Presentation of the
German-language translation of Veronika Simoniti’s short story collection Hudičev jezik (The Devil’s Tongue) on
Friday, April 20 at 19.00 in Pavlova hiša/Pavelhaus v Potrni/Laafeld (Austria)
(Laafeld 30, A-8490 Bad Radkersburg).
We will present the news book of the Litteræ Slovenicæ Series:
Veronika Simoniti: Teufelssprache
The book was translated into German by Tamara Kerschbaumer.
Moderator: Sebastian Walcher
Veronika Simoniti (1967) is a graduate of Italian and French Studies. For several years she worked as a freelance translator. She started writing as a storyteller for Radio Slovenia. For her first published story, “Metuljev zaliv” (Butterfly Bay; 2000), she received first prize in a Literatura magazine competition. She has also published in other literary journals and for the radio, receiving many awards. Her debut collection of short stories Zasukane štorije (Twisted Stories; 2005) was nominated as the debut of the year in 2006, and it won Dnevnik newspaper’s 2007 Fabula Award. In 2011 she published Hudičev jezik (The Devil’s Tongue; LUD Literatura), which was her second collection of short stories, and in 2014 she published the novel Kameno seme (Stoney Seed; Založba Litera), nominated for the “Kresnik Award” for the best Slovenian novel. Two of her stories have appeared within Delo newspaper’s “Summer Stories” collection (2006 and 2012). Her work is included in the English-language anthology of Slovenian short stories A Lazy Sunday Afternoon (Litteræ Slovenicæ, DSP, 2007), as well as in the anthology of Slovenian authors Kliči me po imenu (Call Me by Name; Študentska založba, 2013). Excerpts for her work have appeared in translation catalogues, magazines and in internet publications in Croatian, Czech, English, German, Hungarian, Italian and Serbian.
Simoniti’s protagonists in Teufelssprache (“The Devil’s Tongue”) are often “multi-settlers,” people from multinational environments (e.g. from Trieste or Istria), uprooted, alienated from self and surrounding – often “victims” of the violent maelstroms of history. It is for this reason that Veronica Simoniti’s fiction is a harrowing, nostalgic kaleidoscope of the war-stamped twentieth century. Her stories are not diffuse and fragmentary, but full-blooded and complex, sometimes enchantingly magical. Above all, however, they are disturbing narratives about what happens when people are transplanted from one language to another; they are about people on the border and about all those individuals who shift these borders, for example, in art (like Joseph Brodsky, Italo Calvino, Guillaume Apollinaire, Ivan Cankar, Max Brod, Carlo Michelstaedter, Silvina Ocampo or Alejandra Pizarnik). But the narrator’s central dilemma remains: If the borders of one’s language are the limits of one’s word, where are the limits of language as such? How far can we actually go?
This (Slovenian-German) literary evening will take place without the events of Slovenian Book Days 2018 in cooperation with The Slovene Writers’ Association, Litteræ Slovenicæ and Pavlova hiša.
The book was published with the financial support of the Slovenian Book Agency.
Photo © David Kranzelbinder