If you haven't guessed already, Dear Guest, Y. Barbelo is not my real name. Why I choose to use a pen name, and who was the original Barbelo, is a story I'll tell you later. For now, let me start with a confession that I am a human like yourself, with few minor differences. I was born in Ukrainian steppe. I received my education in one of the oldest Russian cities. I lost my innocence in the United States which has become my home. Thus one can call me a first generation Russian-American immigrant.
I am a psychiatrist, or how you call my kind these days - psychiatric physician. During the day I listen to the stories of peoples suffering and try my best to help them. At night I endure my own.
I', also an artist. All artwork you find on this website and in my books in hand-drawn by the very hands that are typing these words. Amazing, what hands can do.
I'm also a writer. I should have mentioned first, since this is what this website is all about. Bt somehow it seemed awfully wrong to say I'm a writer before saying I was born. This would imply I was a writer before I was born, which of course is a nonsense. It also would disrespect the bloody, fleshy physicality of mine, in which these words, the images, my books are formed. We humans like to think we are more than just a matter. And we are. But we are not above it. Anyone who ever made a descend into the underworld would tell you this.
I love many things. I love flowers, old trees, young children. I love good stories. I love questions and grand ideas. I love meaning. I love beauty. All of these things are in scarce supply these days. One must look for them with the lit torch. That's why I often find myself sad, despondent even. It's like the world I have known as a child disappearing in front of my very eyes.
People often ask me - why do I write? It's a popular question. What I think is that there is a great deal of complexity behind apparent simplicity of the question. There is search for inspiration. Desire to relate. Curiosity. But most importantly, the need for meaning. What does it mean to be a writer, this writer? And, what does it mean to be a reader, me? There is no simple answer to this question, of course. For me, writing (an some reading) is a kind of sublime experience. It connects me with the large context. It calms that existntial anxiety of which French are so fond of. It soothes the pain of alienation and discontent. Perhaps (one hopes) my writing contributes something to our collectie "reservous of meanng" that's been rapidly drying up, what's with the advance oftlevision, social media, commercial publishing, etc. ... Writing is very pleasurable, in certain way. I'm fascinated with words. I adore words, I collect them, I have favorites. Like some people collect crystals, or stamps. A well-constracted sentence is a work of art for me. (see some examples in My Treasure Chest.) Words have taste, and texture. I can feel them in my mouth. Some words are sweet like chocolates, others are savory like Italian salami. In short, for me, literary language is sensual, erotic, playful.
Now, why pen name?
Why pen name? Mainly for protection. Some of you, Dear Reader, have an unfortunate inclination to misunderstand my words. Not exactly YOU you, but some others.