Mimesis eLit
la collana dedicata ai talenti della narrativa europea
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Elvira Veselinović

Elvira Veselinović
giugno 3, 2021 Redazione

Elvira Veselinović è una linguista che vive a Berlino e lavora con le lingue, a livello professionale con quelle un tempo conosciute come serbo-croate e in privato a volte con alcune più stravaganti.

Dalla lingua un tempo parlata in Yugoslavia, ha già tradotto numerosi autori classici (Miloš Crnjanski) e contemporanei come Aleksandar Gatalica, Dana Todorović, Slobodan Tišma, Saša Ilić, Ivana Šojat and Tanja Stupar Trifunović.

Con particolare passione ha anche tradotto dall’irlandese (gaelico) in croato An béal bocht (Usta sirota) by Myles na gCopaleen (Flann O’Brien).

Per la collana eLit ha tradotto dal croato in tedesco il libro di Faruk Šehić Uhrwerksgeschichten

(Vorapokalyptischer Weltschmerz).

Nota alla traduzione del testo di Faruk Šehić da parte della traduttrice Elvira Veselinović.

Impression while translating

Rarely has a task for me been as mentally demanding and at the same time healing as this translation. Faruk and I are the same age, but while I left disintegrating Yugoslavia after graduating from high school to study in Germany, he had to abandon his studies to defend his besieged city.

The trauma of this senseless war haunts him to this day, and he frees himself from it by writing. His refuge are often elements of science fiction and the surreal, which in his prose nevertheless remain tangible and reality-based.

When translating, I often didn’t have to think long, our language is similarly shaped and the socio-cultural context is comparable; I’ve been practising expressing the subtle nuances of those surroundings in German for thirty years now.

At times, it almost felt as if, like Faruk, I was writing to free myself from the pain that I still feel today – even though I was never personally affected by the war – when I think of all the places of my childhood where there will never again be harmony or ease. Reading and translating works of contemporary witnesses is particularly important for dealing with what happened, as it enables us to defend ourselves against the accusation of idealising the past.