By Gašper Kralj
Matchmaking Literature and Film 2018
Gašper Kralj was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, but has been living in Catalonia since 2010. He has a PhD in Social Anthropology. He researches literary fiction, the questions of intimacy and the collective use of memories as well as the reception of history. Rok trajanja is his debut novel.
LOGLINE of the book
Some people collect photographs, some people collect coins, I collect the last words.
synopsis of the book / STORY
The protagonist has no name. What he does have, however, is a somewhat unusual job – and a rather uncommon approach to it as well. He is a palliative caregiver, who efficiently – perhaps even too efficiently – looks after the dying. He writes a diary to alleviate the anxiety that he experiences at work and, especially, after work. And to avoid forgetting. When he has work – that is, when people around him are dying – he seems to have things under control. When he has no work, his world seems to be slowly falling apart. His habitual meetings with his drinking buddies and his partner Katarina are becoming increasingly short. He is running away, running around to the point of exhaustion, or hiding somewhere. He is increasingly desperate trying to find an alibi for his acts, which may or may not be criminal. Questions of death, suicide, homicide, euthanasia and guilt are thus skilfully sutured into the caregiver’s paranoid inner world. An extraordinary work, which describes the details of death and dying while focusing on the downward slide of its first-person narrator into madness, is a highly articulate novel, whose style places it between Robbe-Grillet’s Voyeur and Beckett’s heroes.
I am attracted by literature and films that I do not understand completely as well as by characters that are usually slightly odd, unpleasant and whom I would not like to meet in real life. This can be noticed in my work, too. As a novelist, I am interested in timeless themes which have been marginalized, disregarded or negated so that we refuse to or simply cannot talk about (death, dying, aging, euthanasia, suicide...). This is strongly related to the protagonist of my novel, who provides palliative care and whose work we follow throughout the novel. The professional, who is of doubtful intention and calls himself a “specialist in presence”, is very representative for today’s attitude towards death, dying and ending in general. He also represents our inability to form genuine human relations. It seems that he feels best when surrounded by people who are passing away. The living, on the other side, drive him insane. The closer he is to them – and the closer they are to him – the worse.
pUBLISHER company profile
Založba /*cf. is a Slovenian highly recognised publisher specialised in humanities and fiction. We work closely with the academic sphere. The print- runs vary between 400 and 800 copies per title and the publications are thematically organized in series. Fiction is published in 3 series: Zelena (Green) and Varia contains works of Slovenian and foreign authors and Kaif presents non-European fiction.
Založba /*cf. was established in 1997 and has since published almost two hundred different titles (8 translations per year, 2 domestic authors per year, 1 reprint per year); each publication is also accompanied by an afterword of a prominent Slovenian (sometimes non-Slovenian) scholar. Our books and authors have been nominated and/or awarded for important prizes (Kresnik, Sovre award, best debut).
MAIN AWARDS / FESTIVALS OF WRITER
The novel Šolen z brega by Zoran Hočevar was awarded with Kresnih Award for Best Slovenian novel of the year 1998.
The editor and translator Zoja Skušek was awarded by Sovre award.
The translator Alenka Mercina was awarded by Jerman award.
The novel Rok Trajanja (Expiry Date) by Gašper Kralj was shortlisted for the Kresnik prize for the best Slovenian novel of the year in 2017, and shortlisted for the best Slovenian debut of 2017. Between 20th and 23th April 2017, the writer participated in the International Book Festival and European First Novel Festival in Budapest, Hungary. Between 24th and 27th may 2018, the writer and his editor participated in the 16th edition of the European Festival of Debut Novels (Europäisches Festival des Debütromans 2018) in Kiel, Germany.
PAST MAIN PUBLICATIONS OF WRITER
Izginuli in vrnjeni. Pričevanja o uporih v Gvatemali in Latinski Ameriki, Ljubljana: Založba /*cf., 2008.
(The Disappeared and the Returned: a Testimony of the Rebellions in Guatemala and Latin America).
MAIN BIBLIOGRAPHY & SELECTION IN MAIN FESTIVALS OF PUBLISHER
RDEČA ZBIRKA (THE RED COLLECTION) 1. M. FOUCAULT, Zgodovina norosti
2. M. SAHLINS, Ekonomika kamene dobe 3. P. DIBIE, Etnologija spalnice
4. D. DE ROUGEMONT, Ljubezen in Zahod 5. M. MONTANARI, Lakota in izobilje
6. P. VEYNE, So Grki verjeli v svoje mite? 7. G. VIGARELLO, Čisto in umazano
8. M. DOUGLAS, Miselni slogi
9. I. WALLERSTEIN, Utopistike. Dediščina sociologije
10. I. WALLERSTEIN, Kako odpreti družbene vede
11. B. GROYS, Celostna umetnina Stalin
12. L. ALTHUSSER, Izbrani spisi
13. A. GIDDENS, Preobrazba intimnosti
14. S. FREUD, Spisi o umetnosti
15. J. VERSCHUEREN, Razumeti pragmatiko
16. J. M. MELETINSKI, Bogovi, junaki, ljudje
17. N. ELIAS, O procesu civiliziranja, 1. del
18. N. ELIAS, O procesu civiliziranja, 2. del
19. G. BATAILLE, Erotizem
20. R. BARTHES, Fragmenti ljubezenskega diskurza
21. Z. BAUMAN, Tekoča moderna
22. A. K. SEN, Ekonomija blaginje. Izbrane razprave
23. P. BOURDIEU, Sociologija kot politika
24. I. WALLERSTEIN, Zaton ameriške moči
25. E. W. SAID, Oblasti povedati resnico
26. G. L. MOSSE, Nacionalizem in seksualnost
27. I. WALLERSTEIN, Uvod v analizo svetovnih-sistemov
28. P.-N. GIRAUD, Neenakost v svetu
29. E. J. HOBSBAWM, Nacije in nacionalizmi po 1780
30. T. ADORNO, Minima moralia
31. L. WACQUANT, Zapori revščine
32. A. MAALOUF, Križarske vojne v očeh Arabcev
33. Z. BAUMAN, Identiteta. Pogovori z Benedettom Vecchijem 34. R. SENNETT, Kultura novega kapitalizma
35. K. POLANYI, Velika preobrazba
36. S. LATOUCHE, Preživeti razvoj
37. A. CÉSAIRE, Razprava o kolonializmu
38. M. DAVIS, Planet slumov
39. F. FANON, V suženjstvo zakleti
40. S. SAND [Š. ZAND], Kako so izumili judovsko ljudstvo
41. M. ROY, Made in India. Eseji o razredu, spolu in kulturi
42. S. MINTZ, Sladkost in moč
43. A. STROHMEYER, Svoboda politike in moč vere
44. E. R. WOLF, Kmečke vojne 20. stoletja
45. E. BURGOS, Ime mi je Rigoberta Menchú
46. ZGROŽENI EKONOMISTI, Manifest; 20 let slepote
And many many more...
AUDIOVISUAL RIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS BY PUBLISHER
Drama / Thriller / Psychological / DramedyInterior and exterior. An old-fashioned ex-socialist bar before closing. Three apartments (protagonist's apartment, the apartment of his partner Katarina, apartment his friend Gerbič). A small functional apartment of the first patient. A big old house of his second patient. Urban environment with public parks, narrow city streets and an old centre (sometimes full of tourists). A public toilet. A bookshop. A Saturday antique flea market. A hospital. An open field. A railway station. A graveyard.
Any language/All languages/orig. Slovene
Protagonist (no name) - professional palliative caregiver
Kunst - nephew of the first patient
Kunst’s uncle - dying man, protagonist’s first patient
Katarina - owner of the bar, protagonist’s partner and daughter of Vera, the second patient
Gerbič - regular customer of the bar, man into gambling business
Krstič - regular customer of the bar, cynical bald man
Zabel - regular customer, bearded man
Jušič Jr. - Jušič's brother (Jušič was a regular customer of the bar that committed suicide)
Ana - Jušič's wife and Katarina's old friend Natalija - Jušič's mute daughter
Vera - Katarina's dying mother, the second patient
PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL AVAILABLE
Promotional material available in Slovenian, English, French, German.
FILM AND TV REFERENCES (Sample films)
Inspired by the French New Wave.
FIND OUT MORE
TARGET AUDIENCE AGE
TARGET AUDIENCE PROFILE
The novel uses dark humor and aims at more intellectual and demanding audiences from 16 years up.
LOCATIONS IN WHICH STORY TAKES PLACE
The story doesn’t happen in different countries or cities. It takes place in a regular urban environment (preferably with a river) that can be found in cities such as Ljubljana. Other locations are interiers of the apartments (bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom), a residential house, a hospital, an open field on the outskirts of the city, a railway station and a graveyard.
AGE IN WHICH STORY TAKES PLACE
TV (Film and Series) / Cinema / Theatre / Webseries / Musical
AVAILABLE RIGHTS FOR TERRITORIES
Založba /*cf. - Amelia Kraigher
Other information connected to the project at the Matchmakingforum at : firstname.lastname@example.org