Lintervista Interview with Daniele Bolelli interviews Daniele Bolelli
Q (Question): On what do you base your “personal religion?”
DB (Daniele Bolelli) : On the fact that I’m alive and I want to create my own path–which is the essential quest of any human being.

Q: Do you believe in God?
DB: I’m not into believing, or disbelieving, anything. Belief is the desperate effort of those who know nothing about the universe, but desperately want answers even when no answer is there. I’ve had many, intense experiences. Some of them make me thing that there’s a logic in the universe and some kind of power at the root of it all. Others tell me that nothing is out there other than random chaos and our own fantasies. Both feelings are equally powerful. I have no idea which one is “true” and I don’t waste too much time thinking about it.

Q: What’s your approach to life?
DB: I live it. Life is ecstatic and awful at the same time. It lets you experience happiness beyond words and tragedies that break your heart. Either you shoot yourself—a choice that I understand and I’d never condemn—or you decide to enjoy it dancing at the edge of the abyss. Personally, I prefer dancing.

Q: What aspect of life do you take most seriously?
DB: life

Q: What are your main regrets?
DB: I leave no time in my life for regrets. They are useless—a mental masturbation for people who have time to waste. Living in the past is as stupid as being immersed in a future that doesn’t exist. There’s much to live for here and now. So fuck regrets and attachments to the past.

Q: You left Italy when you were 18. Certainly, there must have been difficult moments along the way. How did you overcome them?
DB: Who said I overcame anything? Difficulties never leave. They kick you in the balls for your entire life. The only question is if you let them stop you or if you get up any time they knock you down.

Q: What are the values that you never questioned?
DB: I never break my word. And I never betray those who give me their trust.

Q:You teach at Santa Monica College and Cal State Long Beach. How’s your teaching style?
DB: I begin the semester by playing Scar Tissue and Snow by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, while I hand out the syllabus and shake hands with everyone. I have fun teaching and I try to make sure students have fun too. Teaching is much better than working.

Q: How do you deal with fame?
DB: Most people who gain even a shade of fame swell their egos and begin to act like primadonnas. It’s all bullshit, though. We are nothing but monkeys trying to enjoy our time on earth. Getting off on seeing your name in the papers is sad and a bit pathetic. The day that I’ll stop answering anyone who emails me because I think that I’m too important for that, you’ll be authorized to punch me in the face.

Q: What made you emigrate to the United States at 18?
DB: In Italy, as soon as you have a new idea you’ll run into ten people who will tell you right away that it can’t be done. Italy is great to be on vacation and have a good time. But for anything else, it’s an old place, where heaviness and stasis rule. Had I stayed in Italy, everything would have been very predictable. At 18, I could already see the rest of my life. Moving to the U.S. was not a barrel of monkeys, but there are more risks and more possibilities.

Q: You still travel a lot between the U.S. and Italy. Which one do you consider your home?
DB: I’m not home anywhere. I feel foreign everywhere.
Q: Moving to another continent at 18 is a sign of strength and courage. Where did you get these qualities?
DB: Anything good I’ve ever developed is largely thanks to my parents. But I don’t think I possess even a tenth of the strength and courage that I’d like to have.

Q: What’s the last book you’ve read?
DB:  Savages By Don Winslow
Q: You favorite quotation?
DB: “Of all that is written, I love only what one writes with his blood” (Nietzsche)

Q: Your favorite philosophers?
DB: Friedrick Nietzsche, Lao Tzu, Ikkyu Sojun, Franco Bolelli

Q: You look in the mirror and see…
DB: Overcome by such beauty, I pass out

Q: Your main commandment:
DB: Joy in the midst of desperation

Q: The trip you’d like to take:
DB: Thailand. Alternating my time between a Muay Thai camp and a cabin on the beach.

Q: How do you see yourself in 20 years?
DB: I can’t even see myself tomorrow, let alone in 20 years.