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Jelena Lengold

Portrait of Jelena Lengold

Jelena Lengold (née en 1959) est écrivaine et poète. Elle a publié cinq livres de poésie, un roman (Baltimore, 2003, 2011) et quatre collections de nouvelles, dont Pokisli lavovi (litt. : « Lions trempés », 1994), Lift, 1999 et Vašarski mađioničar (2009 ; Fairground Magician, 2013, pour la traduction anglaise). On la retrouve dans plusieurs anthologies de poésie et de nouvelles, et ses textes ont été traduits en plusieurs langues. Jelena Lengold a travaillé comme journaliste et éditeur pendant dix ans au département culturel de l’antenne Radio Belgrade. Elle a aussi été coordinatrice de projet dans le cadre du programme de gestion de conflits de la Nansenkolen Humanistic Academy à Lillenhamer, en Norvège. Elle a donné des cours sur des sujets comme le dialogue, la tolérance ethnique, la discrimination, l’art de la négociation, les droits de l’homme et la résolution de conflits pacifique. Elle vit actuellement à Belgrade.

  • EUPL Year: 
    2011
  • EUPL Country: 

Winning Book

Vašarski Mađioničar (« Fairground Magician », 2013)

« Fairground Magician » raconte des histoires d’amours heureuses et malheureuses, parle de choses visibles dans la vie quotidienne et de valeurs perceptibles uniquement dans des moments exceptionnels. Le récit est multiforme et passe d’un style apparemment réaliste à d’autres genres comme le roman policier, le récit à suspense ou encore la prose érotique. En décrivant les conflits intérieurs des protagonistes, Jelena Lengold crée souvent des dialogues intertextuels avec des personnages de la littérature mondiale et des symboles reconnus de la culture moderne. Dans ses nouvelles, les souvenirs, les suggestions et les prémonitions sont insufflés avec une tranquillité qui accepte le destin même quand on essaye de le changer, comme dans les histoires “Poche pleine de cailloux” ou “Chute”. De plus, l’érotisme, présenté comme un ingrédient naturel de la vie, comme une tension intégrée entre deux parties inséparables – le corps et l’âme –, insuffle de l’énergie aux histoires telles que “Love Me Tender”, “Fairground Magician”, “Zugzwang”, “Wanderings” et “Aurora Borealis”. Tout au long de ces nouvelles, Jelena Lengold se révèle une observatrice lucide d’infimes détails et de subtils revirements émotionnels. Dans “Ça aurait pu être moi”, “Ombre” ou “Ophelia, Get Thee to a Nunnery”, elle réussit à dépasser le clivage entre l’apparence corporelle extérieure et l’intériorité d’une manière particulièrement remarquable. Peu importe la banalité des situations que Lengold décrit – que ce soit l’histoire d’amants malheureux, de mariages tombés à l’eau ou d’espoirs inassouvis –, elle cherche toujours l’authenticité et y parvient avec une ironie sophistiquée, signe distinctif de son écriture.

Cover of Vašarski Mađioničar

Publishing House

Address: 

Terazije 29/II, Beograd, Serbie

Organisation: 
Arhipelag

Translation Deals

  • Albania: Morava
  • Bulgaria: Izdatelstvo SONM
  • Czech Republic: Dauphin
  • Denmark: Forlag Vandkunsten 
  • Greece: Vakxikon Publications
  • Hungary: Filmax
  • Italy: Zandonai
  • North Macedonia: Ikona
  • Poland: Toczka
  • Serbia: Kontrast (published in German, edition for foreign languages)
  • Slovenia: Sodobnost International
  • United Kingdom: Istros Books

Excerpt

Translated by Rusanka Ljapova

 

The woman shouted joyously:
- Hey, there's Lola!
- I told you he'd come back - a voice replied from inside the house.
- He always comes back.
The man came out onto the threshold and held out his hand to take the dishes that his wife was carrying. He smiled at her:
- Tomcats always come back for their slice of meat, you should know that much about us.
She responded with one of those smiles the full meaning of which is understood only by people sharing the same bed. They both stood there for a while, as if in a freeze-frame, watching their big yellow tomcat. He was finishing his meal loudly and voraciously. Then, presumably feeling full up, he turned abruptly away from his bowl and started licking himself meticulously. He licked his paw first, and then slid it over his entire lithe body. He contorted impossibly, managing to touch even the remotest parts of his back, belly and tail with his tongue.
- He looks OK - the woman said.
- He appears to be in one piece, his ears and eyes are all in place, his tail is intact, Mr Lola seems to have got away with it this time as well.
- Why, of course - her husband said entering the house.
- You worry about him too much. I'll make us some coffee.
The woman went back to the table, in the shade of the tall linden-tree. It was a warm April day. There were tulips and narcissi all around, it was their time to bloom. She looked at the bushes that needed pruning, the places that seemed to lack a flower or two, then she looked at Lola again, who was lying quite peacefully now on a worn blanket, blinking at her with his yellow eyes. She knew he would fall asleep soon and sleep for hours. It always happened like that. People never slept so peacefully, she thought with a little envy. Not even while they were children. Even then, all sorts of monsters appeared in their dreams. But Lola slept without a worry or care. One could see him breathe, the rhythmic up-and-down motion of his belly. Occasionally, one of his ears twitched away a fly or some insect. Sometimes, without opening his eyes, he stood up, arched his back, changed his position and went on sleeping. And that was all. He had no worries. He did not think about what had happened the day before, had no plans, was not plagued by envy, did not have any ambitions, felt no apprehension. And who knows, she thought, maybe I am wrong, maybe he does have some tomcat worries of his own? Still, it seemed highly unlikely to her. Asleep as he was, Lola seemed the perfect image of absolute calm. Full up, licked clean and carefree. Perfectly safe in his own yard. She wondered whether he knew at all what safety was. Or perhaps he knew only fear, at the moment when lie felt it.

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