Rediscovered Slovenian writers

So it’s not entirely surprising that a bestselling book about a fanatical Islamic assassin is on display at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. There was one last year and the year before as well. They have been doing brisk business these past ten years or so. The difference in this case is that Alamut  by Slovenian writer Vladimir Bartol was published in 1938 and according to its publisher Sanje Publishing was the country’s bestselling book ever.

Recounting the story of 11th century Ismaili leader Hasan ibn Sabbah, whose order’s name evolved into the modern word “assassin.” The more than 500 page novel was rediscovered in 2003 and can’t be described better than the reviewer from L’Express, who wrote, “If Osama bin Laden did not exist, Vladimir Bartol would have invented him.”

For more on Vladimir Bartol (1903-1967) go to Sanje Publishing’s page on the author.

Woman around the world

Literalab loves rediscovered writers and so another rediscovered writer Sanje is presenting is Alma M. Karlin (1889-1950). Karlin was a German-speaking inhabitant of Celje with limited Slovene, not unlike many Prague German writers with limited Czech, and like them ended up speaking multiple languages and living in exile (as well as, in her case, major world travel that saw her make it around the world in a four-year period). During her lifetime Karlin achieved major success and her works were widely translated.

Sanje is presenting a novel Isolanthis: A Novel About The Sinking Of The Continent that enters into the world of the underwater kingdom and, having first been published in German in 1936 with a character called the King of the Dark Earth . . well, you get the idea. The Slovenian edition of the novel was published this year.

For the Alma Karlin website go here.

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Categories: Books


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  1. A whiff of terrorism in the air | literalab - 16/10/2012

    […] have already posted about Vladimir Bartol’s Alamut and its 11th century fanatical assassin. The other novel in my bag was A Poet and Bin-Laden. […]

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