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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Joseph Carrabis On The Importance Of Literature In Modern Society

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Ishita Chakraborty
Ishita Chakraborty
A computer engineer who has a passion for writing, a hodophile, social activist, youth activist for PETA India, and a linguaphile. A journalist covering Social issues & United Nations initiatives for transcontinental times.

UNITED STATES: Joseph Carrabis is the author of over a dozen novels and hundreds of short stories, including the Nebula-recommended Cymodoce and the Pushcart-nominated The Weight. Prior to becoming a full-time author, Joseph sat on several advisory boards including the Center for Multicultural Science and Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy.

Joseph’s fiction focuses on social issues, their sources, and possible solutions. His The Augmented Man novel deals with several issues – childhood trauma, PTSD, and how countries treat soldiers once conflict ceases – and draws upon his training and experiences as a therapist, anthropologist, and International Ambassador for Psychological Science (2010).

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In 2010, Joseph was selected as an International Ambassador for Psychological Science, specializing in trauma recovery. Before being selected, he created a technology and grew a business from his basement to offices in four countries and a presence in over 120 others. . He decided to help people was more important and turned the company over to his employees. This allowed him to spend time developing novel therapeutic paradigms for people based on the trauma they suffered.

Literary works of Joseph

Joseph’s stories come largely from his own experiences. He tells people that he writes an autobiography. His international travels among various cultural groups – aboriginal through modern taught him that everyone needs hope, everyone needs happiness, everyone needs security. 

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Working with teachers from all cultures, he developed The NextStage Principles. One of his great joys is seeing people’s sense of wonder at his Tales of the Woods stories. He wrote the first in college for friends who were having life challenges. Later he wrote them as life parables, not so much teaching stories as self-awareness stories. These stories are fable-like and deal with people recognizing their self-worth, dealing with the body- and self-image issues, identity issues, and so on. 

Other of Joseph’s stories deal with environmental collapse, world hunger, race and prejudice, food security, drinkable water, how some political leaders do more damage than good, global warming. 

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“Some stories rebel against how language is used to mollify people, “global warming” is such an issue. “Global Climate Change” has neither the immediacy nor the threat that “global warming” does, and he often writes to make people aware of an issue’s urgency,” he said.

Joseph believes anyone who has a dedicated readership has the responsibility to enlighten and educate. Of course, you have to entertain an audience before you can enlighten and educate them. Such is the nature of having a voice.

“There are no humans in these stories, only forest animals. Readers write him that these stories often bring tears (in a good way),” he added.

In 1978, when Joseph published his first short story, he realized that the modern publishing world was a dangerous place. Many small and indie publishers aren’t book publishers. They are actually the marketers who spend most of their time selling marketing schemes to the authors.

Talking about this, he said, “There are more sharks in the water than ever before due to the ease of publishing. If a writer’s goal is just to get published, Joseph says, “Go for it. Live long and prosper.” But if your goal is to develop your craft and grow as an author, “Be careful. Get lots of opinions, especially the negative opinions. Get details. Ask for specifics. Talk with other authors who’ve had several books published, even self-published, and learn the pros and cons. Be safe.”

Read Also: An Indian Who Surpassed Dimensions Of Creativity Through His Writings

Impact of literature in the future 

Joseph says, “Seeing anything a week or even a day out is a fool’s game. Could anyone see the shift from reading to listening before the advent of radio? Or listening to viewing with the advent of television? All websites were text-based when the web started back in the 1990s and people shifted from viewing to reading again. As technology changed we’re back to being viewers and not readers or even listeners. Tinder users make choices based on an image and nothing more.” Most readers tell Joseph they read his work on their phones. “Who could have anticipated that? Ha.”

Joseph believes that the key to success is practice and truth. 

Joseph practices writing twice-daily – aside from his normal writing schedule these practice sessions are more “mind-clearing” than anything publishable.” You need to do the mind-clearing so the good stuff can come out. Along with this, you have to write the truth of the story, especially fiction, for your stories to be believable and for readers to care about them,” he added.

Apart from writing, Joseph loves to spend time with his wife, walking his dog, make pizza for his friends and play music.

Giving a positive and inspiring message to the readers, Joseph said, “You may not become a best-selling author like Nora Roberts or James Michener or Steven King or David Baldacci but that’s different from being a great writer, and to me, there’s a difference between being a best-selling author and being a great writer. I’ve read best-sellers so poorly written they were painful to get through, and I’ve read incredible story-crafting from authors few people know of.” 

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