Dušan Šarotar: Panorama (Panorama)

The latest addition to my website is Dušan Šarotar‘s Panorama (Panorama). This is a superb meditative novel, along the lines of the work of W G Sebald and Claudio Magris, though very much of its own kind. It is more poetical work than those, and makes extensive uses of photographs. Our narrator travels to Galway Bay, where he focuses on the terrible weather but also meets Gjini, an Albanian immigrant to Ireland who will act as his guide/alter ago both here in Galway and later in Belgium, specifically Ypres. He takes his photos, describes what he sees and listens to Gjini and others talk about issues such as language, belonging, identity, homeland and, of course, war and death. His travels (and the travels of others he recounts) take him to Ghent, Brussels, Antwerp, Ypres, Sarajevo, Maribor and Mostar, where he takes his photos and meets others, particularly Eastern Europeans, who have often fled their homeland. He often sees the dark side but is not entirely negative by any means. It is a superb poetical work, the first work of Šarotar to be translated into English.

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