Reading | ZIFT

Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 6:00pm

BULGARIAN NOIR: A READING FROM ZIFT
featuring Vladislav Todorov and translator Joseph Benatov

Zift reviews:

"Pulp fiction by a historian of ideas."—Literary Weekly (Sofia)

"...stalking its genre with the meticulousness of an assassin, while simultaneously parodying it. A novel that unfolds over a single night, in a single breath—and also reads that way... a black-and-white cinematographic vision of early-1960s Sofia by Night."—Georgi Gospodinov, author of Natural Novel

"Tongue flambé."—Kultura

"Potent stuff distilled from ugly memories, already a cult movie in Bulgaria, Zift is like a flaming shot of rotgut smuggled in from the old country."—Citypaper

Vladislav Todorov is the author of several scholarly books on modernism, political aesthetics, performing and visual arts, terrorism and global governance, including Chaotic Pendulum: Inquiries in Terrorism and Governmentality (2005), Short Paradox for the Theater and Other Figures of Life (1997), Red Square, Black Square: Organon for Revolutionary Imagination (1995) and The Adam Complex: Essays in Politics and Culture (1991). He has contributed articles and essays to journals such as The Yale Journal of Criticism, College Literature, L'infini, Neue Literatur, Likovne Besede, and elsewhere. He has served as a columnist and regular commentator for a number of major Bulgarian weekly and daily papers. His work has been translated in French, German, Russian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovenian. Zift – a Bulgarian noir – is his first novel.

Joseph Benatov holds a doctorate in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is entitled "Looking in the Iron Mirror: Eastern Europe in the American Imaginary, 1958-2001." He has also written on Jewish identity politics in Philip Roth's early fiction; the sensationalism of U.S. representations of life behind the Iron Curtain; and competing national narratives of the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II. Dr. Benatov has taught literature and Hebrew for a number of years and has also translated Israeli poetry and drama, including two plays by Hanoch Levin, staged to wide acclaim in Sofia, Bulgaria. Most recently, he translated Martin McDonagh's latest play, "A Behanding in Spokane," set to premiere at the Bulgarian National Theater this fall.

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