From the Former Yugoslavia


ImageBefore my trip to Cologne and Belgrade, I’ve been reading novels and books of stories by authors from the former Yugoslavia, a somewhat haphazard group of texts all translated from the same language but now, in the years after the civil wars, bearing regional signifiers. Bazdulj’s “The Second Book,” for instance, has been translated “from the Bosnian.” Albahari’s books have been translated “from the Serbian.” Kis’ books are listed as “originally published in Serbian,” although “Psalm 44” was “published in Serbian by Globus, Zagreb, 1962.” (The publishers of this handsome Dalkey Archive book might want to rethink the Serbian novel published in Croatia — when it was published in Zagreb, it was part of Yugoslavia and the language was Serbo-Croatian.) Pavic’s book was, it says, translated “from the Serbo-Croatian.” Velikic’s books were translated “aus dem Serbischen.”

And, of course, Zarko’s books are in their mother tongue, which I think Zarko would now, sorrowfully and hesitantly, call Serbian. His halves of our two books will say “translated from the Serbian.”

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at
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