Culture

Shpëtim Selmani also debuts as a poet among German-speaking readers

Descriptive Text

Less than a year since "The Ballad of the Cockroach" was translated into Italian, another book by Shpëtim Selman will speak in another language. A collection of poems entitled "The Survival Manifesto" will be spoken in German. The book titled "Manifest des Überlebens" in German, which is expected to be on the shelves of German bookstores, has been translated by Zuzana Finger and will be promoted within the "Balkantage München" festival.

It is the translator Finger who had selected Selman's poems written over the years that would take place on the pages of the publication as a collection of poems. She was also the translator of the prose book "The Book of Love". Like the latter, the "Survival Manifesto" was brought by the German publishing house, "Parasitenpresse".

"This is a selection of some poems written over the years by the translator Zuzana Finger and published by 'Parasitenpresse'. Of course, it is important for me and I hope that the German readers will welcome it", said the poet and writer, Shpëtim Selmani.

He stated that every translation into a foreign language is important for creators.

"Of course it is important. Any translation into a foreign language, and especially into major languages, is extremely welcome for any author. "Now on the international stage, 'The Book of Love' was the first to be translated into several languages," said Selmani.

The 82-page book, as announced by the publishing house, is already on sale. Salman's poetry will be explored for the first time in a foreign language. According to "Parasitenpresse", Selman as a creator, the German reader will also be able to explore his poetry.

"Until now, the Kosovar writer Shpëtim Selmani is mainly known in this country as a prose writer ("The Book of Love"), but the fact that he is also a trained poet can finally be revealed in this impressive volume of poems", writes the publishing house for Selman.

Selman now has two of his works translated into German. The first was "The Book" translated in December 2021. The book is also published in French, English and Bulgarian.

His other book "The Ballad of the Cockroach" was translated into Italian in April last year. It was the Italian publisher "Crocetti" that had taken over the publication and promotion. The book was also part of the Turin Book Fair. The book with an Italian title, translated by Fatjona Lamçe, is entitled "Ballata Dello Scarafaggio".

Ever since this book was translated, Selmani had already announced the translation of the collection of poems "Manifesto...".

"A book of poems will be translated back into German at 'Parasitenpresse'." The book will be called "Survival Manifesto" and it is a selection of poems", Selmani announced.

In the explanatory text, the "Survival Manifesto" is defined as "a cry of lamentation and love".

"The 'Survival Manifesto' tells about the difficulties of life as an artist and a family man trying to make ends meet financially, psychologically and philosophically in a difficult reality. It is a cry of lamentation and love for an individual, for a generation, and thus similar to Allen Ginsberg's big date", it is written for Shpëtim Selman's newest publication.

"Parasitenpresse" is an independent publishing house based in Cologne. It has been publishing works by non-German-speaking and international writers since 2000.

The "Balkantage Munchen" festival, which runs from March 1 to April 21, is dedicated to different segments of art, such as film, theater, dance, and various discussions that have the Balkan countries as their theme. Selmani will be part of the "Literature Day" held on March 9.

This event will be marked with a panel discussion, where Shpëtim Selmani will be a speaker together with the writer, publisher and translator Adrian Kasnitz from Germany and the Serbian author and activist, Marija Ratkovic. The discussion will be moderated by Bosnian-German Maja Gebhardt, who deals with language issues.

"There we will talk about the book and of course about the relationship between Europe and the Balkans. So is it a toxic relationship or not", Selmani announced in a promotional video.

The "Survival Manifesto" comes as another publication translated by the well-known translator born in 1959 in the Sala of Czechoslovakia at that time. He studied Slavic languages ​​and Balkanology at the University of Berlin and for his doctorate he had the topic "Communication of the Slovak-Hungarian community". In 2013, 2014 and 2015 she was a lecturer in Albanianology at LMU in Munich. She translates into German from Albanian, Serbian, Slovak and Czech languages.

Apart from Selman, among the Albanian authors he has translated into German are Eqrem Basha, Arben Idrizi, Jeton Neziraj, Doruntina Basha, Halil Matoshi, Ervina Halili, Ballsor Hoxha and others. Finger was also part of the literary residency "Prishtina has no river", which was organized by the "Multimedia" Center.

Selmani studied sociology and acting at the University of Pristina. In addition to writing poetry and prose, he regularly acts in theater plays. Recently, apart from the theater stage, he is also one of the most engaged actors in films.

He has also published the books "Notes of a Quarrel" (2016) and "Poems in the Time of Blood and Despair" (2010-2017). With the work "The Book of Love" he was announced the laureate of the European Union Literary Prize, together with 12 writers. others.

European values ​​are intended to be conveyed through the cultural festival "Balkantage Munchen", which this year is holding its 18th edition. This year's theme is "The Balkans and the EU - A toxic relationship?".

"The analogy of 'toxic relations' with language shows a serious problem between the EU and the Balkan countries. Here too there is (emotional) manipulation, infidelity and sometimes – not often – real love. In this event we would like to examine this 'toxic relationship' with the passionate mix of light and depth that is typical of our unique cultural festival", writes the website of "Balkantage Munchen".