The Book and Beyond

Broj 1 - Godina 2 - 12/2011

Uvodnik

About a year and a half ago, or perhaps it was more, no one seems to remember the exact day anymore, when we decided to start [sic] – a Journal of Literature, Culture and Literary Translation, in our minds we had a small journal that would nevertheless stimulate debates and challenge authors to participate with their contributions in hope of offering a somewhat different view on various topics and themes that we think about in our professional life and work. We hoped for some hundred or perhaps two hundred pages of articles, essays and translations; we counted on contributions from our friends and colleagues from Croatia and secretly dreamed that someone from abroad will find our journal interesting enough to join in. And today, when we are releasing our third issue that counts well over five hundred pages of articles, essays and translations, with more than twenty authors from all over the world, we are safe to say that we more than exceeded our initial expectations and even our wildest hopes. ..

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Izdvojeno

You want your author to be appreciated, to be read. Yes, why not, to be respected. As a writer at least, if not as a person. And the author’s image, not just the work, is in your hands. That’s the way it works in English at least, where translation tends to be decentralized. I’m not referring to commissions obviously. In that sense translation is like any kind of creative writing – you choose your project, you shape it, you develop it, you pitch and promote it, and you pitch and promote the image of the author that goes with it. So the question: what to do when your author is not an especially attractive character, not a good person, a bad husband, for instance, a bad father?For instance, Eligio Zanini was a bad husband and a bad father. He abandoned his family when two children were small and a third was on the way. He never contacted them again, though he lived just down the road. When his son died in a car accident at the age of seventeen and the parents were supposed to go down to Split to retrieve the body, he didn’t show up, though the boy’s mother, Bianca, held out hope until the last minute. She was devastated by her husband’s departure and carried the wound as if fresh inside her....

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Carol i Robert Norris bili su stari prijatelji Nickove žene Joanne. Upoznali su se davno, mnogo prije nego što je ona upoznala Nicka. Poznavali su je kada je bila udana za Billa Dalyja. U ono vrijeme njih četvero – Carol i Robert, Joanne i Bill – friško oženjeni studenti na zadnjoj godini povijesti umjetnosti – živjeli su u istoj kući, velikoj kući na Seattleovoj verziji Capitol Hilla, dijelili stanarinu i kupaonicu. Često su zajedno jeli i sjedili do sitnih sati, pili vino i razgovarali. Jedni su drugima pregledavali i komentirali radove. Tijekom te zadnje godine zajedničkog života – prije nego što se pojavio Nick – čak su kupili jeftin brodić kojim su ljeti zajedno plovili jezerom Washington. “Kakva su to vremena bila, i dobra i loša, puna uspona i padova”, rekao je Robert drugi put toga jutra osmjehujući se i promatrajući lica prijatelja za stolom. Bila je nedjelja ujutro, a oni su sjedili za stolom u kuhinji Nicka i Joanne u Aberdeenu i jeli dimljeni losos, kajganu i peciva sa sirnim namazom. Bio je to onaj isti losos kojeg je Nick uhvatio prošlog ljeta i vakumirao i stavio u duboko zamrzavanje. Sviđalo mu se kad je Joanne naglasila da je on sam ulovio tu ribu. Čak je znala – ili je barem tvrdila da zna – koliko je teška. “Ova je imala osam kila”, rekla je, a Nick se zadovoljno nasmijao. Sinoć je izvadio ribu iz zamrzivača nakon što je nazvala Carol i rekla da bi ona i Robert rado svratili sa svojom kćerkicom Jenny kad budu u prolazu. ...

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Due to their self-reflexive propensity, postmodern fiction and metafiction, in particular, have been relentlessly criticized of solipsism and of an indifference to relate to the extralinguistic world. While the novel is deemed to pause in its trajectory to examine itself, to examine its conventions and rejections of them, to address its future uncertainties and its at-present struggles, it has become a misprision that all it can bestow to its readers is an understanding of itself. The basic argument unravels as follows: language is devoid of reality, therefore, literature does not contain reality either; now more than ever, fiction recognizes that it is a self-contained artifact which can only engage in a representation of itself, having no interest in proffering its readers anything but an understanding of itself. The novel in the postmodern period has faced the crisis of representation, when linguists and theorists alike unmask the insufficiency of language and its inability to represent reality. Under the scrutiny of language, metafiction emerges; a fiction which is more than ever aware of the inadequacies of its medium, and which is conscious of its subsequent inability to represent the world; hence the conclusions that all its pronouncements can only be about itself. This view delimits the possibilities of (meta)fiction, whose nature is apparently more intricate: while recognizing the distance between itself and reality, while shifting the emphasis from reality to itself, literature can never only be about itself; even if it attempts to repudiate the world, the world will forever be part of what makes literature possible....

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Izvana se začulo kucanje na vrata: jednom. Stanka. I onda malo glasnije i koščatije: dva.Sutulin je, ne podižući se s kreveta, naučenom kretnjom protegnuo nogu prema kucanju, podbočio palac ispod kvake i upro. Vrata su se širom otvorila. Na pragu je, glavom dodirujući dovratnik, stajao visok i pod svjetlom sumraka siv čovjek. Sutulin nije uspio ni spustiti noge s kreveta, a posjetitelj je već zakoračio unutra, tiho pritvorio vrata i, okrznuvši aktovkom koja mu je visjela iz gotovo majmunski dugačke ruke prvo jedan, a zatim i drugi zid, rekao: “Kutija šibica, ni manje ni više.““Što?““Mislim na vašu sobu: kao kutija šibica. Koliko tu ima?““Osam kvadrata i nešto sitno.““Eto ga. Dopuštate?“Sutulin nije uspio ni zaustiti, a posjetitelj je već sjedio na rubu kreveta i brzinski otvorio pretrpanu aktovku. Nastavio je, spustivši glas gotovo do šapta: “Došao sam poslom. Vidite, ja, to jest, mi, radimo, kako da to kažem, neku vrstu eksperimenta. Za sada potajno. Neću vam lagati: za nas je zainteresirana jedna istaknuta inozemna tvrtka. Želite upaliti svjetlo? Nema potrebe: samo par minuta ću. Znači, otkrili smo – iako je to tajna – sredstvo za proširivanje prostorija.“...

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