Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Books by Zarko Radakovic and Alex Caldiero

My dear friend Zarko Radakovic just sent me a copy of his newest book. It's title means something like "Fear of Emigrations." I'm quoted on the back, something like this: "I don't know anyone who works or plays with such fresh ideas." Something like . . . something like this . . . because I don't read Serbo Croatian. I've got only scraps of the language.

Beer is "pivo." I learned that on a barge on the Danube river near Zarko's hometown Zemun. White wine is "belo vino." Belgrade is "Beograd." "Pisac" is "writer." "Textom" is a declined version of "text." Scotto Abbotto a declined name that can become the slightly embarrassing Scottom Abbottom. "Skot" means "vermin." "Mustikla" means cigarette holder. "Thank you" is "hvala." "Zrno vino" means "red wine." "Jebi ga" means "fuck it." "Serbi su dobri ljudi," a phrase Zarko's mother taught me, means "Serbs are good people." And that's about it for me.

But I want to read the book.

One of the book's sections is titled "Urlik nad Balkanom" -- Roar of the Balkans, according to google's translation service. Another is called "Smatram (Jugosloveni, Turci, Nemci, belo vino, novine)" which may mean "I think (Jugoslavs, Turks, Germans, white wine, newspapers).

Makes me want more.

But basically I can't read my friend's book about his early work as a performance artist in Belgrade. What kind of friend can't read a friend's book? 


Last week my dear friend Alex Caldiero's new book was published by Dream Garden Press: Poetry Is Wanted Here. It's a powerful set of poems gathered around the title poem which is in the form of a letter written to Alex's despairing friend Bob Heman shortly after the World Trade Center towers came crashing down.

It's a beautiful as well as powerful book, with five drawings and plenty of space fore and aft as well as on each page.

Because Zarko and Alex know each other, if only through my translation of each's work for the other, I've put them side by side above. And to  further emphasize the connection, here's a copy of Alex's poem about language and translation dedicated to Zarko and me.

And finally, news today that Stubovi kulture has published another book by Zarko, this one called "Era." Here's a very grainy image of the cover:

1 comment:

Diego Ibañez said...

Mr. Radokovic is a close friend of yours, is he not? I'm sure he finds your impotence only moderatley disturbing. :)

The books you have written with him, are they translated into english as well?