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Jelena Lengold

Portrait of Jelena Lengold

Jelena Lengold (née en 1959) est écrivaine et poète. Elle a publié cinq livres de poésie, un roman (Baltimore, 2003, 2011) et 4 collections de nouvelles Pokisli lavovi (Lions trempés, 1994), Lift, 1999 et Vašarski mađioničar (The Fairground Magician) 2008, 2009. On la retrouve dans plusieurs anthologies de poésie et nouvelles et ses textes ont été traduits en plusieurs langues. Lengold a travaillé comme journaliste et éditeur pendant dix ans au  département culturel de la radio Belgrade. Elle a aussi été coordinatrice du  programme de gestion de conflit  de l’académie Nonsenkolen a Lillenhamer en Norvège. Elle a donné des cours sur des sujets comme le dialogue, la tolérance ethnique, la discrimination, l’art de la négociation, les roits de l’homme et  la résolution de conflits pacifique. Elle vit à Belgrade.

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Winning Book

Vašarski Mađioničar (Fairground Magician)

The Fairground Magician raconte des histoires d’amours heureuses et malheureuses, parle de choses visibles dans la vie quotidienne et des valeurs perceptibles uniquement dans des moments exceptionnels. Le récit est multiforme et passe d’un style apparemment réaliste à d’autres genres comme le roman policier, le récit à suspense ou encore érotique. En décrivant les conflits intérieurs des protagonistes, Jelena Lengold crée souvent des dialogues entre des personnages de la littérature et des symboles reconnus de la culture moderne. Dans ses histoires, les souvenirs, les suggestions sont insufflés avec une tranquillité qui accepte le destin même quand on essaye de le changer, comme dans les histoires “Poche pleine de cailloux“ ou “Chute“. De plus, l’érotisme, un ingrédient naturel de la vie, comme une tension intégrée entre deux parties inséparables – le corps et l’âme- insuffle de l’énergie aux histoires LOVE ME TENDER, FAIRGROUND MAGICIAN, ZUGZWANG, WANDERINGS, AURORA BOREALIS. Dans le roman, Lengold se révèle une observatrice lucide d’infimes détails et de subtils revirements émotionnels. Dans les histoires “Ca aurait pu être moi“, “Ombre“ ou "Ophelia, Get Thee to a Nunnery" elle réussit à dépasser le clivage entre l’apparence corporelle extérieure et l’intériorité d’une manière particulièrement remarquable. Peu importe la banalité des situations que Lengold décrit – que ce soit l’histoire d’amants malheureux, de mariages tombés à l’eau ou d’espoirs inassouvis – elle cherche toujours l’authenticité et y parvient avec une ironie sophistiquée qui est le signe distinctif de son écriture.

Cover of Vašarski Mađioničar

Publishing House


Terazije 29/II, Beograd, Serbie


Translation Deals

  • Albania: Morava
  • Czech Republic: Dauphin
  • FYROM: Ikona
  • Hungary: Filmax
  • Italy: Zandonai
  • Poland: Toczka
  • Slovenia: Sodobnost International
  • United Kingdom: Istros Books


Translated by Rusanka Ljapova


The woman shouted joyously:
- Hey, there's Lola!
- I told you he'd come back - a voice replied from inside the house.
- He always comes back.
The man came out onto the threshold and held out his hand to take the dishes that his wife was carrying. He smiled at her:
- Tomcats always come back for their slice of meat, you should know that much about us.
She responded with one of those smiles the full meaning of which is understood only by people sharing the same bed. They both stood there for a while, as if in a freeze-frame, watching their big yellow tomcat. He was finishing his meal loudly and voraciously. Then, presumably feeling full up, he turned abruptly away from his bowl and started licking himself meticulously. He licked his paw first, and then slid it over his entire lithe body. He contorted impossibly, managing to touch even the remotest parts of his back, belly and tail with his tongue.
- He looks OK - the woman said.
- He appears to be in one piece, his ears and eyes are all in place, his tail is intact, Mr Lola seems to have got away with it this time as well.
- Why, of course - her husband said entering the house.
- You worry about him too much. I'll make us some coffee.
The woman went back to the table, in the shade of the tall linden-tree. It was a warm April day. There were tulips and narcissi all around, it was their time to bloom. She looked at the bushes that needed pruning, the places that seemed to lack a flower or two, then she looked at Lola again, who was lying quite peacefully now on a worn blanket, blinking at her with his yellow eyes. She knew he would fall asleep soon and sleep for hours. It always happened like that. People never slept so peacefully, she thought with a little envy. Not even while they were children. Even then, all sorts of monsters appeared in their dreams. But Lola slept without a worry or care. One could see him breathe, the rhythmic up-and-down motion of his belly. Occasionally, one of his ears twitched away a fly or some insect. Sometimes, without opening his eyes, he stood up, arched his back, changed his position and went on sleeping. And that was all. He had no worries. He did not think about what had happened the day before, had no plans, was not plagued by envy, did not have any ambitions, felt no apprehension. And who knows, she thought, maybe I am wrong, maybe he does have some tomcat worries of his own? Still, it seemed highly unlikely to her. Asleep as he was, Lola seemed the perfect image of absolute calm. Full up, licked clean and carefree. Perfectly safe in his own yard. She wondered whether he knew at all what safety was. Or perhaps he knew only fear, at the moment when lie felt it.

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