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