The Mark
2013 Longlist

The Mark

Translated from the original Macedonian by Milan Damjanovski
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

This is the story of one sniper who becomes aware that he is held in the sights of another. This happens to be a woman, moreover one who is extremely beautiful and though he is caught in between the cross hairs she does not fire! Why doesn’t  she execute the victim? How does a victim live to fire at another? As in a chess match they look at each other, carefully studying their faces through the gun sight. He’s the narrator and she ‘listens’ to his story.

Our narrator tells the story, and Doruntina ( our figure names her fictively as Doruntina, in order to establish an act of a communication, the axis ‘I-you’) listens intoxicated. She hears a life story of anonymous victim whose life is placed in her hands. A pacifists story of a man who nurtured many high ideals ( he wanted to become a writer, he even took part in a creative writing workshop in Iowa, where he acquired a lot of literary friends).

This story demonstrates the senselessness of every war which possesses the power to cut off already drawn life paths and to make a farce of everything that looked stable; it casts overnight the idealistic writer in the army trenches. Like a blind destiny, war erases all previous existence, as if they were letter on the sand; that blind power, the war, brings back all the questions about the sense of life: what the exalted ideals mean when a moment comes in which the sergeant stands behind their backs and can shoot them just because they hesitate to pull the sniper’s trigger and show mercy to each other, standing on the opposite sides of the ‘conflict’.

The Mark  is a novel with the highest literary values. The novel is a literary work of a skilled master of words, obviously lavishly gifted with inspiration and craft. Together they make postmodern magic realism. We find in the story two types of discourse: the one which is a rich, modernist, magical realism discourse, as well as the discourse of multiple intertextual indexation and references to other preceding text from the canon of Great Literature. Telling the love story of the protagonist and his high school teacher, Minevski uses fragments and slivers of literature from his world-renowned predecessors, to show to what extent reality may be considered fiction, as well as to what extent fiction can be considered reality. These numerous intertexts point to the fact that our reality is fiction in the most beautiful artistic sense of the word; that there is a thin line separating life from fiction; we read life solely against the background of the books, novels and histories we have read.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Blazhe
Minevski

Blazhe Minevski is the author of the novels Me, Lenin and Mickey Mouse, We Should Have Taken a Photo before We Started Hating Each Other, A Story about a Third Party, The Mark and The Performers.

Blazhe Minevski is the author of the novels Me, Lenin and Mickey Mouse, We Should Have Taken a Photo before We Started Hating Each Other, A Story about a Third Party, The Mark and The Performers.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Milan
Damjanovski

Milan Damjanovski is born on 23 August, 1977 in Skopje. He works as an Assistant Professor of Literature at the Department of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Philology “Blazhe Koneski, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University.  He has a PhD. in English Literature on the subject of “Voice and Identity in the works of Robert Browning, Blazhe Koneski, James Joyce and Slavko Janevski”.

Furthermore, he also works as a free lance interpreter and literary translator. He has translated into English works form prominent contemporary Macedonian writers, such as Vladimir Martinovski, Blazhe Minevski and Svetlana Hristova Jocik. Furhermore, he has translated for renowned literary organizations, such as the Struga Poetry Evenings and the Macedonian P.E.N, Review. His translation of the novel “The Mark” by Blazhe Minevski was nominate for the prestigious Dublin Impac Award 2013.

Milan Damjanoski is editor of Blesok Prose. He has published a book of aphorisms Status of Our Times for Blesok Publishing.

Milan Damjanovski is born on 23 August, 1977 in Skopje. He works as an Assistant Professor of Literature at the Department of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Philology “Blazhe Koneski, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University.  He has a PhD. in English Literature on the subject of “Voice and Identity in the works of Robert Browning, Blazhe Koneski, James Joyce and Slavko Janevski”.

Furthermore, he also works as a free lance interpreter and literary translator. He has translated into English works form prominent contemporary Macedonian writers, such as Vladimir Martinovski, Blazhe Minevski and Svetlana Hristova Jocik. Furhermore, he has translated for renowned literary organizations, such as the Struga Poetry Evenings and the Macedonian P.E.N, Review. His translation of the novel “The Mark” by Blazhe Minevski was nominate for the prestigious Dublin Impac Award 2013.

Milan Damjanoski is editor of Blesok Prose. He has published a book of aphorisms Status of Our Times for Blesok Publishing.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

It is an opportunity for a Macedonian author to be nominated for the first time for one of the most prestigious awards in the world, and also, an opportunity for the world literary publicity to learn about one European novel, winner of all literary awards for 2008 in the Republic of Macedonia.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
01/01/2011
Country
Macedonia
Original Language
Macedonian
Translator
Milan Damjanovski
Translation
Translated from the original Macedonian by Milan Damjanovski

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