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.
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About the Author
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.