Publishing house Heliks: A journey across diverse literary landscapes of contemporary Europe

Publishing house Heliks: A journey across diverse literary landscapes of contemporary Europe


The project Trans-Europe: a Literary Journey across the Continent encompasses translation and presentation of eight novels and one collection of stories written in eight European languages (Dutch, French, German, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Turkish and Greek). It was designed with the idea of strengthening cultural bridges and literary dialogues between different coordinates in the European framework, without language boundaries and with a special emphasis on countries whose literature is less present in Serbia (primarily Island and Cyprus).

The project is composed of the following works: Jarðnæði (Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir), Hah (Birgül Oğuz), Marilyn désossée (Isabelle Wéry), Døden kører audi (Kristian Bang Foss), Хμερολóγιο μιας απιστίας (Emilios Solomou), Jón (Ófeigur Sigurðsson), Kirschholz und alte Gefühle (Марица Бодрожић), Maud og Aud (Gunstein Bakke) and De Nederlandse maagd (Marente de Moor). All listed books brought their authors the prestigious European Union Prize for contemporary literature.

These contemporary works represent a literary response to the challenges faced by Europeans today. Another trait of all the books belonging to the project is the exquisite literary quality which is reflected in the choice of topics and the distinctive author expressions, from the experimental ones, at the cross of poetry and prose (as in the Belgian novel Marilyn désossée) to epistolary (the Icelandic title Jón) or a diary form (the other Icelandic title, Jarðnæði). Thematic links with Serbian readers are diverse but easily recognizable, such as wars on the soil of ex-Yugoslavia (the German novel Kirschholz und alte Gefühle written by the author who was born in this area, Marica Bodrožić), the Second World War (the Dutch novel De Nederlandse maagd) or a job as an illusion of modern man’s life purpose (Danish title Døden kører audi).

Experience showed that direct contact with authors is invaluable in approximating a book to the reader, thus, a guest appearance of three authors from the project was planned as a stage of promotion.