Award for Zarko Radakovic’s and David Albahari’s “Book about Photography”

Zarko just emailed this good news. His book with David Albahari, another remarkable Serbian writer and life-long friend, has just been awarded the prize for best non-fiction book of the year in Serbia.

From the jury’s explanation [google translate version]:

According to the opinion of the jury, among the successful non-fiction works of this year, the Book of Photography stands out for its unusual form and for the fruitful essay meeting of two constructed creative poetics.

At the beginning of the book there is a photo of “two men leaning against a wall who looked as if they would never move away from that wall”. But they moved away, and by how much: spatially speaking, one later reached Canada, and the other reached Germany. But the time gap is even more important: the we that is constituted in this photograph from 1984, now, almost four decades later, is just a picture of a split that is filled with conversation, correspondence, and the writing of the characters from the picture, Žarko Radaković and David Albahari. This conversation is in fact a book about photography that we are reading: each of the authors wrote eight essays, they are, along with the reproductions of the corresponding photographs, arranged alternately and are in agreement with each other, which achieves a double effect: we have in front of us very interesting separate units of text, but there are also dynamic connections between them, traces of intimate dialogue are felt, that particular tension that we usually encounter in epistolary novels, and not in non-fictional essay creations like this.

Zarko and Albahari have collaborated before:

See my thoughts on this book here.

It has been a distinct honor to collaborate with Zarko on our most recent We: On Friendship, coming soon from Elik Press.

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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