POETRY AND STORIES IN WORDS AND IMAGES by EVA PETRIČ

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THIS SPACE IS A BOX

This Space Is a Box, poetry collection, published in 2007 in original Slovene language by Drava, Klagenfurt, and translated into German by Helga Mračnikar and published by Drava as well, and into Hungarian by Lukacs Zsolt, published by Czupi Kiado. All three books are iillustrated each by a different series of Eva Petric’s black and white photographs.

  • Ta prostor je skatla, Drava Verlag, Austria, 2007

  • Dieser Raum ist Ein Schachtel, Drava Verlag, Austria, 2009

  • Vilagskatulya, Versek, Czupi Kiado, 2013, Nagykanizaa, Hungary

A BOX WITHOUT SKIN, FLOATING
  • Škatla brez kože, lebdeča, a novel, Mohorjeva založba, Austria/Slovenia, 2009;

  • Caja sun piel, flotando, Ediciones B, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2011

 

A Box Without Skin, Floating conveys the story of Laura (22) a photo reporter from Slovenia, who is diagnosed with leukemia and goes to Argentina to find her unknown half-sibling - her possible donor of bone marrow, falls in love there but after finding her half-brother finds herself trapped in a double bind between her wish for love and for cure.

This novel discloses a repetitive story pattern of three different generations. The nowadays story of Laura is intertwined with the story of Laura's grandparents who fled from the communists in Yugoslavia after WW II to Argentina, and further with the story of Laura's father who fled from the military junta from Argentina back to Slovenia 30 years later. Here he continues to flee from his feeling of guilt for having left his pregnant fiancée behind (she was later kidnapped and killed by the military junta), trying to escape this guilt through painting a  faceless figure that brought him fame but haunted Laura and drew her mother out of their home.

While searching for her half-sibling and working on an assignment for her newspaper on the theme of the Dirty War,  Laura digs into the problems of The Disappeared (the Desaparecidos) and their missing children, encountering quite a few troubles when touching upon this in today's Argentina very actual but still painful theme.      

The book expands the usual means of conveying the story in both, content and form, by presenting it through different perspectives and through the use of visual imagery of words (by using different fonts and further creating plasticity by placement of words). Laura's story is narrated from different points of view, presented in different fonts.

In this way the same story is disclosed from different perspectives, attempting to show reality with all of its mystery.

THEY ALL ATE SUSHI
  • Vsi so jedli suši, Didakta, Radovljica, Slovenia 2009

  • They All Ate Sushi, Didakta, Radovljica, Slovenia, 2009, in English, nominated for the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin literary award:

  • Site jedea susi, Vermilion, Skopje, Macedonia, 2011

  • Und alle assen Sushi, Drava, Klagenfurt - Vienna, Austria, 2011

  • Iceri bak. Iceri! Cherkes susi yedo, Koyu Kitap, 2013, Istanbul, novel, translated into Turkish language
     

The composite love novel: They All Ate Sushi has the anatomy of a sushi, both literary and metaphorically composed of various ingredients. Similarly, like the ingredients of a sushi are rolled up, also the main heroes of this novel are each rolled up within their own separate love stories. When unrolled they form an even bigger final sushi - one three layered story with a wrapper: that of Sara and Juan Cruz, Jana and Lovro, Diana and Juan, and Laura and the anonymous man on wrapping them all. In spite of the three sushi having different ingredients - this expressed in the novel as the differing circumstances of the heroes - the end taste offered is the same. All couples in the novel are cursed by one and the same - an expiration date.

 Sara and Juan Cruz, Jana and Lovro, Diana and Juan, and even Laura and the anonymous man... all ate sushi. They ate it at various places, in trendy restaurants and bohemia cafés, at the street stands and fancy hotel bistros. But no matter where they ate it, it always left them with a bitter aftertaste. What lacked in the sushi kept it inedible in the memory of all? Laura never found the answer while the anonymous man switched from sushi to teriyaki.

The novel They All Ate Sushi rolls and unrolls as well as intertwines love stories of three couples that seem to be one and the same with only the circumstances being different.

As a sushi is composed of three layers, of seaweed, rice and the center, this novel is composed of real time events and circumstances, subconscious expectations and unconscious repressed desires and fears. Each of its separate layers offering us its own taste, yet when all rolled up together, they offer an all together new taste! One only must go beyond the fear of a possible after taste, bite into the sushi and not spit it out upon his or her first encounter with its taste - for the real taste develops only after the sushi is chewed up thoroughly.

YOUR HEAD IS FULL OF BUTTERFLIES
  • Dein Kopf ist voller Schmetterlinge, PEN Austria Edition 2018, Loecker Verlag Vienna, 2018

  • Your Head is Full of Butterflies, PEN Austria Edition, Loecker Verlag Vienna, 2019

Is love more of the heart or of the mind? Most would say it's of the heart. But if you read the story of Ago, the butterfly, your present conviction just might shift - if only slightly, enough to see that the mind also has a heart that breathes, eats, sleeps and even loves... And if you want to know how it is to have a mind that loves with a heart of its own, then I must introduce you to Laura and, of course, most importantly, Ago, the butterfly who resides inside her head.

Their story is a double love story: a story of an absent-minded Laura falling in love with Juan; and a story of Ago, a butterfly living inside Laura's head, falling in love with an image of another butterfly which Juan once showed to Laura.

While Laura is in love, Ago can freely come and go, in and out, of her head through the opening in her eyes, and search for his Beauty, the image of the butterfly that Ago has fallen in love with. But when Laura's and Juan's relationship ends, the opening in Laura's eyes closes. Unfortunately Ago finds himself out there, homeless and without any of his possessions. Will he become a victim of circumstances, or will he decide to fight?

 Ago decides for the latter, embarking on a long war with his own negative mind which wants to trick and posses him. If you are interested to know how he defeats his negative mind and along the way also learns about his mission - to share love - and fulfills it, read this story. It expands the initial love story into a story of war with one's own tricky self, a story that shows how the dividing line between heart and mind is not always as clear as it may seem.

© 2019 by Aleks Broz

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Your Head is Full of Butterflies