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Selected stories translated into French by Alain Cappon
You can read the stories in French on the literary portal Serbica.
Dragana Mokan’s debut book of stories is a distinct occurrence in contemporary Serbian and regional prose. Completely reluctant to take over any of the ready-made narrative models, the author changes them as needed, deconstructing the existing ones and creating completely new ones. Ranging from Kafka’s short prose, the influence of Russian high modernism, Kharms, to the founders and most relevant promoters of the genre such as Flannery O’Connor and Carver, Play Them Soft Music is a radical experiment, unpretentious, fluttery and endlessly entertaining, forever on a border between witty and strange, and even some forms of poetry. Although at the beginning of her career, Dragana Mokan already shows that readers’ expectations could and should be infinitely diffuse and great, when it comes to her work.
Dragana Mokan lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. She is the author of the poetry collection How My Time Has Gone By (GNB Zarko Zrenjanin, 2003) and the short story collection Play Them Some Soft Music (Partizanska knjiga, 2019). She has won numerous literary awards and was the finalist in the poetry and short story competitions Alma (Belgrade) and Giuseppe Gioachino Belli (Rome). Her poems and short stories have been published in many magazines and online portals in the Balkans and across Europe.
Alain Cappon (1947) is a member of the French Association of Translators. He was awarded the prize for translation by the Serbian Association of Translators in 2002. A former English teacher in French secondary schools, he now concentrates on his translation work and, in addition, works as a translator and corrector for Serbica.fr, a site in French on Serbian literature. So far, he has translated from Serbian about 20 novels, 15 books of short stories, different texts and essays. Among the authors translated are Radoslav Petković, Svetislav Basara, Grozdana Olujić, Dragan Velikić, Mihailo Pantić, Saša Ilić, Andrija Matić, Ogjen Spahić, Filip David, Svetlana Velmar-Janković, Ivo Andrić, Meša Selimović, Emir Kusturica. He has also translated authors from Croatia (Vedrana Rudan, Goran Tribuson) and other (more political) books at the time of the civil war in former Yugoslavia. Furthermore, he has translated books from Russian (brothers Strugatski, Iouri Kazakov) and from English, mainly books for children, and has done two translations for the TV channel ARTE: november 2011: Démocratie made in Yougoslavie, and august 2011: Le tunnel de Sarajevo.