Friday, October 25, 2013

Fairground Magician – Jelena Lengold


Fairground Magician, is an exploration of love told through a series of thirteen tales. Via these short stories the author examines, probes and delves into its various guises, revealing the conflicts that tear people asunder and the moments that, although go unnoticed, bind two individuals so that: “Soul and body have no bounds” * . Jelena Lengold uses various genres from realism through the use of thriller & eroticism to shade the nuances of the relationships, whether it’s the cold loss of a love unfulfilled, or that heat that first burns before leaving a tranquil euphoria in its wake.

On reading the blurb on the back cover, I was slightly worried with the idea of eroticism, purely because of the likes of fifty shades of grey & its ilk, I needn’t have been - although several tales explore the nature of sexuality - they do so as an integral part of existence & the erotic elements are like love, they have no safety net or get out clause. This is a sensuous, sexy, intelligent collection of tales that may shock, but will make you think, it has already won a number of European prizes including The European Union Prize for Literature (2011)3_the-fairground-magician-front-cover

Fairground Magician is a collection of thirteen tales revolving around the various faces of the Gods of love, whether this is Eros, who represents love, sexual passion and naughty thoughts or Yue-Lao, who binds two people together with an invisible red string - it  doesn’t matter, they will find themselves reflected within this book’s pages.



Jelena Lengold (1959) is a storyteller, novelist and a poet. She has published five books of poetry, one novel (Baltimore, 2003, 2011) and four books of stories, including Pokisli lavovi (Rain-soaked Lions, 1994), Lift (Lift, 1999) as well as Vašarski mađioničar (The Fairground Magician, 2008, 2009). She has been represented in several anthologies of poetry and stories, and her works have been translated into several languages. Lengold worked as a journalist and an editor for ten years in the cultural department of Radio Belgrade. She worked as a project coordinator in the Conflict Management programme of Nansenskolen Humanistic Academy in Lillehammer, Norway. She taught topics such as dialogue, interethnic tolerance, discrimination, negotiations, human rights and peaceful conflict resolution. She lives in Belgrade.



Istros Books

Jelena Lengold

European Prize for Literature 2011 PDF, containing  Wanderings a story from the collection.

 * W. H Auden


Brian Joseph said...

This sounds fascinating and it sounds like it is handled in a creative and thoughtful way.

The fact that each tale is based on a different mythological figure is neat.

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Brian, sorry for the confusion. The mythological references are merely my attempt to describe the tales & their focus on this particular emotional state and not the basis of the tales. Once again sorry for the confusion.

Col (Col Reads) said...

I love short stories -- they fit into my crazed lifestyle. The older we get, the more complex we realize love is. This books sounds like something I would adore.

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting - it reminds me of a (definitely erotic) book with short stories by the Spanish writer Mercedes Abad. Her stories are so funny! Maybe worth looking into.

Andrew Blackman said...

This does sound interesting! I understand your wariness, given the whole 50 Shades phenomenon. Glad to hear that this is a more intelligent approach to eroticism. Love and sex don't get covered enough in literature, at least not as the main focus, so I think I'll give this one a try.

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Col, it's definitely worth a go, it runs the whole way from sad to downright funny & manages its subject matter with intelligence both critical & emotional.

Hi Judith, based on your comment, this should appeal to you.

Hi Andrew, yes was slightly worried as there has been a whole tanker load of 50 shades & its clones. But as stated this does it well & without resource to cliché & it family.