A few hours ago Zarko sent me this photo of a gathering of authors in the lobby of the Belgrade publisher Stubovi kultura. “We are there too,” he wrote.
It takes some careful looking, but there are our portraits on the wall at the top left with our book between us. I’m in profile, Zarko half profile.
I open our second book with this publisher, Vampires & A Reasonable Dictionary, and find my description of my introduction to this room and to the publisher (in the back with the beard):
I meet Žarko in front of the Hotel Moskva, and in the midday heat we make our way to the basement offices of Stubovi Kulture, formerly Vreme Knjige, the publishing house of our book: Ponavljanje – Repetitions.
Photos of all the authors published by Stubovi Kulture adorn the walls: Bruce Chatwin, Joseph Conrad, Anthony Burgess, Dragan Velikić, Danilo Kiš, Žarko, and myself.
Žarko introduces me to the publisher, Predrag Marković, a small man with a long, full beard and intense black eyes, and to Gojko Božović, editor for literature, a thin man who looks like he’s about 15.
Pleased to meet you, says the publisher. You look just like your photo.
What did you think I would look like? I ask.
All this time we’ve thought you were a fiction made up by Žarko for narrative purposes, the publisher explains.
Both of our books are now available in English translation with punctum books, Brooklyn. Find them here (among other works best described as “spontaneous acts of scholarly combustion”).