The central guests of the autumn edition of the second Slavic Literature Festival were Serbian writers Vladimir Pištalo and Ivan Antić, with a number of other events.
The second part of this year’s Festival of Slavic Literatures coincided with the Serbian guest appearance at the Slovenian Book Fair, which is why Serbian authors Vladimir Pištalo and Ivan Antić were chosen as the central guests. The Festival was organised in cooperation with the Ljubljana City Library and the Department of Slavic Studies of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana.
Vladimir Pištalo, who appeared at the festival for students at the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts and visitors to the Ljubljana City Library, is a renowned and award-winning Serbian writer, author of a number of novels and short stories. The talk, moderated by translator Đurđa Strsoglavec, was mainly devoted to his award-winning novel Tesla, Portrait Among Masks, which has been translated into 20 languages and is included in the FSK’s 100 Slavic Novels collection. Critics and readers alike have found it to be the most interesting and convincing (literarised) biography of Tesla to date, combining “fresco and icon, saga and intimacy”. The author has many interesting things to say about the life and views of the genius scientist and explained that the idea of the novel is disenchantment with progress.
Ivan Antić is the author of two short story collections. In 2009 he published Tonus, and in 2016 Membrane, membrane (Membranes, Membranes), which was named one of the best prose books of that year in Serbia by the literary critics of Politika and has also been translated into Slovenian. His stories have been translated into a number of languages and included in numerous anthologies. For the last few years, he has been writing poetry intensively, which can also be read in Slovenian, English and Czech. He translates fiction from Slovenian into Serbian (Zajc, Blatnik, Šalamun, Sinanović…) and is a recipient of the “Miloš N. Đurić” Translation Award. He has been living in Ljubljana since 2012. The conversation with Ivan Antić was moderated by poet, writer and critic Muanis Sinanović. Asked whether he is close to the idea of Slavism, Antić replied that he thought it was interesting to find something that brings us closer together, because nowadays too many things divide us, and there is still a lot of xenophobia in these spaces. But he mostly talked about his work as a writer, poet and translator, saying that he was particularly drawn to the form of the short story.
Mladen Vesković, editor-in-chief of the 100 Slavic Novels collection, Serbian literary critic and essayist, in a dialogue with his colleague Marko Despotović, former member of the FSK Programme Council, presented the role and significance of the 100 Slavic Novels collection in the establishment and revival of Slavic literary contacts, especially in the context of Slovenian-Serbian literary exchanges and encounters.