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

In fine-tuning Turusbek Madilbay’s rough dictionary translation (a ‘trot’) I became convinced that a good match between writers and editors or translators is essential. I imagine it’s tempting for a writer to throw up her hands, to abdicate responsibility and let the publishing houses use their stock translators, but I recommend that creative writers learn about the process of translation in order to find the best partner for putting their work into another language. The responsibility must never rest solely with the translator, who is always working with limited information and within temporal and fiscal constraints. It’s always, to some degree, piecework. I hope it’s not a breach of publishing protocol to read reviews of work by, and to solicit samples from, several literary translators, and then choose among them. A beginner will do the job more cheaply, but will the skill be there? Do not leave the job to chance. My spotty linguistic background was well-suited to working with a trot. I have never achieved true fluency in a language besides my native English. I have, however, studied academically, at one time or another, French, Ancient Greek and Latin. I have achieved a certain linguistic flexibility from them well as from tourist phrases which I have learned in Spanish, Italian, Greek, Turkish and Arabic. When vocabulary and grammar fail me, I can at least spot word roots and cognates. (I credit Latin teachers’ use of Caesar’s ciphers for my irrational belief that no overheard phrase in a foreign tongue can be as mundane as ‘I think the pickles are on the next aisle’ but instead must be, in significance, on par with an aphorism about crossing the Rubicon.) ...

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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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Krajem 2009. godine pisac i urednik Roman Simić Bodrožić kontaktirao me s prijedlogom da napravim nekoliko prijevoda i pošaljem ih kao moguće priloge za antologiju pod nazivom Best European Fiction 2012 u izdanju američke izdavačke kuće Dalkey Archive Press. Prijedlog sam, naravno, prihvatio premda mi ovo nije bilo prvi put da šaljem prijevode za spomenutu antologiju. Međutim, moji prijašnji prijevodi nažalost nisu prošli uredničku selekciju te nisu bili uvršteni u prethodna izdanja antologije, odnosno serije antologija čije je prvo izdanje objavljeno 2010. godine, a čiji je urednik priznati američki pisac bosanskog porijekla, Aleksandar Hemon. U njenim prijašnjim izdanjima našli su se tekstovi Nevena Ušumovića, Mime Simić, Igora Štiksa te nekolicine autora s područja bivše Jugoslavije poput Davida Albaharija, Andreja Blatnika, Vladimira Arsenijevića ili Gorana Samardžića, drugim riječima, tekstovi istaknutijih suvremenih pisaca s prostora bivše Jugoslavije koji zajedno s tekstovima drugih europskih pisaca čine vrlo zanimljivu i raznoliku panoramu suvremene književne produkcije u Europi. ...

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