Two Friends, Three New Books

Near the end of September, new books by my dear friends of three decades will appear.


The title Kafana means tavern or pub. The narrator sits at a table in the living room of his apartment, staring out the window and across the river where he sees a tall crane working in the sun, sees it as an animate running creature. Jasmina Vrbavac writes that the novel is “a valuable record of the unconscious, an entrance to the labyrinth of associations and thoughts that haunt the lucid author. . . . Along the way burglars steal the narration and become independent narrators.

David Albahari writes that the novel “is both an autobiographical account of the author as a storyteller who wants to leave no trace of himself in the text, a brief overview of the avant-garde authors during the second half of the twentieth century, and finally, the study of the ‘holy city’ of European culture, the pub, where in the same breath  a man can be put on a pedestal, and immediately afterwards reduced to mold and mud.”

Congratulations Zarko!

Published by the environmental humanities folks at Saltfront, Alex’s Who is the Dancer, What is the Dance, “is based,” the program of the Utah Humanities Council’s Book Festival program says, “on a pocket journal that poet Alex Caldiero kept with him during a six-day river trip on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon. In these poems, and the reproduced drawings that accompany, and often house, them, Caldiero explores how we simultaneously impinge upon, and give ourselves over to, a landscape. In these poems, our urban preconceptions falter and adapt to these places we call wild.”


Congratulations Alex!

That the two book are appearing almost simultaneously with my own Immortal for Quite Some Time is something only Carl Jung could explain.

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at
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