A-Chronicle-of-Forgetting-1
2021 Longlist

A Chronicle of Forgetting

Translated from the Slovenian by Rawley Grau
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Every morning the memories are a little different. The world of Sebastijan Pregelj’s novel A Chronicle of Forgetting is governed by dementia. In his previous novels and stories Pregelj has taken us to incredible, fantastic worlds, to worlds of the past, and once even into space, but the most incredible world is the world hidden in the human brain. Here, he gives us a remarkable, deeply humanistic story about pondering life and looking for meaning, for that happiness which we do not know how to find in the privileged part of the world and which people from other continents would like to have, but most of all this is a novel about accepting the end of life. It speaks of last things with a light that inspires and awakens. Pregelj is a writer with a keen ear for a story, for structuring plot, for gradual intensification, and for unexpected, sometimes extremely minute, but never unimportant reversals. He confirms anew that he is in command of his craft and one of Slovenia’s finest writers.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Sebastijan
Pregelj

Sebastijan Pregelj was born in Ljubljana in 1970 and studied history at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana. In the 1990s, he began writing short stories, which appeared in various literary magazines. In addition to four short story collections, he has published six novels: Leta milosti (Years of Mercy, 2004), Na terasi babilonskega stolpa (On the Terrace of the Tower of Babel, 2008), Mož, ki je jahal tigra (The Man Who Rode a Tiger, 2010), Pod srečno zvezdo (Under a Lucky Star, 2013), Kronika pozabljanja (A Chronicle of Forgetting, 2014), Vdih. Izdih. (Breathe In. Breathe Out, 2017), and, most recently, V Elvisovi sobi (Dear Ali. Dear Elvis, 2019). He also writes books for children. Four of his novels have been nominated for the Kresnik Award for Best Slovene Novel, and his stories have appeared in anthologies in German, Czech, Polish, and English. Three of his novels have been published by the Drava Verlag (Klagenfurt, Austria) in Erwin Köstler’s German translation: Auf der Terrasse des Turms von Babel (2013), Unter einem glücklichen Stern (2015), and Chronik des Vergessens (2017). He is co-author, with Gašper Troha, of the guide Ljubljana Literary Trail, which exists in both English and Slovene. Pregelj lives and works in Ljubljana and is a member of the Slovene Writers’ Association.

 

Sebastijan Pregelj was born in Ljubljana in 1970 and studied history at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana. In the 1990s, he began writing short stories, which appeared in various literary magazines. In addition to four short story collections, he has published six novels: Leta milosti (Years of Mercy, 2004), Na terasi babilonskega stolpa (On the Terrace of the Tower of Babel, 2008), Mož, ki je jahal tigra (The Man Who Rode a Tiger, 2010), Pod srečno zvezdo (Under a Lucky Star, 2013), Kronika pozabljanja (A Chronicle of Forgetting, 2014), Vdih. Izdih. (Breathe In. Breathe Out, 2017), and, most recently, V Elvisovi sobi (Dear Ali. Dear Elvis, 2019). He also writes books for children. Four of his novels have been nominated for the Kresnik Award for Best Slovene Novel, and his stories have appeared in anthologies in German, Czech, Polish, and English. Three of his novels have been published by the Drava Verlag (Klagenfurt, Austria) in Erwin Köstler’s German translation: Auf der Terrasse des Turms von Babel (2013), Unter einem glücklichen Stern (2015), and Chronik des Vergessens (2017). He is co-author, with Gašper Troha, of the guide Ljubljana Literary Trail, which exists in both English and Slovene. Pregelj lives and works in Ljubljana and is a member of the Slovene Writers’ Association.

 

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Rawley
Grau

Rawley Grau is originally from Baltimore, USA and has lived in Ljubljana since 2001. His translations from Slovene include the novels Biljard v Dobrayu (Billiards at the Hotel Dobray) and Panorama, both by Dušan Šarotar; the novel Kronosova žetev (The Harvest of Chronos) and the short-prose collection Fragma, both by Mojca Kumerdej; the novels Sušna doba (Dry Season) by Gabriela Babnik and Sukub (The Succubus) by Vlado Žabot (the latter co-translated with Nikolai Jeffs); the short fiction collection Družinske parabole (Family Parables), by Boris Pintar; and the essay collection The Hidden Handshake by Aleš Debeljak. He has also translated two plays – Ivan Cankar’s Pohujšanje v dolini šentflorjanski (Scandal in St. Florian’s Valley) and Slavko Grum’s Dogodek v mestu Gogi (An Event in the Town of Goga, co-translated with Nikolai Jeffs) – as well as poetry by Tomaž Šalamun, Miljana Cunta, Miklavž Komelj, Janez Ramoveš, Andrej Rozman Roza, and others. From Russian, he has translated a collection of poems and letters by Yevgeny Baratynsky, A Science Not for the Earth, for which he was awarded the 2016 prize for Best Scholarly Translation from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages (AATSEEL). In 2017, his translation of Dušan Šarotar’s Panorama was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

Rawley Grau is originally from Baltimore, USA and has lived in Ljubljana since 2001. His translations from Slovene include the novels Biljard v Dobrayu (Billiards at the Hotel Dobray) and Panorama, both by Dušan Šarotar; the novel Kronosova žetev (The Harvest of Chronos) and the short-prose collection Fragma, both by Mojca Kumerdej; the novels Sušna doba (Dry Season) by Gabriela Babnik and Sukub (The Succubus) by Vlado Žabot (the latter co-translated with Nikolai Jeffs); the short fiction collection Družinske parabole (Family Parables), by Boris Pintar; and the essay collection The Hidden Handshake by Aleš Debeljak. He has also translated two plays – Ivan Cankar’s Pohujšanje v dolini šentflorjanski (Scandal in St. Florian’s Valley) and Slavko Grum’s Dogodek v mestu Gogi (An Event in the Town of Goga, co-translated with Nikolai Jeffs) – as well as poetry by Tomaž Šalamun, Miljana Cunta, Miklavž Komelj, Janez Ramoveš, Andrej Rozman Roza, and others. From Russian, he has translated a collection of poems and letters by Yevgeny Baratynsky, A Science Not for the Earth, for which he was awarded the 2016 prize for Best Scholarly Translation from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages (AATSEEL). In 2017, his translation of Dušan Šarotar’s Panorama was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

The novel is a moving, well written – and translated – story about finding meaning and accepting the end of life, about losing memories and doing things worth remembering, about leaving something behind for others to find hope and/or comfort in. As it increasingly becomes the protagonist’s one true anchor in his diminishing sense of reality and self, the simple beauty of the world surrounding him is described in the novel’s most poetic language. Ljubljana City Library, Slovenia

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
30/12/2019
Country
Slovenia
Original Language
Slovenian
Publisher
Slovene Writers’ Association
Translator
Rawley Grau
Translation
Translated from the Slovenian by Rawley Grau

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