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Ognjen Spahić

Ognjen Spahić

area: Literature

Key Facts

nationality

Montenegro

area

Literature

residence

Podgorica

recommending institution

BMEIA

time period

october 2015 - november 2015

Ognjen Spahić was born in 1977 in Podgorica, Montenegro. Prior to Puna glava radosti, Spahić published two earlier collections of short stories: Sve to (All of That) in 2001, and Zimska potraga (Winter Search) in 2007. His novel Hansenova djeca (Hansen’s Children), published in 2004, won him the Meša Selimović prize for 2005, awarded to the best new novel from Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. To date, Hansenova djeca has been published in French, Italian, Slovenian, Romanian, Hungarian, Macedonian and English. His short story 'Rejmond je mrtav. Karver je umro, rekoh' ('Raymond is No Longer with Us – Carver is Dead') was included in the anthology Best European Fiction 2011, published by Dalkey Archive Press in the USA. In 2007, he was a resident writer at the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. In 2011, he was the recipient of Romania's Ovid Festival Prize awarded to a prominent young talent. Puna glava radosti is Spahić's most recent work, his fourth book of fiction to date. From 2000. to 2010. worked as an editor in culture, Independent daly news “Vijesti”. Lives in Podgorica.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Sve to (All That) collection of short stories – Plima, Ulcinj 2001.
Hansenova djeca (Hansens Children) novel – Durieux, Zagreb, Croatia 2004.
Zimska potraga (Winter Search) collection of short stories – Durieux, Zagreb, Croaria 2007.
Puna glava radosti (Head Full of Joy) collection of short stories – Nova knjiga, Podgorica, Montenegro 2014.
Masalai (Masalai) novel – Fraktura, Zagreb, Croatia 2015

TRANSLATIONS

Les Enfants de Hansen, novel – Gaia Editions, Montfort-en-Chalosse, France 2011. translation: Mireille Robin et Alain Cappon
Hansens Children, novel – IsttrosBooks, London, United Kingdom 2011. translation: Will Firth
Hansenovi otroci, novel – Beletrina, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2011. translation: Dean Rajčić
Hansen gyermekei, novel - Jelenkor kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009.
translation: Csordás Gábor
Copiii lui Hansen, novel – Polirom, Bucharest, Romania 2010.
translation: Ana Maria Sorescu
I figli di Hansen, novel –  Forward by Claudio Magris, Zandonai, Verona, Italy 2012.
translation: Ljiljana Avirović
Хансеновите деца, novel – Templum, Skoplje, Macedonia, 2011.
translation: Nikola Gelevski
Hansens Children (on arabic), novel – Al Arabi Publishing, Cairo, Egypt 2015.

Ognjen Spahić

Projectinfo

CALYPSO (Working title)

The novel will focus on people whose existence and functioning is burdened with the historical moment which dominantly determined fate of its artistic work, familyes and friends. However, the vulgar historical factography will be inferior. The prose method that I will apply will seek to confront the dominant discourse in which the individual is always supposed as a producer of history, as a judge and as a victim. The focus of my novel will be emotions, love relations, the lack of love, lies, loneliness, the shades of human characters developed under the pressure of forced events. So, the intention of the novel is to show a hidden side of the history and the only truth which can be assumed with certainty, apart from the contradictory claims of historians: and that is an intimate, untold, subjective truth. In my novl I will present the fact that people in so called turning points in history weren’t necessary motivated by ideologies, and that emotions and complicated human relations, accordingly to human nature, were however at the first place.

SUMMARY: The painter who had spent five years at Goli otok (Barren Island) each month send his wife a letter describing one idea for a work of art which he will complete after he returns from prison. In a meanwhile his wife renounces their marriage and remarries, again for a painter who is a friend of her first husband and who was always politically “correct artist” and a man of modest creative capacities. After his release from the prison the painter returns to his house and goes to his studio. There, he finds his wife with another artist and he also finds something that will totally defeat him. His studio is full with paintings that look familiar to him. Obviously, the new husband turned ideas from his letters into reality.

2.  I am currently working on a comprehensive two-volume novel (900 pages), which I intend to finish by the end of this year. It will be published in the publishing house Fraktura, Zagreb. My stay in the residence would use to edit this voluminous manuscript.

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