novels

Novels

Vsi so jedli suši, Didakta, Radovljica, Slovenia, 2009

They All Ate Sushi, Didakta, Radovljica, Slovenia 2009, nominated for the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Svi jedeta susi, Vermilion, Skopje, Macedonia, 2011

Škatla brez kože, lebdeča, Mohorjeva, Austria / Slovenia, 2009

– Caja sin piel, flotando, Ediciones B, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2011

Box Without Skin, Floating:

Eva Petrič's novel is exceptional inasmuch as it reminds me of a modern feminine James Joyce. When she writes, you can sense that she is thinking: screw the words, let the Reader beware! Words are placeholders here. They hold a place where you are meant to insert your own feelings, interpretations, impressions, nothing! Placeholders. With this novel, Eva builds a Skeleton for Feelings, and Feelings are the flesh which must be applied to this skeleton. Feelings and Love. And the Reader is the one who must apply this flesh with his own perceptions, experiences, and the pitfalls and wonders of his own individual living experience. In that respect, upon reading, this one novel is transformed into a thousand, a million individual and very personal novels.

Eva's novel is also infused with Essentialism. With Minimalism. Once she's made her point… she moves on… even if there is no syntax or grammar. That's Joyce. She even makes up words. But the one thing she doesn't do – that Joyce did –  is to find smug complacency in the turn of the phrase. She throws the phase out there, like a burnt offering to a whimsical god, and moves on to the next altar at the Acropolis. She gives the phrase no more credit than it deserves and she never lets over-indulgence in the phrase stop the flow of the discourse.

As I say, Eva's work is very feminine. And very childlike (not childish, there's a big difference!). In reading her work, you sometimes sense that the Writer is curling up with the Reader as if to whisper some confidence into his/her ear, like a Tinkerbelle landing on the Reader's shoulder and sprinkling stardust that makes the Reader fly to the next phrase. And the Reader is actually very much like a Peter Pan: unwilling and unable to grow up lest he lose his ability to fly.

Eva Petrič writes a bit like Fellini once directed. She reveals something immense and fascinating and quickly moves no before the viewer has a chance to get a really good look. She leaves a taste in Reader's mouth but doesn't give him a chance to sit at the banquet. The written words are merely hors d'oeuvres and the Reader is forced to wait for the meal. Will it be on the next page? Who knows. Keep reading.

Joshua Sinclair, scriptwriter and film director, author of the  full feature film Jump and TV series Shaka Zulu

 

They All Ate Sushi

….The novel They All Ate Sushi distinguishes itself with its unique composition. It combines three stories that are rolled into a "sushi"  like structure. Further, the stories also intertwine amongst themselves corresponding to the way that the physical position of individual characters changes. In particular thy twist and echo in the sense of their characters' physical and even more so of their psychological approaching as well as distancing of themselves from one another (e.g. Sara and Juan Cruz in Buenos Aires). This structure is rare, and further more it is contemporary. It connects the stories in such a way which enables Laura to act as a film director. During her subway ride in New York City and on the way to the American studio  with her dialogical partner she decides what to cut out, what to reduce, what is unnecessary.

Upon first glance the language of Eva Petrič appears quite simple, but it is indeed very precise, psychologically colored; thus the psychological perspective of the whole romanesque theme is of primary importance. We may speak of a somewhat seemingly leisurely, but persistent drilling into the characters, while the language used is of the contemporary media of computers, particularly of e-mails and sms. This represents contemporary use of metaphors that has not yet reached the attention of linguists. It is only the beginning phase of the forming of an internet language in the romanesque function with its rules. However, these are not only grammatical, but are even more so psychological: does internet lie, or is it sincere to the point that the one using it can somehow hide within it. When writing intimate truths into the internet it is not necessary to look one's partner in the eyes and face, to feel his or her emotional trembling – to feel them alive.

But again it is not just this since words from internet can hit you straight into the heart and mind. Here lies Eva Petrič's strength: she has realized quickly from where the whole net of psychological relations of her characters stems. Without the computer there would be nothing. The computer appears as the ruler of the world, of mind and emotions. The computer thinks its own thoughts and it is the first dialogical partner. Before one clicks on "Send" (which appears often in Petrič's novel) there seems to be the last  chance, the last moment before something changes; before visible appears from invisible, the unheard becomes the heard, the inexperience shifts to the experienced. The computer is something that is and is not censorship – it is the famous "decisive moment"! And here suddenly begins the contemporary prose – its dimensions we may only anticipate!

Marijan Zlobec

DELO, May 20, 2009 (an excerpt)

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