Guide to SKOPJE

The cult writer David Albahari came to Skopje

The great Serbian writer with international experience visited Skopje for the Macedonian promotion of his novel “Ludwig”.

The Serbian, European and world renown writer David Albahari came to Skopje to be a part of Macedonia’s promotion of his novel „Ludwig“. These days,  the Macedonian translation of the novel “Ludwig”  published by “Icon” was promoted in the  the cinema  “Frosina” at the Youth Cultural Centre, In front of the fans of the literary opus of Albahari  who were not as many as expected, but probably the most devoted ones. The Serbian cult author of numerous novels, six of which are now translated in Macedonian, who lives in Canada in the last two decades, managed to attract a huge number of supporters in his thirty years of traveling through the literature. He is respected for his novels, but especially for the short stories which are mostly autobiographical. He became famous for the wider audience with his second book „Description of Death“ which brought him the reward „Ivo Andric“ and then other prestigious awards followed. Most distinguished are his work „Bait“, „Snow Man“, „Zinc“ and of course „Ludwig“, which is translated into Macedonian by Alexander Prokopiev.

This was an exceptional opportunity for the readership in Skopje and Macedonia  to get acquainted with David Albahari. The author was  grateful to be our guest and said he would like to come again, and he would be honored if  his other novels, as „Daughter“ for example, or „Checkpoint“ are translated into Macedonian.

The common description for David Albahari (1948) is that he is quite an introvert writer who at times presents a rather hermetic expression and also an author who requires great efforts from the readers. His novel „Ludwig“ tells a story about two writers. One is called Ludwig, the second is also Ludwig but he uses the the letter S as a signature. S is obsessed with his fellow writer, something similar with the relationship between Mozart and Salieri.

– I am so glad that they gave me the opportunity to come here on this occasion in honor of the  translation of my book. It’s nice to see my works  in a another language. I hope it will have an influence, especially on  the writers. I also wish „Daughter“, and the last novel „Checkpoint“ to be translated in Macedonian, so I could come again, said Albahari and added that if anyone thinks that the novel „Ludwig“ has negative criticism of Belgrade, it is not so  because all the cities are basically similar.

– I just like to remind the public about some issues and dilemmas that still await true response, said Albahari at the end of his promotion and answered some of the questions from the audience, and in continued with signing his novels in the hall of the cinema „Frosina“. On the question which writers have made great impact on him as a author, he mentioned the American meta prose writers John Barth and especially Robert Coover as an inspiration at the beginning of his career. He said that many writers have influenced him, like Singer, which is quite different than the postmodernists.

– But, as he said, „Postmodernism is seen as something which allows the writer to do everything he likes. Its never too late to love Thomas Pynchon“ and adding jokingly „or David Albahari“.

Tina Ivanova