Vilenica Anthologies

On the cover: Klapparstígur © Louise Matthíasdóttir

Raddir í loftinu. Anthology of Contemporary Icelandic Literature

The Vilenica Anthologies, Slovene Writers’ Association, 2020

Authors: Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir, Gyrðir Elíasson, Þórdís Gísladóttir, Jónas Reynir Gunnarsson, Hallgrímur Helgason, Dagur Hjartarson, Fríða Ísberg, Auður Jónsdóttir, Hildur Knútsdóttir, Andri Snær Magnason, Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir, Sverrir Norland, Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Bragi Ólafsson, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Sigurður Pálsson, Ragna Sigurðardóttir, Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson, Bergþóra Snæbjörnsdóttir.

Translations: Miljana Cunta, Miriam Drev, Iva Klemenčič, Ana Pepelnik, Andrej Pleterski, Lucija Stupica.

Editors: Sverrir Norland and Lucija Stupica

This anthology is published with the support of the Slovenian Book Agency, the Icelandic Literature Center – Miðstöð íslenskra bókmennta and the European Commission.

The 2020 festival focused on Icelandic literature by publishing the Raddir í loftinu, an anthology of Icelandic literature. Co-editor Sverrir Norland introduced it as follows:

“Recently, I came upon a wonderful Icelandic wordsorgarfegurð, which describes writers’ difficult position very well. Like German (Icelandic is a Germanic language), Icelandic can create new words by merging existing ones. Sorgarfegurð is a composite of sadness and beauty. I think it is very close in meaning to the Portuguese word saudade, but is even more precise as it refers to yearning something that will never return. Icelanders think that the world is constantly disappearing before our eyes. Our culture is a very good example: it seems it is taking its last breaths every day. Every day when we wake up, we first start reviving the language by writing and speaking it. Writing in Icelandic is not limited to new stories and articles about bringing down capitalist pigs; it literally means breathing life into words every time we use them. We inspire language just like trees and phytoplankton inspire us. The word for inspiration in Icelandic is innblástur. In Latin, this means ‘to breathe in life’. If I or someone else who can also speak these ancient fragile words do not do it no-one will. […] I am very happy that I can introduce several good friends and allies of mine. Writers are voices in the air. To exist, they need someone to listen. I am happy that we have brought several of our literary voices to Slovenia, among another nation with a small population, which, however, is not built from lava, the endless ocean and nyorka but beautiful forest, wolves and – I assume – similar sadness we grow up with. I think you will understand our sorgarfegurð.”

On the cover: Paolo Bellegrandi — Paesaggio con fabbrica (Landscape with Factory).

Un filo di seta. Anthology of contemporary Italian poetry

The Vilenica Anthologies, Slovene Writers’ Association, 2019.

Authors: Antonella Anedda, Nanni Balestrini, Silvia Brè, Franco Buffoni, Maria Grazia Calandrone, Giuseppe Conte, Maurizio Cucchi, Claudio Damiani, Milo De Angelis, Paolo Febbraro, Umberto Fiori, Biancamaria Frabotta, Vivian Lamarque, Valerio Magrelli, Guido Mazzoni, Laura Pugno, Fabio Pusterla, Antonio Riccardi, Mario Santagostini, Gian Mario Villalta

Editors: Franco Buffoni and Veronika Simoniti

Translations: Miljana Cunta, Nadja Dobnik, Alenka Jovanovski, Marko Kravos, Gašper Malej, Veronika Simoniti

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This anthology is published with the support of the Slovenian Book Agency, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Slovenia–The Institute for Italian Culture in Slovenia (as part of the “Vivera ALL’Italiana” initiative of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), and the European Commission.

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On the cover: “Mosta Bridge”, 2015 © Jesmond Vassallo

Antologije Vilenice Series, Slovene Writers’ Association, 2018

Authors: Walid Nabhan, Simone Galea, Immanuel Mifsud, Simon Bartolo, Adrian Grima, Simone Inguanez, Loranne Vella, Alex Vella Gera, Abigail Ardelle Zammit, Ġużè Stagno, Claudia Gauci, Nadia Mifsud, Clare Azzopardi, John Aquilina, Antoine Cassar, Glen Calleja, Karl Schembri, Norbert Bugeja, Miriam Calleja, Leanne Ellul.
Editors: Immanuel Mifsud and Peter Semolič.
Translators: Breda Biščak, Miljana Cunta, Miriam Drev, Nada Grošelj, Boris Jukić, Ana Pepelnik, Andrej Pleterski, Vera Pejovič, Peter Semolič.
The Anthology has been funded with the support from Slovenian Book Agency.

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With publishing of the anthology and guest authors, special attention of the 33rd Vilenica will be brought to Maltese literature, which is still rather unknown in Slovene literary space. The anthology of contemporary Maltese literature under the title Wara Settembru presents 20 authors who have put the Maltese literature on the literary map of the world; world-renowned literary names can be found in the anthology, as are the recipients of the The European Union Prize for Literature Immanuel Mifsud and Walid Nabhan. On the occasion of the publishing of the anthology, the festival will host the awarded author Clare Azzopardi who writes both for children and adults, writer, translator and performer Loranne Vella, poet Norbert Bugeja, lecturer of postcolonial studies at the Mediterranean Institute of the University of Malta, as well as Immanuel Misfud, lecturer of literature at the University of Malta who has published many prose and poetry books and has even wrote some original lullabies.

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Innsyn. Antology of Contemporary Norwegian Literature

Antologije Vilenice Series, Slovene Writers’ Association, 2017
Authors: Øyvind Berg, Nils Christian, Gro Dahle, Jon Fosse, Inger Elisabeth Hansen, Tone Elisabeth Hødnebø, Cecilie Løveid, Stein Mehren, Steinar Opstad, Endre Ruset, Torgeir Schjerven, Ingrid Storholmen, Gunnar Wærness, Kjell Askildsen, Tomas Espedal, Brit Bildøen, Erika Fatland, Beate Grimsrud, Vigdis Hjorth, Ragnar Hovland, Mette Karlsvik, Karl Ove Knausgård, Gunnhild Øyehaug, Per Petterson, Åsne Sejerstad, Carl Frode Tiller, Ole Robert Sunde, Dag Solstad.
Editors: Birgit Hatlehol and Tanja Petrič.
Translators: Darko Čuden, Nada Grošelj, Iva Klemenčič, Jana Kocjan, Martina Noč, Tanja Petrič and Marija Zlatnar Moe.
The Anthology has been funded with support from NORLA – Norwegian Literature Abroad, Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway and Slovenian Book Agency.

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Innsyn – insights into contemporary Norwegian literature

Tanja Petrič, editor of the anthology
The 32nd Vilenica puts front and centre Norwegian literature, which in spite its terrific tradition and the blooming Scandinavian crime fiction genre, alongside the recent success of individual authors such as Ove Knausgård, Per Petterson, Jon Fosse or Maria Parr, in Slovenia still ranks among the lesser-known domains of prose. The anthology of contemporary Norwegian literature entitled Innsyn, which was published within the framework of the festival, brings 28 fresh insights into the Norwegian literary landscape. According to professor Anders Johansen, the latter has in recent years been profoundly affected by the massacre on Utøya Island in July of 2011, which drastically reconfigured the attitude of the Norwegians towards language: “For many of us, it became crucial to find a painstakingly truthful expression for what had transpired, in a language that could do justice to the facts as well as the emotions.”
Selected texts were transmuted to Slovene by Darko Čuden, Nada Grošelj, Iva Klemenčič, Jana Kocjan, Martina Noč, Tanja Petrič and Marija Zlatnar Moe. “The purpose of the anthology is not only to present the literary output of the most visible contemporary Norwegian authors of various genres and generations, but also to show how the Norwegian writers seek out language that comprehensively expresses reality. The value of literature lies in helping us see the world clearly, not because writers are the most mindful of people, but because they try the hardest of all to put what they see into words. Authors of documentary-travelogue literature, such as female writers Åsne Seierstad who describes the massacre on Utøya Island, or Erika Fatland who explores how the Soviet heritage has affected five former republics, refreshed the documentary genre with their striking works. Karl Ove Knausgård, Vigdis Hjorth and Tomas Espedal did not become world-renowned merely for their intricate narration of intimate family stories, but also for persistently delving into the relationships between fiction and reality. Socially engaged poets, such as Inger Elisabeth Hansen and Torgeir Schjerven, teach us, in non-dogmatic ways, how to hearken to climate change, while also tuning our sensibility to the particularities of language. A new trend, with poets like Øyvind Berg, is also to create one’s own poetic language, which in his case leans on Shakespeare and Paul Celan while incorporating slang and entirely idiosyncratic, hybrid expression.” With these words, the selection of the authors is affirmed by the anthology’s co-editor Birgit Hatlehol, among other the head of the Oslo International Poetry Festival and the Oslo Poetry Film Festival.

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Dzeja. Anthology of Contemporary Latvian Poetry
Despite its modern qualities, contemporary Latvian poetry is still very much connected to Latvian folk songs, which are said to be “as old as the Latvian language.” This is mostly due to the lack of a history of Latvian poetry, some Latvian scholars claim only half-joking. After the heroic but unsuccessful battles with Order of the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century, Latvians and Estonians were subject to the cruel authority of their German masters for more than six centuries. Circumstances did not improve later when they were subsumed into the Russian Empire. Folk songs (daina), for a long time the only poetic form in Latvia, were passed from generation to generation, mostly by women.

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Even today, many nations consider themselves a nation of poets, but, in Latvia’s case, this seems to be especially true. In 1841, the German geographer and traveller J.G. Kohl wrote: “It would be truly difficult in this day and age in Europe to find a nation that deserves to be called a nation of poets more than Latvia does. Likewise, it would be difficult to find a land that is more a land of poetry then Latvia. Every Latvian is born a poet, all write poetry and create songs – which can also be sung.”
Authors in the anthology are Anna Auziņa, Ingmāra Balode, Uldis Bērziņš, Inga Gaile, Justīne Janpaule, Liāna Langa, Artis Ostups, Marts Pujāts, Edvīns Raups, Katrīna Rudzīte, Māris Salējs, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Arvis Viguls, Inese Zandere. The poems were selected and edited by Artis Ostups and Klemen Pisk.
The anthology was published with the assistance of the Slovenian Book Agency and the Latvian Writers Union.

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Kavita. Anthology of Contemporary Indian Literature

The festival will see the unveiling of the 10th volume of the Vilenica Anthologies titled Kavita, which means “poetry” in Hindi. The anthology of contemporary Indian poetry features 31 male and female authors.

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The contributing authors are Sirpi Balasubramaniam, Mangalesh Dabral, Haraprasad Das, Ranajit Das, Hemant Divate, Gnanakoothan, Sankha Ghosh, Adil Jussawalla, Chandrashekhara Kambar, Pravasini Mahakud, Jayanta Mahapatra, Prathibha Nandakumar, Kunwar Narain, Jameela Nishat, Jayant Parmar, Surjit Patar, Nilmani Phookan, Savithri Rajeevan, Ramakanta Rath, Padma Sachdev, K. Satchidanandan, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Malika Amar Sheikh, Kedarnath Singh, Yumlembam Ibomcha Singh, H. S. Shivaprakash, K. Sivareddy, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, Kamal Vora, and Sitanshu Yashaschandra.
The author responsible for the initial selection of contributing authors, Mr. K. Satchidanandan, a renowned and acclaimed Malayalam-language poet himself, tried to secure a place in the anthology for the best poets, writing in the largest number of languages possible. He focused particularly on quality, relevance, contemporaneity, and on a healthy balance between male and female poets. The cover art of the anthology is painted by the artist B. Balagopalana.
The publication of the anthology has been made possible through the kind support by the Slovenian Book Agency and Sahitya Akademi – India’s National Academy of Letters.

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Hällewul. Anthology of Contemporary Luxembourgian Literature

The 9th volume of the Vilenica Antholoigies series dedicated to lesser known European literatures bears the title Hällewull, which means “a whole heap of something” in Luxembourgian.

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The anthology of contemporary Luxembourgian literature was edited by Guy Helminger and Vesna Kondrič Horvat and features 21 male and female authors, representatives of the “Luxemburgensie” (creators of Luxembourgian literature), which is lesser known to the Slovenian public. Luxembourgian literature is not written in the official languages of the duchy – Luxembourgian, German and French – exclusively, but also comes to life in English as well as in the languages of the local immigrants. The authors featured in the anthology are: Nico Helminger, Guy Rewenig, Jhemp Hoscheit, Pol Greisch, Claudine Muno, Jean Portante, Lambert Schlechter, Jean Sorrente, Alexandra Fixmer, Ian De Toffoli, Anise Koltz, Nora Wagener, Guy Helminger, Michèle Thoma, Pol Sax, Guy Wagner, Margret Steckel, Jean Back, Elise Schmit, Georges Hausemer and Pierre Joris. The featured texts were translated from German, French and English to Slovene by Vesna Kondrič Horvat, Mojca Kranjc, Meta Lah, Amalija Maček, Mojca Schlamberger Brezar, Veno Taufer and Primož Vitez. The author of the accompanying study outlining the history of Luxembourgian literature from the first literary work dating back to the Middle Ages until today is Georges Hausemer, one of the most important contemporary Luxembourgian writers in his own right. The anthology follows the visual appearance of the series, with its cover containing a representative work by one of local artists. The painting Industrie und Weideland (Industry and Pasturage) by renowned artist Fernand Bertemes illustrates the dichotomy between the northern agricultural part of Luxembourg and the southern part of the duchy characterised by the local steel industry.
The publication of the anthology has been made possible through the kind support by the Ministry of Culture of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Slovenian Book Agency.

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Gluscht: Anthology of Contemporary Swiss Literature 

The seventh book of the Vilenica Anthology series Gluscht was edited by Dr. Vesna Kondrič Horvat, and Ana Barič Moder, Vesna Kondrič Horvat, Mojca Kranjc, Meta Lah, Amalija Maček, Gašper Malej, Mojca Schlamberger, Aleš Šteger, and Primož Vitez contributed translations.

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As the editor writes in her introduction to the anthology, we cannot speak of a single Swiss national literature but rather of the four literatures of Switzerland. There is very little cross fertilization among the language groups in Switzerland and therefore four exceptionally rich literatures have developed almost entirely independently of each other, both in terms of theme and approach, and thus are even more open to outside influences from the larger German, French, and Italian linguistic spheres and farther afield. The anthology draws attention to fragments from the rich treasure chest of Swiss literature and awakens in the reader the desire to discover more gems from this extraordinarily diverse, small but linguistically varied, literary space. The work of the following authors appears in the anthology: German-language writers Adolf Muschg, Erica Pedretti, Hedi Wyss, Franz Hohler, Rolf Lappert, Alex Capus, Franco Supino, Catalin Dorian Florescu, Pedro Lenz, Christoph Simon, Ilma Rakusa, Raphael Urdweider, Urs Widmer, Thomas Hürlimann, Lukas Bärfuss; French-language writers Jacques Chessex, Ghislaine Dunant, Michel Layaz, Frédéric Wandelère; Italian-language writers Giovanni Orelli, Alberto Nessi, Pietro De Marchi, and; Romansh-language writers Arno Camenisch and Leta Semadeni. The cover art of the anthology is entitled “Breakfast in Fur” and painted by the renowned Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim whose 100th anniversary would be celebrated this year. Publication of the book was made possible for the Slovenian Book Agency and Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

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Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Literature: En zo agada

I n 2012 the Vilenica Anthologies features an anthology of contemporary Hebrew literature, entitled En zo agada (This Is Not a Fairytale). In the book, the editor of the anthology and translator from Hebrew Klemen Jelinčič Boeta portrays the evolution of modern literature in Hebrew, which emerges from intertwining national traditions and the tumultuous history of the state of Israel. The anthology features the following authors: A. B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, David Grossman, Sami Michael, Meir Shalev, Yoram Kaniuk, Eli Amir, Etgar Keret, Zeruya Shalev, Ronit Matalon, Alona Kimhi, Dorit Rabinyan, Leah Goldberg, Dalia Ravikovitsch, Yona Volach, Nurit Zarchi, Agi Mishol, Hava Pinhas-Cohen, Sharon Hass, Nathan Alterman, Amir Gilboa, Yehuda Amichai, Amir Or, Ronny Someck, and Daniel Oz.


İstanbul Türküsü: Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Literature 

The fifth book of the Vilenica Anthology series İstanbul Türküsü offers a look at the most important Turkish authors, both male and female, of the 20th and 21st Century. Fehim Nametak and Alena Ćatović, professors of Turkish language and literature at the University of Sarajevo, have contributed the selection and the accompanying essay.

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The texts have been translated from the Turkish, English, French, and Serbian by Veno Taufer, Lili Potpara, Abdülaziz Počinka, Jana Unuk, Lara Simona Taufer and Uroš Kalčič. The anthology follows the visual appearance of the series, with its cover being graced by a representative work by one of the local artists. The fifth book of the series is thus adorned by a painting entitled Kiz Kulesi, by Turkish painter Hoca Ali Riza. The publication of the book was made possible by the Slovenian Book Agency, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and Literature Across Frontiers.

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Ffiniau aflonydd: Anthology of Contemporary Welsh Literature

The Welsh literature and its fate are very similar to Slovenian in many ways. In Wales also,  Welsh was mostly spoken among rural population, the Welsh translation of the Bible was made only a few years after Slovenian one and the language itself has been the basis of national rebirth and self-confidence which began to strengthen in the 20th and 21st century.

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 This year’s Vilenica Anthology Ffiniau aflonydd –Alternations of Frontiers, reveals the richness of this literature which is written both in English and Welsh and represents its main authors.

The texts were translated by Miljana Cunta, Zdravko Duša, Marjan Strojan, Lara Simona Taufer in Veno Taufer.The anthology follows the visual image of the collection, which on the cover depicts representative works of visual artists for the selected literature. The fifth book of the Vilenica series is decorated by the Welsh painter Iwan Bala. Publication of the book was made possible for the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for the Book, Wales Literature Exchange,Wales Arts International and Literature Across Frontiers.

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Ruimte: Anthology of Modern Poetry form Flanders

The fourth book of the Vilenica Anthology series, which offers a look at lesser known European literatures, is entitled Ruimte, which could be translated as “space,” but also as “spaces,” “universe” and even “freedom,” as the editor of the book Mateja Seliškar Kenda notes in the accompanying text.

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There she adds: “The Vilenica Anthology series, dedicated to lesser known literatures, this time presents literature from Flanders. As with previous Vilenica guests, also this year it holds true that in many ways it is somewhat specific, beginning with its naming. The literature of Belgian Flanders is written in Dutch and for this reason it is often categorized as Dutch literature, or, at best, the blanket term “iterature in the Dutch language’”is used for the Dutch and Flemish literary system. Consequently, often in anthologies authors from one or the other side of the border appear together; this collection presents only Flemish creators.”

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Artuma: Anthology of Contemporary Lithuanian Literature

The third volume of the Vilenica Anthologies series, edited by Jana Unuk and focused on less familiar European literatures, bears the title Artuma (“loseness” in Lithuanian) and is dedicated to contemporary Lithuanian literature.

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The anthology, compiled and edited by Bernarda Pavlovec Žumer, presents eighteen authors: Antanas Škėma, Vytautas P. Bložė, Tomas Venclova, Alfonsas Andriuškevičius, Sigitas Geda, Ričardas Gavelis, Nijolė Miliauskaitė, Juozas Šikšnelis, Kornelijus Platelis, Antanas A. Jonynas, Birutė Jonuškaitė, Eugenijus Ališanka, Jurga Ivanauskaitė, Sigitas Parulskis, Herkus Kunčius, Alvydas Šlepikas, Sonata Paliulytė, and Marius Ivaškevičius. The Slovene translations have been provided by Bernarda Pavlovec Žumer and Lucija Štamulak, with Ona A. Čepaitytë Gams as the language consultant. The author of the accompanying study, which traces the development of Lithuanian literature from the first book in 1547 until now, is Kornelijus Platelis – poet, translator, essayist, and consultant to the Vilenica jury. The visual design of the book, which was published with the support of the following institutions: Books from Lithuania, Literature Across Frontiers, and the Embassy of Lithuania in Ljubljana, matches the overall design of the series, the cover featuring a picture by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, a recognised Lithuanian artist.

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Amanairis: Antology of Contemporary Irish-Language Literature

The second book of the series Vilenica Anthologies published by the Slovene Writers’ Association is dedicated to contemporary Literature in Irish.

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The editor of the anthology Tina Mahkota, in collaboration with poet and translator Gabriel Rosenstock, has selected 17 authors including prose wroters: Micheál Ó Conghaile, Seán Mac Mathúna, Dara Ó Conaola, Pádraic Breathnach, Alan Titley, Daithí Ó Muirí and poets: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Cathal Ó Searcaigh, Gabriel Rosenstock, Biddy Jenkinson, Celia de Fréine, Louis de Paor, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, Colm Breathnach, Tomás Mac Síomóin, Paddy Bushe, Dairena Ní Chinnéide. The author of the foreword is Tomás Mac Síomóin. The excerpts have been translated by Nada Grošelj, Lučka Jenčič, Tina Mahkota, Uroš Mozetič, Ifigenija Simonovič and Andrej Stopar.

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Etzikoak: Anthology of Contemporary Basque Literature

The first book of the Vilenica Anthologies has been published within the 21th Vilenica and is dedicated to contemporary basque literature. It was translated and edited by Marjeta Drobnič and Marjeta Prelesnik Drozg while the foreword was provided by University lecturer Mari Jose Olaziregi.