Interview with Renowned Author Zoran Slavic
He has 15 books published, including songs, short stories, novels, printed copies and essays in Serbian. When he decided to translate one of the pieces of the song collection “Leaving the Picture,” written in 1996, to English, Zoran Slavic chose Widbook to publish it.
“I decided to publish it in English and on Widbook to have a chance to reach all over the world. This collection of songs has experienced considerable success, which would have never happened if it stayed only in Serbian language and were available only in printed copies. Widbook was a big hit!” he said.
You can read the book for free by clicking here. Learn more about this noted Serbian author by reading the interview below.
WIDBOOK: Hi Zoran. Your book of poems “Leaving the Picture” was chosen as the book of the week by the Widbook team. Congratulations! Tell our readers about the book.
ZORAN: This book is based on the author’s attempt to be poetic in thinking and singing, overcoming the sense of the world within us, especially beyond ourselves as a completed image. That of his own image, real or constructed, he finds the past comes to us in the present. In this book, there is a classic and modern history and society, and a presence of the arts, philosophy and associations of great classic writers. The predominant tone of this collection is nostalgic and it looks like a modern ballad.
WIDBOOK: You have other books published on Widbook, too. Tell us a bit about them.
ZORAN: When it comes to my most recent book of poems, “Swamp Which Growing In the Living Room” is best defined by the words of her epilogue: “Poetry, therefore exists parallel with it, a new format that integrally poetic vision leads to the view that it is by itself an absolute goal of their own development. What is quite pretentious, and has already seen, opinion and by the fact that the poet only mortal being vulnerable to any kind of irony and sarcasm. As with the knowledge that only a math parallels never touch, and established awareness that the antique formats, perfect harmony and proportion, become part of the world heritage just as issues as wind, rain and time mark, even reformatting, lead story on the status of poetry in the final position of the met stability.”
The book of short stories, “Picasso à faire du velo,” ” attempts to make a complex, artistic, scientific and political activity of life and literature and present it in a seemingly relaxed literary form. It is a way to show the absurdity and drama of life and look at it from the literature and ironic angle. This prose is playful, erotic, scientific and political – but above all, it has wit and is unpretentiousness. This prose tends to constitute taking serious subjects and bring them into interesting and frivolous forms.
WIDBOOK: When did you have a desire to start writing?
ZORAN: I started writing rhymes somewhere in the months after high school. If I tried to rationalize the reasons and motives for writing, I think the immediate reason that I begun with some creative writing was the fact that in my class I learned of already famous Serbian poet Pero Zubac. I wanted to be a poet like him. Perhaps most importantly, the reason for my involvement in literature was then discovered as a feeling, a premonition, and a need; the act of writing reduced the feeling of transience.
WIDBOOK: How is it the publishing industry in Serbia?
ZORAN: In Serbia, as well as earlier in the former Yugoslavia, printing and publishing of books was very expensive. Even today there are many books published, though increasingly less people read. Publishers prefer to publish popular foreign literature as well as books and populist entertainment content. However, generally speaking, those who have enough money publish their work with relative ease. This primarily applies to the “classic” edition, on paper, while electronic publishing is less prevalent.
WIDBOOK: As a writer, what are you afraid of?
ZORAN: Me, as an artist or a writer, there is nothing in particular of which I am worried or afraid. I share daily restlessness like other inhabitants of Serbia, Europe and the world. Maybe just with more sensitivity and more intensity. In recent years, what preoccupies me is a dilemma whether will economic globalization, that is essentially progressive, consequently cause cultural impoverishment of all the features and differencesthat make the world so rich and immensely attractive? That would be a civilization and artistic disaster!!
WIDBOOK: What advice would you give to those who are just starting to write?
ZORAN: My advice to those who write comes down to his: To begin to write, you have to read hundreds of other books, and good books. When you write, do not have to have a moralistic, ideological or bourgeois “censor.” Write freely, but in a correct grammar. Do not rush to publish. Respect your future reader by publishing only work when you’re sure it’s the best thing you can publish. Push yourself so that the work will not be boring, because this is no time for boring books! Competition from other media is amazing and cruel.
WIDBOOK: What are your favorite books of all time?
ZORAN: Since I am by education a teacher of world literature, it is difficult to single out just a few. However, for me as a writer, the most striking impression novels include Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time,” Marquez’s book, “Love in the Time of Cholera,” Joyce’s incredible, “Ulysses,” the short stories of Ernest Hemingway and the works of Franz Kafka and Albert Camus. There is also a Serbian poet Milos Crnjanski with poems “Stražilovo” and “Lament over Belgrade” and the epic novel “Great Migration.” And, I almost forgot, a novel Serbian Nobel prize winner Ivo Andric who wrote “Travnik’s Chronicles,” with whom I graduated to the Faculty of Philology.
WIDBOOK – How did you learn about Widbook? How do you think it can help you?
ZORANI - I found out about Widbook on the Internet. I liked its openness, the fact that it’s unconventional and its speed in responding. I am glad the medias in Serbia recognized it and are publishing about my book “Leaving the Picture” on Widbook. Widbook helps my literary works to reach all continents quickly and effectively.
WIDBOOK – Thanks and we hope to see more of your books on Widbook