Vampires & A Reasonable Dictionary

Vampires & A Reasonable Dictionary

by Scott Abbott, Zarko Radakovic


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In 2008 the authors published, in Belgrade, Vampiri & Razumni recnik, which is now published in English as Vampires & A Reasonable Dictionary. Vampires is Radakovic's fictionalized account of a Serb living in Cologne, Germany while his former country disintegrates. He travels in the American West, ostensibly looking for the vampires causing chaos in his own country, and then returns to Europe, having found no vampires. It is a dark text, a story of destruction told in a narrative that refuses all the solaces narrative has traditionally afforded. A Reasonable Dictionary is Abbott's personally troubled account of his and Radakovic's trip up the Drina River between the civil wars, a journey made with Peter Handke, a trip during which some of Abbott's specifically American stories lost their moral structure.

Both works, along with Radakovic and Abbott's earlier work Repetitions (published by punctum books in 2013), examine generic distinctions and question storytelling in general, all in the context of travel in Yugoslavia, in the former Yugoslavia, and in western America. Two aspects make the books unique. First, they are written about experiences shared by two authors whose native languages are Serbian and English respectively (German is their only common language). The authors' perspectives contrast with and supplement one another: Radakovic grew up in Tito's Yugoslavia and Abbott comes from the Mormon American West; Radakovic is the translator of most of Peter Handke's works into Serbo-Croatian and Abbott translated Handke's provocative A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia for Viking Press and his play Voyage by Dugout: The Play of the Film of the War for PAJ (Performing Arts Journal); Radakovic was a journalist for Deutsche Welle in Cologne and Abbott is a professor of German literature at Utah Valley University; Radakovic is the author of several novels and Abbott has published mostly literary-critical work; and so on. Two sets of eyes. Two pens. Two visions of the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692022238
Publisher: punctum books
Publication date: 08/30/2014
Pages: 186
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Scott Abbott is the author of Fictions of Freemasonry: Freemasonry and the German Novel. He was the jazz critic for the Salt Lake Observer and co-author, with Sam Rushforth, of the series "Wild Rides, Wild Flowers: Biking and Botanizing the Great Western Trail" which appeared for four years in Catalyst Magazine. He has translated Peter Handke's A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia (Viking) and Handke's play Voyage by Dugout: the Play of the Film of the War (Performing Arts Journal). A translation of Handke's "To Duration, A Poem" is forthcoming with Cannon, Amsterdam. Abbott has published reviews of books and art in The Bloomsbury Review, Open Letters Monthly, and Catalyst Magazine. He is Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Utah Valley University and has published literary-critical articles on Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, Thomas Mann, Rilke, Grass, and Handke. He lives in Woodland Hills, Utah.

Zarko Radakovic is the author of several books published in Belgrade, including Tubingen, Knifer, Emigracija (Emigration), Pogled (The View), Strah od Emigracije (Fear of Emigration), Era, and Knjiga o muzici (A Book about Music, with David Albahari). He has translated more than twenty of Austrian author Peter Handke's books into Serbian and has been traveling companion and translator for Handke during repeated trips to Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. His recent work with Serbian/German artist Nina Pops includes collaboration on a series of collages that feature manuscript translations of Peter Handke's novel Bildverlust (The Loss of Images, or Crossing the Sierra de Gredos) and Pops' "translations" of the text into images. Radakovic edited an edition of the German literary magazine Nachtcafe on the theme of Walking, and more recently, with Peter Handke, an edition of the German literary magazine Schreibheft on "Literature from Serbia." He has published essays on art, music, and literature. David Albahari described Radakovic as "one of the few absolutely isolated, independent, creative personalities of contemporary Serbian prose. . . . He deals with our language like a foreign language in the same way Beckett uses the English language and Handke the German language. . . . I think I will not be wrong when I say that Zarko . . . is the most radical Serbian writer of the present time." He lives in Cologne, Germany.

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