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The Door of No Return, 3. Book: Dwellings Places of Souls

Dwellings Places of Souls is the third and final volume of the 40,000-verse epic The Door of No Return. In it the master of poetry Boris A. Novak returns to a more lyrical linguistic approach, captured in a powerful composition of 99 poems. The book represents the synthesis of the entire work and a closing sequel of the first two volumes. At the same time it is markedly different in its linguistic tone and poetic vision. The concluding lines are elegiac and also very personal, the exceedingly tense state of the world we live in also unmistakeably inscribed in the final apocalyptic notes.

Dimensions: 13 x 20 cm
Year of publication: 2017
No. of pages: 1112

 

Rights sold: Croatia

About the Book

The Doors of No Return (Vrata nepovrata) are one of the rare epic texts in the world poetry today, and one of the longest ever written – 44.000 verses on 2.300 pages in the original edition of the Slovene publishing house Goga. The epos is divided into three books: the first one is entitled “Maps of Nostalgy (Zemljevidi domotožja)” and was published in 2014, the second book, “The Times of Fathers – Čas očetov”), in 2015, and the third book, (“Dwelling Places of Souls – Bivališča duš”), in 2017. Strangely enough, all three books were already several times reprinted, and they have brought to the poet the highest Slovene national award for arts – Presheren’s award. This ˮpoetic madnessˮ (as the author defined it) has aroused a lot of interest among translators and foreign publishers.

Boris A. Novak (foto: Boštjan Pucelj)

Boris A. Novak

Boris A. Novak (born in 1953) is a Slovene poet, playwright, translator, and essayist. He teaches Comparative Literature at the University of Ljubljana. In the name of Inter- national PEN he organized humanitarian help for refugees from former Yugoslavia and writers from Sarajevo during the war. (He has expressed this horror in the tragedy in verses Cassandra based on the Troian myth). In 2002 Novak was elected Vice-president of International PEN. So far he has published 90 books and his poetry is translated into many languages. Novak translates poetry and prose from French (S. Mallarmé, P. Valéry, P. Verlaine, E. Jabès), ancient Provencal (Troubadours), Dutch (Paul van Ostaijen, Monika van Paemel), as well as American, English and Irish poetry (S. Heaney) and literature written in South Slavic languages ( Josip Osti). In 2001 he has published the extensive anthology Modern French Poetry (more than 800 pages), and in 2003 the first anthology of Provencal troubadours in Slovene. He is the recipient of the Golden Sign of the Scientific and Research Centre of the Slovene Academy of Arts and Sciences for his theoreti- cal work (1998), Le Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques (2008), Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2011), and the Prešeren Award (2018), among others.