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Issue 10, January 2005

Sunday 23 January 2005

Newly published books

(JPG) Jehan Calvus, Bumgártész, (Pesti Kalligram, Budapest, 2004), transl. into Hungarian by Breda Ferenc, supported by the East Translates East Publications Project

This book is a palimpsest and a bricolage. It is a palimpsest because it challenges the borders between time and space, as well as between different cultures. It is a bricolage because it incorporates in a literary work – fairy tales, games, painting, graphic art, puppet theatre, calligraphy, etc. Pensive and playful at the same time, the author implicitly follows the paths of Joyce and Borges, as well as the visual texture of Greenaway movies. The graphic design of the publication is just matchless. The wonderful illustrations of Jehan Calvus, the perfect quality of the color printing, and the stylish get-up of the whole publication invite Hungarian readers to enter a whole new world and really spend a lifetime there. This will be made easier by the publisher, Pesti Kalligram, who promises to distribute the edition in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, and to initiate a massive promotion in the press and in the electronic media.

(JPG) Vladimir Sorokin, Ice, (Agata-A, Sofia, 2004), transl. into Bulgarian by Svetlana Komogorova, supported by the East Translates East Publications Project

The Bulgarian debut of a world-famous figure such as Sorokin (not withstanding his translations in literary periodicals and ardent and numerous fans within the Russian reading audience) is indicative of the discontinuity in the promotion of Russian postmodern literature into the Bulgarian cultural space. In spite of the strong Russian departments in the Bulgarian universities, and the long standing affinity to Russian literature, this generation of the postmodern writers has not been fully presented yet. Scandalous figures such as the literary “terrorist” Eduard Limonov and the “pornographic” writer Vladimir Sorokin are to become part of the Bulgarian literary debates in the near future. Keeping in mind that a few years ago legal proceedings began against Sorokin on the grounds of Article 242 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code, concerning pornography, it is interesting to see what will be the reaction of the Bulgarian literary circles and reading audiences. One could suggest that the newly translated novel Ice would act as the “ice hammer” it describes – it would either kill the readers, or bring them back to life.

(JPG) (JPG) Roger Fidler, Mediamorphosis: Understanding New Media, (Clio, Belgrade, 2004; transl. into Serbian by Djordje Krivokapic); (Idea, Cluj-Napoca, 2004; transl. into Romanian by Ovidiu Tichindeleanu), supported by the Media Project

This is an almost simultaneous publication into Serbian and Romanian of Fidler’s notable study Mediamorphosis: Understanding New Media, which tends to harmonize the techno-idiom of new media conundrum with grand narratives about human communication.

Both publishers guarantee an active promotion of the publications. The concurrent appearance of Fidler’s book in two Balkan countries is indicative of the high priority of media development in the region.

(JPG) Svenka Savic, Marija Aleksandrovic, Jelena Jovanovic, Stanka Dimitrov (eds.), Romani Women. Oral Histories of Elderly Women from Vojvodina, (Women Studies and Research, Novi Sad, 2004), supported by the Romani Publications Project

This publication in Romani provides a unique perspective on Romani women’s biographies. It consists of 20 oral histories, transcribed in the authors’ native language and examined in a historical, social and cultural context. The book was also published in Serbian (2001) and English (2002) and successfully distributed and applied in international Romani and Gender studies programs. The Romani version of the publication has already been included in the programs of several european universities where Romani culture and linguistics are taught. The publication is a part of the long-term commitment of young Roma students from Women Studies and Research, Novi Sad, in the field of Romani culture and promotion.

Romani Articles Online

With the support of the Romani Publications project, Dzeno Association, a Czech based NGO dedicated to improving the lives of the Roma, has completed a major project, the on-line publication of more than 250 Romani and English articles, available at www.dzeno.cz. The publication offers comments and observations on the Romani language and culture, as well as on the activities and international actions concerning the Romani movement and aims to increase global awareness of Romani issues. Due to its updated content and topic coverage, the website of Dzeno Association has already made impressive gains in its popularity – over three times as many people visited the site compared with the previous year. The effective collaboration between Dzeno and Next Page also resulted in another long-term commitment – in 2005 the association will develop a separate book publishing program.

Information on Page Back’s planned 2005 - 2006 activities (new initiatives and an update on current projects) is now available on-line.