JASMIN B. FRELIH

WRITTEN WORK

They Torture Artists in the West

They Torture Artists in the West Book Cover

A worrying, puzzling, at times deeply troubling account of a writer taking risks and seemingly being forced to pay for them with his sanity.

In/Half

In/Half book covers

Twenty-five years into the future, a glitch in the global communications network is ripping a previously united world apart at the seams. The millennials find themselves hardest hit, trapped in a crumbling world they did not want - among them childhood friends Evan, an addict theatre director; Kras, a family patriarch and ex-war-minister; and Zoja, an anarchist poet. As they each prepare to celebrate their fiftieth birthdays, the friends desperately try to recapture the magic of their former lives and hold on to some sort of sense of belonging.

Tiny Ideologies

Tiny Ideologies book covers

From experiments with psychedelics and examinations of the origins of civilization to prescient accounts of the refugee crisis and responses to the great calamities and masterworks of humanity, through probing the limits of the once essential tradition of humanism, Tiny Ideologies make you question the assumptions of the modern world.

Philosophical and outraged, solemn and hysterical, deadpan and tragic, the chronologically arranged stories allow you to follow the development of a mind in tune with the world narrative for a reading experience unlike any other. A major document of an era.

Pale Freedom

Pale Freedom book cover

If they did to our bodies what they are doing to our minds, the present age of human history would be over in a year. What is literadrome? Includes studies on Occupy Wall Street, terrorism in digital environments, works of Don DeLillo, and metamodernism.

Images from Dreams

Images from Dreams book cover

VISUAL WORK

  1. TTAW

  2. The Marclay Sketch

  3. pAInting

  4. Writer's Cut

  5. Machines Destroy Your Image of Me

  6. HERE

NEWS

  1. 17. 10. 2020

    Art in Crisis at the Frankfurt Book Fair!

    Art in Crisis, a short film produced by the Slovenian Book Agency, featuring Slovenian author and philosopher Alenka Zupančič, author and immunologist Alojz Ihan, author Mojca Kumerdej, author and journalist Mojca Širok and author and translator Jasmin B. Frelih talking about the meaning of art in times of crisis, filmed on the streets of Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana right after the spring lockdown, was premiered on the Bookfest digital program of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. You can watch it on Youtube, in Slovenian with German subtitles.

  2. 7. 10. 2020

    In/Half is out in Polish!

    In/Half was published in Poland by Wyszukane publishing house, translated by Marlena Gruda. Here is a short conversation with the translator in Polish.

  3. 30. 9. 2020

    They Torture Artists in the West!

    A masterpiece, five years in the making. Available online in its entirety, for now. Published on Issuu. Make sure you read it.

  4. 12. 9. 2020

    Interview in Linkiesta!

    Italian journal Linkiesta published my conversation with Nicola Baroni, about In/Half, Pasolini, Kant, Joyce, pandemic, internet and art, in their European writers section. In Italian.

  5. 25. 6. 2020

    Rothko in Estonian!

    Short story Rothko was published in the Estonian literary review Värske Rõhk. Translated by Rauno Alliksaar.

  6. 22. 4. 2020

    EUPL Book Club!

    We talked with Bianca Bellová and Piia Leino about dystopia in our novels in an online discussion hosted by the EUPL.

    A recording of the conversation can be listened to here.

  7. 15. 4. 2020

    In/Half, quarantine edition!

    A special, quarantine edition of In/Half in the original, Slovenian language is available here. [PDF! direct download]

    Since English-speaking readers can't benefit from the new, quarantine inspired foreword, I'm instead posting some of my thoughts I've sent to my fellow writers in Europe while under lockdown.

    Dear friends,

    Arundhati Roy wrote that the pandemic is a portal, a gateway from the old world to the new one, and that it is up to us to decide what to take alongside with us, and what to leave behind.

    Olga Tokarczuk wrote that as we sit at home, read books, watch TV, we are in reality preparing for a great battle for a new reality that we can’t even imagine, slowly understanding that nothing will be the same as before.

    Alenka Zupancic wrote that we need to figure out a way to get rid of the neoliberal system with as few casualties as possible and not focus on trying to save the system with as few casualties as possible.

    What was nice about the old world – the strolls, the cafes, the nightclubs, the urban explorations, the loitering, the museums, the cinemas, the libraries, the unencumbered travels, the sheer joy of tourism, the weekend getaways, the carefree love affairs … - has been taken away.

    What was not so nice about the old world, persistently and stubbornly, now ever more visibly, remains. My friends still have to do their shifts in the factories, the shelves of supermarkets still have to be stocked, the food must be harvested and picked and transported, the public and work spaces still have to be cleaned, while the healthcare workers are pushed into a battle less than ideally equipped not to cure, not to prevent, but to make it easier for the stricken body to endure, and in time, recover on its own.

    Those of us who can, stay at home, to keep those of us who can’t, safer. The world is now quite literally being run by a skeleton crew. It was, in a way, ever so, but the total amount of freedom and joy that the old world offered to many has helped to obscure and legitimize this reality.

    As writers, we are now not allowed to succumb to either despair, rage, or guilt. The vast majority of people now seek their daily solace in art. Once they have seen all the great movies, have felt their brain growing numb in front the TV and the social media streams, they will, perhaps for the first time in many years, pick up a novel. And maybe they will then realize that in this dialogue across cultures, across languages and centuries, there is another voice growing stronger in their minds and that this is not the voice of the author whose work they hold in their hands. It is their own voice. Many have not heard it in a long time, many are now surprised that it is still there, that it is more agile than they’ve thought, more able than they’ve remembered. This is a good thing, because they will need it.

    They will need it to imagine what they were just yesterday told is useless to imagine, to formulate opinions far beyond the narrowness of utility and self-interest, to speak of this new world where it is not normal for anyone to suffer just so others can think of themselves as free.

    If poverty and powerlessness were contagious to the rich and powerful, they would upend the world to banish it.

    We must insist that they are.

    With best wishes and hopes for good health to all,

    sincerely looking forward to the day we meet again,

    from Škofja Loka, on a sunny Tuesday, April 7th,

    Jasmin

  8. 20. 3. 2020

    Okinawa Paradox!

    Some of my written reminiscences of Okinawa found their home in an amazing photobook Okinawa Paradox by the Spanish photographer Joan Tomás, together with texts by Lidija Dimkovska, Adam Foulds, and Walid Nabhan.

    More on the author's homepage.

  9. 15. 2. 2020

    Tiny Ideologies is out in Serbian!

    A beautiful editon of my collection of short stories Tiny Ideologies, translated by Ivan Antić, was published by Areté in Belgrade. Here is the publisher's Facebook page.

    The Serbian translation of the short story Göbekli Tepe can be found at Sinhro.rs.

    A review of the book can be found at Časopis KUŠ.

  10. 6. 12. 2019

    In/Half is out in Czech!

    In/Half was published by Větrné Mlýny, a publisher from Brno, Czechia, in a translation by Libor Doležán. More here.

    And a poet, writer, performer and mystificator Patrik Linhart made an awesome video review of it, even performing the opening paragraph. I expected nothing less from the land of Švankmajer. :) Thank you, Patrik!

  11. 4. 10. - 10. 11. 2019

    I'm in New York!

    Another month well spent in New York.

    Wrote an entire short story inside the New York Public Library.

    Visited the newly redesigned Museum of Modern Art a day before the official opening (it's fantastic, and at some point I'm going to write about it, especially about the artist curated room, intense as only art in feverish conversation across space and time can be).

    Saw the Joker twice, then visited a different stairwell from the one in the Bronx: the Vessel at Hudson Yards. Ultra rich & hyper cool, but for someone who is neither also a bit depressing. Well, beauty is free, at least.

    Got to see Zadie Smith and Teju Cole in conversation with David Remnick at the New Yorker Festival. Spent thinking about it for ages, the last line in this Zadie Smith's essay In Defense of Fiction (sadly, under paywall at the moment) hits straight in the gut.

    Also had an artwork lined up, but either the postal service doesn't work anymore (it does, the USPS is great!), the basic sense of civility is dead (why not, after all?), or I fundamentally misunderstand what it means to report ON art.

    In any case, had a great time, as always. See you soon!

  12. 2. 10. 2019

    I'm in Brussels!

    Attended the European Union Prize for Literature 2019 ceremony at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. Chaired a reading and a discussion with the three winners from Slovakia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom: Ivana Dobrakovová, Haska Shyyan, and Melissa Harrison, respectively. Made a writer cry onstage when contemplating Brexit, which is a first, I think, since I usually do that to readers.

    A gorgeous evening nonetheless (with a very, very long talk by the Finnish writer Sofi Oksanen, alerting us to the dangers of thinking and teaching history with a political agenda). A heartfelt congratulations to all the winners, and I hope that the brief discussion we had the next day in one of the Commission buildings will help to make their path even brighter and clearer.

  13. 10. 9. - 15. 9. 2019

    Vilenica Literary Festival!

    Attended the Vilenica Literary Festival, read in Central European Initiative hall in Trieste, Italy, read in Švicarija mansion in Ljubljana and participated in a discussion with fellow Vilenica authors in Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana. The picture is of Srečko Kosovel library in Sežana:

    In the square of doors a human being.

    I call from the white balcony: Genius = Spirit + Reason

    Automobiles 4 km, thoughts 1 km, aspiration 100m

  14. 18. 6. 2019

    I'm in Zagreb!

    Had a wonderful conversation with Croatian writer Ivana Bodrožić and In/Half's translator Jagna Pogačnik in Zagreb's literary club Booksa.

  15. 9. 5. 2019

    In/Half also in Croatian!

    Grabbed these two babies from the publisher today - and I can even understand the Croatian one. I'll be in Zagreb next month - vidimo se! Bok!

  16. 17. 4. 2019

    Anthology!

    My short stories Bill and Rothko are part of a "Slovenian writers born after 1980" anthology, special edition of literary review Dialogi.

  17. 5. 4. - 10. 4. 2019

    I'm in Galway, Ireland!

    Attended the Cuirt Literary Festival in Galway, Ireland, for a World Perspectives event with brilliant Igor Štiks and Sylvain Laurent (Esther Kinsky unfortunately was not able to come). Took a photo in front of Nora Barnacle's house! Uilleann pipes!

  18. 2. 4. - 5. 4. 2019

    I'm in London! (And Oxford!)

    Attended the Oxford Literary Festival and a British Library event in the United Kingdom along with fellow writers Selja Ahava, Piotr Tarczynski, Jacek Dehnel, Olga Grjasnowa, and Alessandro D'Avenia, all published with Oneworld Publications. In/Half in the company of amazing work.

  19. 20. 1. 2019

    In/Half is out in Hungarian!

    Translation of my novel is out in Hungarian by Metropolis Media – translated by Klara Potoczki. Dear Hungarians, let's build an open future! All the best from your neighbour to the west.

    Here's a first review on Librarius
    Buy the book here

  20. 13. 12. 2018

    Images from Dreams are out!

    A collection of short stories by the greatest Slovene writer Ivan Cankar (he is our slightly more belligerent Kafka) from 1917, is now out in English with Litterae Slovenicae. Translated in tandem with Erica Johnson Debeljak.

    More here.

  21. 22. 11. – 3. 12. 2018

    I'm in Japan!

    Attended the Festival of European Literature in Japan in Tokyo, and a writer's residency on Okinawa organized by Colab Quarter with fellow EUPL winners Lidija Dimkovska, Walid Nabhan, and Adam Foulds.

  22. 13. 11. 2018

    In/Half is out in English

    Translation of my novel is out in English by Oneworld Publications – translated by Jason Blake. Available at your favorite bookseller - please don't let me starve! Read more about In/Half in the Written Works section and here.

  23. 6. 11. 2018

    I'm in Vienna!

    Attended a beautiful ceremony in Vienna's Belvedere Palace, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the European Union Prize for Literature. The European stories anthology is out in print!

  24. 30. 10. 2018

    I'm in New York!

    New York is a great place to lose your mind. Find pieces of it in The Marclay Sketch in the Visual Work section.

  25. 8. 6. 2018

    I'm in Lisbon!

    Discussion at the Lisbon Book Fair Auditorium with fellow winners of the EUPL Ciler Ilhan and David Machado, moderated by Miguel Franco de Andrade.

  26. 23. 5. 2018

    A new short story!

    A new short story, titled Bill, in the European Stories: EUPL Winners Write Europe anthology. Download a pdf or an e-book. My story is on page 117.

  27. 21. – 23. 3. 2018

    I'm in Malta!

    Campus Book Festival – a creative writing workshop and discussions with writer Immanuel Mifsud and Noel Tanti. And an interview in Malta Today here.

  28. 8. 1. – 11. 3. 2018

    I'm in New Delhi!

    Readings, discussions and a creative writing workshop at the New Delhi World Book Fair with fellow winners of the EUPL David Machado, Selja Ahava, Kallia Papadaki and Osvalds Zebris.

  29. 28. 10. 2017

    I'm in Munich!

    Psychographics appear at the Munich Residenz. More in Psychographics in the Visual Work section.

  30. 11. 10. 2017

    I'm in Frankfurt!

    Read from In/Half at the EUPL event at the Publisher's Rights Corner at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair.

  31. 22. 9. 2017

    I'm in Prague!

    Read from In/Half at the (A)void Floating Gallery in Prague, and a fellow EUPL winner Bianca Bellova read from her novel Lake.

  32. 15. 6. 2017

    I'm in New York!

    Dutch translation of In/Half – translation by Roel Schuyt – at the top of One World Trade Center in Manhattan. Amsterdam to New Amsterdam. One World – In/Twëeen.

    Buy the book here.

  33. 1. 5. - 13. 6. 2017

    I'm in Brussels!

    Passa Porta residency in St. Gilles, Brussels. Readings in Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels, profile in the weekly Bruzz, a glowing review for In/Half in the daily De Standaard.