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The Dictionary of Silence: Poems by Ales Debeljak (Witter Bynner Translation Series)
From the Inside FlapEach of Ales Debeljak's hallucinatory poems is lit by wonder, as the poetic voice strives for a pure state of incandescence. Pushed beyond language into the body's shadow zone, the human voice threatens to disintegrate into inarticulate cries piercing screams, soft chimes, vocal tremors, and the high C of Ella Fitzgerald. Yet the poet...
From the Inside FlapEach of Ales Debeljak's hallucinatory poems is lit by wonder, as the poetic voice strives for a pure state of incandescence. Pushed beyond language into the body's shadow zone, the human voice threatens to disintegrate into inarticulate cries piercing screams, soft chimes, vocal tremors, and the high C of Ella Fitzgerald. Yet the poet who is "running out of words" does not succumb to silence; instead, he begins to enter new names in its dictionary. Deeply grounded in an awareness of social and political concerns, Debeljak's poems wander restlessly "on the border between east and west," in a surreal landscape of refugee camps, barren fields, and deserted city streets. His work more ontology than confession exists where Rilke's gleaming visions meet the dark edge of the millennium. In Sonja Kravanja's splendid translations, which deftly capture the music and melancholy that infuse Debeljak's work, we have a significant document on the effects of exile, wandering, and survival on language. Kathy CrownAbout the AuthorBorn in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1961, the poet, editor, translator, and professor Ales Debeljak graduated in comparative literature from the University of Ljubljana and later received his Ph.D. in Social Thought at Syracuse University, New York. He was a Senior Fulbright fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Budapest.A leading Central European poet, Debeljak has published five books of poems and eight books of essays in his native Slovenian. His books in English translation include Anxious Moments as well as Dictionary of Silence and The City and the Child, published in 1999 by Lumen Books, Santa Fe, and White Pine Press, Buffalo, respectively.Debeljaks volume of personal and analytical meditation, Twilight of the Idols: Recollections of a Lost Yugoslavia, has been translated into twelve languages. Other of his works have appeared in Japanese, German, Croatian, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and Italian translations. He won the Slovenian National Book Award and the Miriam Lindberg Israel Poetry for Peace Prize.Debeljak edited Prisone
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