Tuesday, 7 July 2020

strange days in Europe - part 2


Strange Days Books proudly present the second book of the series Strange Days in Europe a literary translation program that it co-funded by Creative Europe of European Union.
Huden er det elastiske hylster der omgiver hele legemet, is a multi-awarded book, among others with the Literary Book Award of European Union. This is a first time ever that a Bjorn Rasmussen’s book is translated in Greek. Bjorn Rasmussen’s book is a fine example of cutting-edge queer literature, written by a young author (this is his first book) whose work will appeal to the new but constantly growing Greek audience for queer literature, a rather underrepresented yet rapidly upcoming genre in Greece.  Translator, Sotirios Souliotis, is by far the best translator  from Danish language to Greek. 
Huden er det elastiske hylster… is a coming-of-age novel about a young man looking back on life growing up in rural Denmark; not least his far-reaching encounter with a much older riding instructor, with whom he develops an attachment that becomes a romantic and erotic obsession. Any kind of conventional plot summary would do the book an injustice: bleak teenage years involving drugs and self-harm, identity crises, a dysfunctional family, a first big love, and fierce sexual longings, as well as trying to deal with all of these as extremely as possible. But it’s the novel’s exceptional language and voice that led the Danish EUPL jury, as well as Danish critics and readers of all ages, to be utterly captured by this debut. The idiosyncratic yet highly assured prose and poetry is wild, untrammelled and defies all taboos. And despite its reckless confrontation with despair, it manages to move, fascinate and shock the reader with its glittering, undeniable beauty. The author brings words and sentences from favourite writers to his tale, yet it remains entirely his own. A combination of prose, poetry, social realism and autobiography that’s unprecedented in Danish literature.
Huden er det elastiske hylster… is a coming-of-age novel about a young man looking back on life growing up in rural Denmark; not least his far-reaching encounter with a much older riding instructor, with whom he develops an attachment that becomes a romantic and erotic obsession. Any kind of conventional plot summary would do the book an injustice: bleak teenage years involving drugs and self-harm, identity crises, a dysfunctional family, a first big love, and fierce sexual longings, as well as trying to deal with all of these as extremely as possible. But it’s the novel’s exceptional language and voice that led the Danish EUPL jury, as well as Danish critics and readers of all ages, to be utterly captured by this debut. The idiosyncratic yet highly assured prose and poetry is wild, untrammelled and defies all taboos. And despite its reckless confrontation with despair, it manages to move, fascinate and shock the reader with its glittering, undeniable beauty. The author brings words and sentences from favourite writers to his tale, yet it remains entirely his own. A combination of prose, poetry, social realism and autobiography that’s unprecedented in Danish literature. We await future works from him with bated breath.

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" What if your first true love broke all known taboos? What if your very first romance drowned you in a whirlpool of transgression? A coming-of-age novel that is minutely in tune with the perversions of its narrator’s body, The Skin Is the Elastic Covering that Encases the Entire Body defines category. The desperate account of a teenage boy in love with a much older riding instructor, it follows the unforgettable Bjorn as he pushes his flesh to its very limits, annihilating boundaries of gender and sexuality in a search for impossible gratification. A feverish combination of stream of conscious, autobiography, collage, and narrative, Skin marks the arrival of a truly original literary voice. It is as omnivorous as the bodies within it, as unrestrained as the appetites, terrors, and trystings that celebrated author Bjorn Rasumssen evokes in poetic detail. Deeply emotional, erotic, elegiac, and pansexual, it caresses the wounds we visit upon our flesh and soul in an attempt to serve the urges of the body’s largest organ―the skin that covers and defines us.―Entropy, Best Fiction of 2019
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"A private and gem-like book . . . I was pulled by equal parts curiosity, repulsion, and empathy. Rasmussen has managed to stretch the soul in the way a butcher might stretch flesh, asking us to consider the roots of our desires and the depths of our longings." ―Full Stop 

"Darkly beautiful and fearless." ―Book Riot

“Rasmussen’s little obliteration wastes no time in expounding on the pungent pleasures of an illicit tryst . . . fear, arousal, and desperation are a potent mix.” ―Three Percent

"Bjørn Rasmussen writes with body and soul in a way you have never experienced before. The Skin Is the Elastic Covering that Encases the Entire Body is the most powerful, heart wrenching, and disturbing, book published in Denmark in recent years." ―Naja Marie Aidt, author of Baboon and When Death Takes Something From You, Give it Back: Carl's Book
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THE WRITER
 Bjørn Rasmussen was born in 1983 and graduated from the Danish Playwright School in 2007 and from the Danish Writers’ School in 2011. He received the Montana Literary Award in 2011 for Huden er det elastiske hylster der omgiver hele legemet, was awarded a three year work grant from the Danish government in 2013 and received the Kultur Bornholms Literary Award in 2014.

THE TRANSLATOR
Sotirios Souliotis (born in 1971) is a Greek / Danish translator who lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. He studied Greek Philology, Nordic languages and translation in theory and praxis in Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece and in the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He has also studied Lithuanian language and literature in the University of Vilnius, Lithuania. He was also nominated for the Translator‘s Prize 2014 in Athens, Greece, for Danish literature, among the last 3 candidates (short list). He is also a member of the Danish Writers & Translators Association (Denmark, www.danskforfatterforeningning.dk), as well as the Association of Selected Interpreter Translators (Greece).

VIDEO

Huden er det elastiske hylster der omgiver hele legemet/ Το δέρμα είναιη ελαστική θήκη που περιβάλλει το σώμα ολόκληρο
Translator/ Sotirios Souliotis/ Cover by / Andriana Minou / Writer’s photo: Frida Gregersen/ Pages 98/ Price: 10 euros / ISBN: 978-618-5278-40-3


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