Posts featuring Miroslav Krleža

Resurrecting the Dead: Translator Will Firth on Unearthing Balkan Classics

In a world dominated by a handful of powers, "minor" literatures help us think outside the box.

In our current globalized state, translated literatures are at the forefront of creating cross-cultural dialogues and paving the path for a richer and more diverse literary landscape. There remain, however, distinct inconsistencies in the publication, marketing, and distribution between national literatures that enjoy moderate international renown, and those that are sadly compartmentalized and neglected. In this impassioned and forceful essay by translator Will Firth, who specializes in Balkan literature, a much-needed spotlight is shone upon the overlooked classics of the Macedonian and Serbo-Croatian canon, additionally turning our attentions to the failures of a literature market that privileges predictable profits over unfamiliar brilliance.

Few regions are as fraught with historical rifts and discontinuities as the Balkans, and, given their degree of cultural and linguistic “otherness” compared to the English-speaking world, it is no wonder that the reception of literature from the Balkans is patchy. The francophone world performs somewhat better in this regard, and some countries (e.g. Poland, Hungary, and Turkey) have been remarkably consistent in accompanying Balkan literatures through translation. READ MORE…