Nous sommes embarqués

The final line of Wim Wenders’ magnificent Der Himmel über Berlin / Wings of Desire serves as the opening line of our announcement:

Zarko’s and my book is here.

You can buy the book on Amazon’s site and, when Elik Press has its new site up, preferably from Andy Hoffmann, who doesn’t use his profits, such as they are, to build rockets or super yachts. We are grateful to Andy for adding our book to a catalogue that includes Beat authors Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Laurence Ferlinghetti, Carolyn Cassady, Gordon Ball, and Anne Waldman, along with fascinating books and chapbooks by Joel Long, Ken Brewer, Hector Ahumada, Melissa Bond, Michael McLane, Alex Caldiero, and Andy himself.

For our website for our three co-authored books (don’t miss the gallery!) click HERE.

Our new book describes a friendship, or, better said, it explores a friendship, or perhaps we should say it documents a friendship, celebrates it and performs it, a friendship that began in 1984 in Tübingen, Germany, the university town where philosophers Hegel and Schelling and poet Hölderlin were once roommates, a friendship that deepened when we crossed the Austrian/Yugoslav border to follow a character in Peter Handke’s Repetition for our book Repetitions, that matured when we traveled up the Drina River with Peter Handke and drove through south-western American landscapes for our Vampires & A Reasonable Dictionary (of which a reviewer claimed that it was a two-seater with no steering wheel, a claim we contested by pointing out that the car had two steering wheels), a friendship informed by relationships with performance artists Marina Abramović and Era, painters Julije Knifer and Nina Pops, Sonosopher Alex Caldiero, botanist Sam Rushforth, and above all Peter Handke—the hero of our books and the author of works we have translated and that have translated us.

Žarko’s genre-stretching stories assert that their realities, including space and time, are narratively constructed, and that gender, Aristotle’s unities, and even punctuation! are, subject, to; authorial, whim. Scott writes an “approximate biography” of his friend Žarko and offers “An Amicable Correspondence” between Žarko, Alex Caldiero, and himself. Letters between Goethe and Schiller augment the correspondence and when Schiller, approaching the end of his life, hopes that he and Goethe “can walk together down as much of the road as may remain, and with all the more profit, since the last companions on a journey always have most to say to each other,” we understand him well.

a few years ago, photo by Anne Kister

Deb Thorton, Professor of English at Utah Valley University, and her students Elizabeth Burdan, Blake Branin, Janice Chorniak, Cheyanne Dye, McKinli Grover, Jamie Lewis Holt, Megan Petruka, Esther Rogers, Jade Watkin, Shaye White, and Candice Wilcox, edited and typeset this book. They did so joyfully and generously, lending rare spirit to the resulting text. The final interior design is Deb’s inspired work.

UVU colleague and friend Mark Olsen worked on several iterations of our book. The original cover design, based on my photo of clouds over Utah Valley, is his creation, artfully developed and completed by Christian Harrison.

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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7 Responses to Nous sommes embarqués

  1. roughghosts says:

    Congratulations, Scott. I’ve added to my wish list at *that* site. Unfortunately shipping costs/exchange put most small independent publishers out of reach for those of us outside the US.


  2. Chuck says:



  3. stirlingadams says:

    I am out of the country and so a paperback version is less travel friendly than an electronic version. Will there be a Kindle version?


  4. Alex Caldiero says:

    Congratz to you and zarko, my friends indeed. — alex


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