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You Do Understand (Slovenian Literature)by Andrej Blatnik
Synopses & Reviews
This collection of sharp, spare, occasionally absurd, cruel, touching, and yet always generous short-short fictions addresses the fundamental difficulty we have in making the people we love understand what we want and need. Demonstrating that language and intimacy are as much barriers between human beings as ways of connecting them, Andrej Blatnik here provides us with a guided tour of the slips, misunderstandings, and blind alleys we each manage to fall foul of on a daily basis--no closer to understanding the motives of our families, friends, lovers, or coworkers than we are those of a complete stranger . . . or, indeed, our own.
"Fifty brief, knotty thrusts at life's conundrums make up this hip collection. Themes of failure--particularly in love--dominate, as in the compendium of excuses the narrator of 'And Since I Couldn't Sleep' makes the morning after she's left the apartment of a man she's finally slept with. In 'An Almost Perfect Evening,' the buttoned-down narrator wishes his equally well-brought-up date would reveal a drastic fault. A humorous mixup occurs in 'Words Matter,' when a lonely man in a hotel room calls the number on a card offered by the desk clerk, though he has misunderstood the card's purpose ('So, you're not...' 'No, I'm not'). And what to make of a world in which a person can go to bed a bank mogul and wake up a rickshaw driver? Each of these short bursts (most are barely a page long) bubbles with a droll, dry humor handily captured by Soban's dead-on, deadpan translation. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Partly parables, partly fairy tales, is a comedy of errors for a species of talkers who've never learned to listen.
About the Author
Andrej Blatnik was born in Ljubljana in 1963. In addition to writing fiction and criticism, he serves on the jury of the Vilenica Central European Literary Award, and has translated the work of Paul Bowles and others. His collection Skinswaps was translated into English in 1998.Tamara M. Soban was born in Ljubljana in 1962, and received her BA in English from the University of Ljubljana. Among other works, she is the translator of Andrej Blatnik's Skinswaps and You Do Understand. Since 2002 she has worked as a translator and editor for the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana.
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