Sömnlöshet by Mariela Griffor/Ars Interpres Publications, Stockholm, Sweden/
2015/212 pages/ €23,00 EUR/ ISBN: 978-91-980386-6-8
Orders: Alexander Deriev/Tingvallavägen/195 31 Märsta/ Telefon: 08-59113267
When Alexander Deriev, who has a deep understanding and appreciation of poetry, called and told me he wanted to publish a trilingual book (Sömnlöshet) of my poems, I laughed at first. I wondered immediately just how many people would buy such a rare sort of book. I had once been listed years ago as “an author of rare books” together with some others regarded as cult writers – which I took great pleasure in – but then I thought: We enjoy the privileged amount of “just a few” that read our work!
Though the thought was amusing, deep inside I was flattered, very flattered. I knew Deriev was a connoisseur of poetry and that gave me a great feeling and, at the same time, a little bit of pressure of responsibility. Immediately my mind tried to find ways of releasing the tension, the pressure. I told him immediately “Yes”, but that he should not be disappointed if the sales of the book were low or even minimal.
He said he didn’t care. So I thought, here we are, two bibliophiles, talking about a trilingual book that perhaps nobody would read. The world is stranger than I thought. At least I like this kind of strange, at least this path does not involve killing or impoverishing people, right? Or maybe the world had always been this multilingual, multicultural, and it took a while for us to understand that fact, until the arrival of globalization!
When most of the publishers and writers (and editors of course!) are preoccupied with the number of sales, we were immersed in the discussion of what language should be first or second or third in the book. We decided to go with Swedish first. Swedish is an extraordinarily beautiful language but it is largely unknown outside Sweden. However since the book is to be distributed primarily in Sweden we decided to go with Swedish first, then English and Spanish.
Alexander’s wife, Regina Derieva, had been suffering from a lengthy illness and for several years he took devotedly care of his wife until she died in December of 2013.
Now, when he was returning to previously planned projects, the world was not the same anymore; it had become global and I have seen several bilingual books emerging from different parts of the world and even some trilingual anthologies.
We began to put together strategies for the book and finally, voila, here it is standing proud among other similar ideas for multilingual books. Thanks to Alexander Deriev and Lars Ahlström, the translator, this book is not only possible but is a reality today. Who would have thought that possible five years ago! I’m proud of belonging to Alexander Deriev’s list of writers, as are many others who have published with him like Per Wastberg, John Kinsella, Dipak Mazumdar, Les Murray and many more. He is not only a member of the literati but is also a publisher-hunting- for-poets-around-the-world!
Buy the book here and let me know what you think! http://arsint.com/book_m_g.html
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Mariela Griffor