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What literature sounds like: From Istrian stories to the fates of the Middle East

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What this week’s radio literary shows bring

Quite a few radio literary programs this week are colored by Polish modernity and past, and at the same time connected with the fates of others in the wider European area.

But of course not all, we will smile sourly at the Istrian stories, think bitterly about the destinies from the Middle East…

“Our golden zamljica was called Istria buh zna krko shekolov. Her name was respected by everyone, anka une une foreste of the army, who trampled her one calf to make her pudse. But now she is some kind of Vobala. You see what is going on with us! Yes Istrians we don’t live in Istria, we live in Vobala.”

Nelda Štok Army is the author of several collections of short prose, in which she tells stories about Slovenian Istrians with mild irony and bitter melancholy, mainly in the Istrian dialect. Among them is a ‘stories’ about the problems with the naming and renaming of Istrian villages and the entire province of Antonci in Pridvor, Istrians on the coast.





“I also know some educated and really nice people, whose company is often useful and comforting to me. The first of the Slavic poets here teaches me the Carniolan language, and I teach him Polish, and a few days ago I felt real satisfaction when I saw in the local literary newspaper the fruit of my learning, a translation from Polish dedicated to me.”

Polish patriot and ethnologist Emil Korytko was born in 1813 in Lviv, today a Ukrainian city that was then part of the Austrian Empire. At the age of 21, he was arrested on suspicion of high treason and exiled to Ljubljana in 1837. Here he socialized with Prešern, Čop and their like-minded people and started recording Slovenian folk songs, but two years later he fell ill and died. A literary evening about his life and its importance for Slovenian literary history was prepared by Vida Curk based on preserved letters and poems from his legacy, translated by Niko Jež.

“What else could I tell her? Friedel was a golden girl, but pure gold is a soft metal. If she had been made of steel, all the suffering wouldn’t have left such marks on her.”



A Dutchman of Jewish descent Eddy de Wind was deported to the Auschwitz camp in September 1943 together with his wife Friedel. Due to his medical education, he was employed in the camp hospital, and Friedel landed with many women in the block where the SS conducted medical experiments. Despite the cruel conditions, they kept in touch and kept hope for life after Auschwitz. After the liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945, Eddy wrote down his experiences in a notebook in the camp and published it in book form after his happy return to the Netherlands. The passage was translated by Stana Anželj.

“Then they caught the calves and began to slaughter them one by one, and in the end they disemboweled them, cut off their tails, and from the entrails they folded the word with which they had “baptized Earthlings” since the beginning of the society, without realizing it, that Earthlings sleep neither with Hudir nor with anything else that is hard and rigid.”

Polish writer Agnieszka Szpila, born in 1977, is an eco-feminist and social activist, a cultural researcher by profession, who raises her voice for the rights of discriminated persons, especially children with mental disorders, such as her twin daughters. She debuted in 2015 with an autobiographical book about a single mother struggling to raise autistic girls. This was followed by the grotesque novel of Polish everyday life Bardoo and the eco-feminist novel Vešče. Also in the next book, a collection of Octopussy novels with the subtitle Postporno stories, the writer continues to explore social relations through the lens of different types of sexuality, extending beyond the human. Translator Jana Unuk portrays her with an excerpt from Vešč.

“What does Memory do among these stones in constant / return, / older than Creation—unexpected to say so?”

Lebanese-American poet, writer, philosopher, essayist, painter, sculptor, tapestry weaver Etel Adnan she is the author of more than twenty books of prose, poetry and essays, but she only achieved worldwide recognition and reputation with her poetry and painting in the last two decades of her life. She died at the end of 2021 at the age of 96, and translator Andrej Peric chose the poetry she published in the last three years of her life for the literary evening.

Sunday, September 1714.05 Humoresque of the week – Magdalena Samozwaniec: Youth for all 19.30 Memories, letters and travelogues – Eddy de Wind: The end of the Auschwitz station 22.05 Literary portrait – Agnieszka Szpila: The wise 23.00 Literary nocturne – William Carlos Williams: Pictures from Bruegel

Monday, September 1823.00 Literary nocturne – Sonja Votolen: From grass to sand

Tuesday, September 1921.00 Literary evening – Etel Adnan: Movements of silence 23.00 Literary nocturne – Milan Dekleva: When I’m gone, I’ll come to you again

Wednesday, September 2023.00 Literary nocturne – Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm: The Three Languages ​​and The Tailor in Heaven

Thursday, September 2121.05 Literary Evening (at First) – Carson McCullers 23.00 Literary Nocturne – Dolly Alderton: Everything I Know About Love

Friday, September 2223.00 Literary Nocturne – Pelham Grenville Wodehouse: The Incomplete Collection

Saturday, September 2318.00 Selected prose – Tatjana Tolstoy: Night 23.00 Literary nocturne – Alojzija Zupan Sosič: Ten

Source: Rtvslo

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