Nearly 20 years after the first release, the novel The Time of the Goats, written by Luan Starova, translated by Mate Maras, returns to the Croatian audience. This edition contains two novels: The Time of the Goats and The Return of the Goats.
The Time of the Goats is a novel that, in a humorous, yet tragic manner, portraits the life of an ordinary man in the Balkans after the Second World War. In the novel, we find out about post-war events and bizarre bans on goat breeding that endanger the existence of the Balkan people. In a series of comic situations Starova depicts all the irony, not just of the ban, but of the relations between authority and people in general. Awarded with numerous international recognitions, translated into many languages and published in France, the United States, Poland and elsewhere, the book was proclaimed the best European novel in 1997.
A renowned writer, that writes in Macedonian and Albanian, released a new novel called The Return of the Goats. The title of the novel is just a subtle irony in which Starova, undemandingly but unambiguously, illustrates the bitter truth that goats, as well as freedom, are long gone from modern man's life and will not come back. In this allegory of a dark, negative utopia, goats are just the last romantic feature, a reminder of the time when existential self-reliance was actually possible.
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This book shows the face of the Balkans which is not well-known or is completely unknown to us, since, for the Western world, the Balkans have long been synonymous with conflict, fratricidal hatred and perpetual crime. The author proves that there is another side, a side that manifests itself in the age of peace and that has been cultivated for centuries; it is a peaceful aspect of coexistence, respect for others, the aspect of friendship among people, among groups of different origins.
It is precisely in this small world that Luan Starova, a Macedonian of Albanian origin, is the perfect representative of Balkan coexistence and Balkan openness, a man who incarnated the Balkan fraternity his entire life without any kind of etnic occlusion, who resisted the ideological abstraction and any ethnic or religious stubbornness.
Luan Starova is the successor to his father, to whom he expresses his indepted love and justified admiration. I too shared the same feelings. My father was neither erudite nor sage like Luan's, but he was open to others, without prejudice, always ready for friendship with strangers. He had his own type of wisdom, and so much the more I truly appreciate Luan, not just as a great writer, but as my Balkan brother.
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Luan Starova (Pogradec, Albania, 1941) lives in Macedonia since 1943 (first in Struga, then in Skopje). Starova writtes in Macedonian, Albanian and French, and obtained the attention of domestic and international literary and cultural public in 1992 with the novel of the Tatkovite knigi, which will develop into a series of cyclical novels published by the author under the common title Balkan Saga. Twelve novels of this cycle have been released and some of them were awarded with the "Marguerite Yourcenar" Award as well as the highest French acknowledgment, Orden Legion of Honor - The Knight of Art and Literature. His other acclaimed works are Balkanski kluč (1995), Patot na jagulite (2000), Tvrdina od pepel (2003), Ervehe. Kniga za edna majka (2005), Ljubovta na generalot (2008).
- ISBN: 978-953-8075-55-1
- Dimensions: 136x210 mm
- Number of pages: 360
- Cover: paperback
- Year of the edition: 2019
- Original title: Vremeto na kozite; Vrakanjeto na kozite
- Original language: Macedonian
- Translation: Mate Maras; Borislav Pavlovski
The Time of the Goats is a novel which comes to the forefront of ideologies, which manages to extract much from a limited concept of reality, a reality that can be as "magical" as Márquez's. The book sets light to taboos, but it is also a gentle, sublte book with a sophisticated critique of communism.
After the collapse of Yugoslavia and the war in Bosnia, we differentiate the mentalities, languages, different roots of this Balkan region, which today stands spiritually divided... Thanks to Luan Starova, the original and attractive novelist, author of the book The Time of the Goats, we are richerer for new discoveries and experiences. Not far from Gogol...
Balkan literature regularly gave us true pearls, Starova's novel The Time of the Goats as of them. Readers of Kadare, Pekić or Šćepanović will find in his novels another window openod to let in the myths...
The title of the novel The Return of the Goats is actually the mask behind which the real title, The Departure of the Goats, is hidden: it is a lucid irony with which Luan Starova reveals the bitter truth that goats are gone and will never return.