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Articles tagged "Serbian"

From “What are the Blind Men Dreaming?”

The following is an excerpt from Jaffe's multi-generic book due out later this year from Deep Vellum publishing. Jaffe's book is composed of the individual voices of three generations of women: mother, in the diary she wrote after liberation from Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen; daughter, considering the power of memory and survival; and granddaughter, reflecting on what it means to be the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. In this excerpt, we open with a...

The Return of the Narrative: Miljenko Jergović’s “The Walnut Mansion”

Miljenko Jergović (Sarajevo, 1966) is just enough younger than David Albahari (1948) and Dubravka Ugrešić (1949)—the best-known writers both in the region and abroad of the generation preceding his—to allow him the breathing room to step away decisively from the postmodern voice that propelled the literatures of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia through the 1990s and early 2000s. The Walnut Mansion, his first novel (Zagreb, 2003), demonstrates a strong turn to...

The Death of My Parents in the Village

The funeral meal—all of the relatives and neighbors have come. I don’t know any of them. The death of my parents in the village, it played out long ago in the future. I cannot summon the memory. I cannot cry. After a long and difficult illness, the death of their eight-hour workday                                                        ...

Orkish Cornbread

The first record of Orkish cornbread is found in the journals of the warlord Ur-Agarish. The original document is lost to time, but a saying remains: "He who dodges the cornbread and sours the kraut, then cream his neck!" Obtaining the Ingredients:  The basis of every good cornbread is corny flour. It is harvested by the Giants of the Corned Hills. You will need to give the giants plenty of firewater. When they are wasted, steal the corn. But remember, the cornstalks are so...

The Cover

I’m starting this diary so the days won’t pass without my knowing what I did. I live in the suburbs. I knit, embroider, and crochet. I sell everything I make at the nearby farmers’ market. Other women are there too. We bring stools, little chairs, or whatever we have. We sit down and spread doilies, tablecloths, and blouses in front of us. The needles in our hands fly through the air. Needles, hands, fingers, mouth. Fingers, hands, mouth, needles. Everything is moving,...

The Horse Has Six Legs: An Anthology of Serbian Poetry

Translation of poetry should always motivate two kinds of fidelity: adequate representation of the content and form of the original, and viability of the new version as a work of poetry. (My students sometimes refer to these as “Professor Stuff” and “Art Stuff.”) The two concerns may be addressed by teams of translators: a native speaker who knows the original language and culture, along with the poem’s place and weight within those, and a poet who is capable...

The Robot

No one was surprised by his arrival. There was nothing miraculous about seeing a robot walk in through the door, choose a table, push away chairs, and study the menu. He did all of it as adroitly and matter-of-factly as any other guest would. With his finger he indicated the Wiener schnitzel, and the waiter, not upset in the least, brought it to him. The robot skillfully cut up the meat into rather large pieces (knife in his right hand and fork in the left), poured wine into his glass,...

Learning Cyrillic

1. I leave the church at nine sharp. Outside it is a clear, winter night, the church steps are slippery, the cold air slices my breath. I move slowly; I grab for the frozen shrubbery. Next time, I say to myself, wear high-topped shoes. Then I spot the Indian. He is standing by a round traffic sign. He has on a leather jacket with long fringes, and he is wearing boots decorated with Indian symbols. As I am walking by him, I see his eyes are closed. "Hey," says the Indian, "what's the...

Games on the Banks of the Danube

Everybody knows you can't choose your place of birth, any more than you can select your parents. My birthplace is located on a body of water; human hands have altered and straightened the banks so many times that these waters are no longer referred to as a river, but rather a canal. This canal empties into the Tisza, and the Tisza flows into the Danube. My memories of the Danube begin in the summer of 1941. My parents, who had been so inept as to be Jews, were already under arrest...

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