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Goran Simic

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  Spam messages 35-34 deleted by QuickTopic 11-30-2011 10:16 PM
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I love your stories really much because they are published in an understandable comprehensible. So I can study them although I come from Germany and have some problems to translate English stories.
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  Spam messages 31-29 deleted by QuickTopic between 08-30-2010 07:26 AM and 07-20-2008 02:20 AM
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Deleted by topic administrator 05-17-2008 10:07 AM
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DJWPerson was signed in when posted
09:47 AM ET (US)
I can confirm that the Canada Council questioned (past tense)its eligibility. Within a week of submitting the collection to the GG Awards, I received a call from someone at the CC about it, who had concerns because (1)only a handful of the poems were written originally in english (2)others were translated by the author (3)that the majority were translated by another person (4) that the language they were translated out of was not French, but Serbo-Croatian. I reminded the CC officer that Skvorecky won the GG in 1984 (I think -- would have to check) for a book he wrote in czech, and she said that she would get back to me. I did not hear from her again.

What I cannot confirm is that the book was excluded from considered titles. Bookninja may be overstating the case here, and Zach does not claim so either. Indeed, though I was worried that the book would not be included, I was relieved to notice several months later that the book was listed as among the 144 titles submitted to the english language award. I can only assume that it was submitted to the jury, who read it, and decided that it was not deserving of being on the short-list. Though I'm obviously disappointed, this would be fair enough: reading 144 titles, they had their work cut out for them, and competition must certainly have been stiff.

My experience does, however, support Zach's larger contention about the unintentional systemic exclusion of writers working in languages other than french and english. The CC officer I spoke to quite obviously questioned From Sarajevo's eligibility. Perhaps I convinced her to toss it in the proper pile. But it was not a natural and obvious thing for her to do, and another officer may have stamped denied on the application form. Zach's letter is especially important for drawing attention to this, for asking us to question how awards and grants are administered in this country, and for attempting to redress this literary imbalance. I have had nothing to do with the organizing of Zach's protest and award (despite the fact that we share a last name, we decided long ago that unless a bastard branch connects us somewhere we are entirely unrelated), but I admire and thank him for his spirit and generosity, and think that what he is drawing attention to -- no matter what the final facts of this case -- needs to be addressed and discussed.
06:25 AM ET (US)
"However, I've learned that, although Simic's publisher did submit the book for the English language poetry award, the Canada Council has questioned its eligibility. Although 16 of the book's 44 poems were either written in English by Simic (a recent immigrant to Canada from Bosnia) or translated from his native Serbo-Croatian by himself, because most of the book's content is translated from a language other than French, it does not fit into any of the too-neat bureaucratic categories the CC has developed for literary works."

could the publisher confirm or deny this?
DJWPerson was signed in when posted
11:26 PM ET (US)
It's not available on amazon.ca because the buggers won't deal with me, as my books, alas, are not dealt through the proper channels, & I have not yet been able to get in the back door through bookexpress (raincoast) or elsewhere because, in truth, those buggers won't deal with me either. Though it's available on amazon.com: go figure. And abebooks.com. And in independent bookstores through out the country. And if your independent doesn't have it, ask them to order it. Or give me a call at the shop: 519 256 7367. I'd be happy to send one along.

Better yet, come to the launch of Goran's story collection, Yesterday's People, this Saturday, October 29th, 7:30 pm, at Fellini's Shoe on 226 carlton (Toronto, by the way). I'll have copies there. Mike Barnes is also reading, from his new novel Catalogue Raisonne, and he's no slouch either.
BookninjaPerson was signed in when posted
10:28 AM ET (US)
The Goran Simic Prize

Local ninja, poet, critic, and literary shit-disturber Zach Wells has taken it upon himself to create a one-off prize in honour of Goran Simic's GG inelligible From Sarajevo, with Sorrow (note to publisher: why isn't it available on Amazon.ca?). It's a fantastic book and I've donated some money to the prize. As much as I treasure my calm, conflict-free life (ha!), I'm glad there are angry people who are causing a fuss. It used to be me, back in the day. I don't have the energy anymore, but will always support a fuss.

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