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Tomaz Salamun

Biografie

Tomaz Šalamun (Zagreb, 1941) is een Sloveense dichter van wie meer dan dertig poëziebundels verschenen, vertaald in meer dan twintig talen. Zijn literaire impact is vergelijkbaar met die van zijn Oost-Europese generatiegenoten Adam Zagajewski en Joseph Brodskey. De Amerikaanse Pulitzer Prize Winnaar Jorie Graham noemt hem "Een van Europa's grootste filosofische wonderen". Šalamuns debuutbundel Poker verscheen als samizdatuitgave in 1966, en fungeerde meteen als het begin van de Joegoslavische avant-garde. Salamun exploreert in zijn poëzie vaak de meest duistere kanten van de menselijke psyche. Zijn schrijverschap werd onder meer bekroond met de Preseren-, de Jenko- en de Mladost-prijs. De internationale waardering voor zijn werk vertaalde zich in beurzen en uitnodigingen voor residentieprogramma's en literatuurfestivals wereldwijd. Šalamun reist ook bijna jaarlijks naar de Verenigde Staten, waar hij van 1971-1973 deelnam aan het "International Writing Program" van de Universiteit van Iowa en van 1996-1999 in New York Cultureel Attaché was voor Slovenië. Zie ook www.tomazsalamun.com

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Auteurstekst

Passa Porta, Names and Numbers

Brussels, a mysterious place in my life. I, Tomaz Šalamun from Ljubljana, Slovenia, have been entagled with this town since my early teens. From
fifty three years ago (sweet memories), forty three years ago (bitter memories - my best friend married my fiancée while I was serving in the Yugoslav People's Army, but oh, yes, this brought a happy result, I persevered in poetry).

Then Europalia, two years ago. Sigrid Bousset came to my hotel, invited me to Passa Porta. »My husband Stefan Hertmans, remembers you from Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia, thirty two years ago«. I liked Sigrid, I love Stefan Hertmans poems and essays, I liked the name of Passa Porta, I said yes, yes, most honored, can I invite also my translator Michael Thomas Taren, my ex student; in my mind, the most important American poet among the youngest that I'm aware of, whom I met three years ago? So I'm here, I'll leave in two days. Michael had written about seventy poems, we translated exactly seventy poems of mine.

I'm Slovenian. I have to be translated. We think we are like Flemish, but this is quite selfcongratulatory. We're smaller, with less tradition, with almost no name any foreigner can remember from our past.

And on the way to Passa Porta, Danielle Losman emailed me. Do you remember? Your then best friend, myself and you, we spent one summer in Greece forty four years ago. Yes. Of course. I even drove deux chevaux without having a licence and I remember your stories about Greenwich Village and how Sartre, invited to your home, couldn't eat lobsters.

And then, seven days ago, she invited Michelle Corbisier, Serge Meurant, Frank de Crits and me in her beautiful dacha braban̉«onne. We talked, ate delicious food and drank exquisite wines; befriended each other, read and looked at our works. Danielle also showed me some old pictures from Greece, from forty three years ago. How strange! I shivered. My best friend who married my fiancée while I was serving in the Yougoslav Army forty three years ago looked like Michael Thomas Taren looks now. This is what Passa Porta does to people's lives. It was one of the many many heavenly days that I spent at Passa Porta.

September, in the Year of our Lord, 2009,

Tomaz Salamun

 

 

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Passa Porta
6.09.09 > 5.10.09

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