Actors Reading Novels
On May 7, the actress Zvezdana Mlakar was reading Herta Müller's novel The Animal Heart on the Mini teater stage. The listeners made themselves comfortable in their armchairs, chairs and deck chairs and listened to this extraordinary and linguistically rich novel - shocking for the grotesqueness of control whose aim is to preserve the greatness of some dictator and his clan. Individual fate is subordinated to collective fear, yet in spite of the tragic destiny, one finds his/her way to a bit of Freedom. The writer is critical towards every kind of dictatorship.
The reading, started by Zvezdana Mlakar at 20.00, was finished on page 93 at 01.18 in the night, and it will be continued individually. As the actress pointed out in the discussion, the beauty and the essence of the literature is most genuinely presented in reading. The theatre, the film, the visual or the dancing arts… may deliver a literary work to spectators or listeners, yet they give him/her less freedom as for interpretation. In reading, everyone can see the curly park, the girls, the square room in a students' home… in their own way; everyone can choose the colours of the plain in Banat or the street-light reflection in the dark alley. Everyone can find their own smell of a place with its steel or wood industry. Reading should represent an experience to everyone.
So, the next literary evening prepared by Mini teater will take place towards the end of June, when the novel The Lazarus Project – written by Aleksander Hemon, an American writer of Bosnian origin – will be read and interpreted by the actor Robert Waltl who is also the director of Mini teater. This literary novelty published by the editing house Založba Modrijan is expected to be edited by the end of May - the exact date of our next reading is still to be set since the author himself is expected to be present in this event.
The writer Aleksandar Hemon is writing in the language of his new homeland i.e. in English – just like the writer Saša Stanišič, author of the book A Soldier Fixing a Gramophone (2006), is writing in German (a German writer born at Višegrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1978, yet living in Germany since 1992.)
Aleksandar Hemon was born in 1964 to a Bosnian Serbian mother and to a Ukrainian father. He graduated at the University of Sarajevo where he established himself as a writer already at the age of 26 years. Since 1993 he has been living in the U.S.A.
His piercing language is extremely interesting to experts since the writer as a young man spoke little English after his getaway from the war. His novel The Lazarus Project was published in 2008. From the announcement of Založba Modrijan, the editing house that decided to publish this novel in Slovene, we learned that the writer Aleksandar Hemon is probably going to join us in the literrary evening in June.
The project Actors Reading Novels - directed by ivica Buljan and taking place on the stage named after Bernard-Maria Koltés – will continue with readings performed by Milena Zupančič, Jurij Souček, Iva Zupančič, Štefka Drolc, Saša Tabaković, Jose and others. A part of the programme will be dedicated to the modern Slovenian novel, yet also novels of contemporary writers such as Pasqual Quignard and Daniel Kehlman, or classical novels such as Madame Bovary and Billy Bud will be read. Literary evenings at Mini teater are recorded so they can be offered to people with sight problems in order to help them get acquainted with novels published in Slovenian language.