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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 65 | volume XII | March-April, 2009



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 65March-April, 2009

What Do We Talk About, Indeed?

Upon reading the selection/anthology of Slovenian short stories, intriguingly entitled WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT

p. 1
Jelena Lužina

What Are We Talking About – Slovenian Short Stories, 1990-2004, anthology prepared by Mitja Čander (1974), a distinguished Slovenian essay and column writer, playwright, script writer… An excellently edited and made book which was originally issued in Ljubljana in 2004. The Macedonian edition is by Cultural Institution Blesok, Skopje, 2008 (338 p.)

Within a relatively short time (barely two-three months), all of a sudden two exceptional (but also exceptionally relevant) Slovenian books appeared; on top of it both in competent translation, solid technical/graphic “cover” and professional editorial preparation. The first one is dedicated to the playwright work of the classic Ivan Cankar (Matica's edition), and the second one to the recent Slovenian short story (Blesok's edition). Both books are a result of the Macedonian-Slovenian cultural cooperation, which – judging by the results – should be considered a very good one. Both of the books stat that they were jointly funded by the Ministries of Culture of both countries. Great news!
    Should, however, this great news be read/interpreted also as a strategic decision of the Macedonian and Slovenian officials, who have decided to introduce a system in the area of inter-country cultural cooperation (in this case: to “systematize” the cooperation in the area of publishing), which could – eventually – result in some reciprocity, via which we could soon expect some Slovenian translations of two-three Macedonian books? Or, is it still two lonely incidents, which happened due to lucky circumstances, a result of the individual involvement of some imagined individuals, and in general, some romantic facts, quite unusual for these consumers' times?
    Anyway, the book What Are We Talking About, determined as a selection/anthology of the Slovenian short stories of the last fifteen years (1994-2000), should be considered a real achievement. Thanks to its special and original character, the recent Macedonian literary context – whatever this uncertain determination might mean – all of a sudden has the possibility for a double benefit.
    Our first and quite certain benefit is obtaining a precise, and moreover, well commented insight in the intentions and characteristics of the contemporary Slovenian short story. The book is accompanied by an extensive commentary of its editor Mitja Čander, whose text, besides its high level of information, also includes competent critical judgments.
    Our second, but quite hypothetical benefit is facing the status of our own short story, the young and youngest, which – I hope – has some generation specific features (and

"Blesok" editions 01-93 are also available at CEEOL web site.

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