My Translation of Peter Handke’s Justice for Serbia

I’ll admit from that start that my books have never sold well. Lyn and I just received our annual royalty checks from Texas A&M University Press for our book about the meanings of barbed wire: The Perfect Fence. $36 each. Sam and I still haven’t paid off the $500 advance we got from Torrey House Press for our Wild Rides & Wildflowers (we’re helping them, we claim, keep their status as a non-profit). Zarko’s and my books, Repetitions and Vampires & A Perfect Dictionary haven’t earned a penny (we are fully committed to the open source mission of punctum books). And so on.

But now Peter Handke has won the Nobel Prize and the flood of protests regarding his statements about the former Yugoslavia have raised the selling price of my translation for Viking: A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia. By how much?

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This means, I think, that people want to read it before commenting on it. Which is always a good idea.

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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8 Responses to My Translation of Peter Handke’s Justice for Serbia

  1. Michaela Giesenkirchen Sawyer says:

    Did you see the October 15 review of a the Gerechtigkeit for Serbia book by a reader, “Frank,” on the good reads website? If you haven’t yet, I think you will like it.


  2. Markku N. says:

    There were several more reasonably priced copies listed at Abebooks right before the Nobel announcement. Tried to order them but each had either “gone missing” or been “sold from the shop” so I never managed to get one. Been looking for the book for years. I hope one day someone reprints it.


  3. alex caldiero says:

    by the way it is a practice of online books that go out of print to heighten the price to an absurd degree not for selling it but to keep it as a placeholder for when the book comes back into print that way they don’t have to re-enter all the information again to get a spot so it’s simply a placeholder.


    • Scott Abbott says:

      party pooper! so why did the book only explode in price after the Nobel Prize was announced?


      • Markku N. says:

        The few existing copies disappeared from the websites immediately, so perhaps these non-existing ones took their place. It is also common for bookshops to claim that they cannot find the listed copy or that it is damaged, and sell it in the brick and mortar shop for a much higher price. Or to find any old excuse to avoid sending books overseas due to the ridiculous shipping fees. Oy vey.


  4. Pingback: My Translation of Peter Handke’s Justice for Serbia — THE GOALIE’S ANXIETY – Truth Troubles

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