Interview with Aleksandar Gatalica

Serbian Fiction Week gets some context with an interview with novelist and translator from Ancient Greek Aleksander Gatalica, whose novel The Great War was excerpted in B O D Y back when it was published in 2014 in a translation by Will Firth.

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Gatalica talks about contemporary Serbian writers and the different generations, makes some recommendations – some of which are available in English translation, one of which isn’t: the as yet untranslated work, The Golden Fleece by Borislav Pekić. This is partly understandable as the novel is almost 2,000 pages long. Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica has commented on this novel and its lack of availability in English:

“Five centuries of the tormented history of the Balkans are gathered into a fantasmagoric literature that tells the rise and fall of a powerful Serbian family of Aromanian origins : a saga in seven books, fed by the mythology that always go with the wanderings of this people and which makes fun of the fata morganas of the business society. We live into the scenes many different feelings from drama to comedy, the history of the Balkans : Serbs revolts, Ottomans’ conquests, the incredible death of Suleiman the Magnificent, the creation of Yugoslavia, the wars, the negotiations, the betrayals, the migrations, all the small stories that make History. Three of the seven books have been translated in French, but no translation exists in English, unfortunately.”

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Sounds amazing! Maybe someone can convince Donald Trump to commission a translation. After all, he likes golden things and loves fleecing people, maybe he’ll think it’s a memoir.

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Categories: Interviews, Magazines, Serbian Fiction Week

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