Paper Theater. A Novel Anthology or Contemporary World Story
Original title: Pozorište od hartije. Roman antologija ili Savremena svetska priča
Basic Book data
3 editions in 3 (4) languages: Russian, Polish, Czech and (passages in English).
First edition: Belgrade, Zavod za udžbenike, 2007, 240 pages.
Papierowy teatr (Paper Theatre)
Gdansk, Spółdzielnia Literacka, 2008.
Papírové divadlo (Paper Theatre)
Praha, Mlada fronta, 2009.
Passages included in Forever And a Day [Kindle Edition e-book] (A selection of stories and poems and a play), Amazon.com, Kindle Store, 2012.
Two components: the common theme and the personality of the author make up this book unit. In the 21st century this is enough to make a novel. The common theme here is the new contemporary world, and with regard to the author, so please read the following!
In this "new anthology of contemporary world literature" of sorts, the reader will discover thirty-eights chapters, stories and bio-bibliographic records on the corresponding authors, also thirty-eight as each literature is represented by a single author. All these stories, the authors and their records are from the imagination of Milorad Pavic.
The number is not arbitrary. These are imaginary authors from actual countries that have translated and published my books. The reason is not that I am grateful to my readers in these countries (which I am), but because I made an effort to get to know their literatures better than others. This also goes for Switzerland, where I have not been translated, but have been read in French, Italian and German.
I tremendously enjoyed writing this book, especially inventing writers, a whole literature of the contemporary world, the titles of books never written and the story of lives that have never existed. Or maybe they did, but we do not.
Friends to whom I reveal the secret of this anthology often ask me if I tried to imitate the way actual writers in those countries write. Nothing could be further from the truth. Imagining these thirty-eight stories, I tried to add to the literatures to which these stories hypothetically belong new tones that these literatures in actuality do not have, but which I would like them to gain. These stories are kind of like my trimmings to these literatures, if you can call them trimmings in the sense in which trimmings are added in menus to fish.
If Borges could create an encyclopedia of an imaginary world, why should Pavić not be the literary father of thirty seven writers (the 38th story is a story by Milorad Pavić himself) and enable them to write as many stories by his hand.
Thus on an illusion that would be as real as a paper theater, and on a tested literary formula, Pavić creates an exciting, interesting and layered world of an anthology novel with thirty eight faces.
Paper Theatre (originally 2007) will gladden the readers with the fact that literary postmodernism is not yet dead, and can produce original works.
Unique game with the reader, which reflects the author's magical world of phenomenal book - the novel Khazar Dictionary.