensible, and yet admirable adherence to their identity, whatever the circumstances.
“Liberation”: I watched as a child, in Romania, quite a number of documentaries about the camps and the camps’ liberation. No shy cameras, no “inappropriate for viewing” cuts. Horrible images. I cannot forget that the Russians were the first to open the gates of Auschwitz, became part of my DNA.
“Job”: Based on a true story, my father.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Reality, both the way I see it and the way I would like to see it. Even my sci-fi or imaginary [stories] are rooted in my personal reality. I do not “plan” a story (or poem) – I have the idea and from then on they write themselves. I use quite a lot [of] Jewish motifs, even if they are secondary. And I do my best to emulate some of my personal “hero” writers, including yet not limited to Miguel Cervantes, Sholem Aleichem, Richard Adams, Isaac Asimov.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
Simply an undeniable (sounds corny, sorry) positive attitude, optimism, trust in humanity (which at times comes under heavy fire), and a dab of…fatalism. And I believe I am one of a very limited number of atheists who spends a lot of time talking to…God.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
Microfiction, especially the one under 100 words (try 50, 25, even 10 words) is a tough proposition. You must rely HEAVILY on the intelligence of your readers to connect the dots you placed, with armies of missing words in between, to get the entire picture; however it is YOUR duty to provide the best dots, hints, directions. An ending twist is a great tool, but don’t make it the sole purpose of the story, there MUST be a fluent idea, a story from start to end. Use also “word saving tools” like italics, hyphenation, apostrophes AND make the title part of the story. Don’t disappoint your readers, make them feel like it is one hell of a long story. Trust me – you can make them laugh, cry, or wow.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I love to read what I write, I think this is a certain measure of quality. I write short stories, poetry (English and Romanian), and some auto-bio material. I am part of everything I write, I do not write for others (though it would be nice to be discovered and appreciated), I write mainly for myself. I love helping others with their writing and I am always delighted to find writers who are more talented than myself, it is a kind of “beautiful masochism” that I delight in. I do not have any official writing degree, yet I do believe (sorry for this bit of immodesty) that I am naturally talented in this aspect. And I am not alone in it.
Yossi Faybish was born in Romania, where he spent his childhood absorbing a rich cultural heritage seeping through the imperfect seals of an oppressive system. He finished his higher studies in Israel, and then wandered away with his job and his family, finally ending in Belgium. He works in and is passionate about the high-tech industry, though writing is a serious runner-up; or maybe it’s the other way around. Yossi writes prose and poetry in a variety of styles and languages, mainly English and Romanian. “I want people to know not the what but the way I think,” he says. yossifaybish.com. aquillrelle.com.