(A version of this text will be forthcoming in the LITERARY ENCYCLOPEDIA. at https://www.litencyc.com/)
Milorad Pavić, the erudite Serbian writer, university professor, literary historian, and member of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts (1991-2009), was born on 15 October 1929 in Belgrade. In his internet-based autobiographical sketch, Pavić himself declared that he was born on “the banks of one of the four rivers of Paradise, at 8:30 in the morning, under the sign of Libra (ascendant Scorpio), or, according to the Aztec horoscope, the Snake.” As fiction writer, he was virtually unknown until 1984 when Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words brought him an instant worldwide fame. Even before, he has always entertained the idea of being “a writer for two hundred years now” because, as he said, “long ago, in 1766, an ancestor Pavić published a collection of poems in Budim [Buda] and we have considered ourselves a family of writers ever since. ”Pavić received his degrees from the University of Belgrade and University of Zagreb, taught philosophy at the University of Novi Sad and at his former alma mater in Belgrade, he held classes at Sorbonne in Paris, at the University of Vienna and in Freiburg and Regensburg as well. While writing extensively, he also translated works by Pushkin, Byron, Shelley, Villon and Molière and was nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature many times. His works have been translated in more than 30 languages and are now published all over the world.
His labyrinthine, unusual world-view can be compared to that of Miguel de Cervantes, Laurence Sterne, Jorge Louis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, and B. S. Johnson. Robert Coover praised his playful, witty style when he said that Pavić “thinks the way we dream,” adding that the Serbian author makes his readers “read the way he eats: he can use his right eye as a fork, his left as a knife, and toss the bones over his shoulder.” Pavić was a prolific writer of poems, short stories, novels, dramas, literary and cultural history. His most important volumes of poetry include Palimpsesti (Palimpsests, 1967) and Mesečev kamen (Moonstone, 1971), alongside his collections of short stories: Gvozdena zavesa (The Iron Curtain, 1973), Konji svetoga Marka (The Horses of Saint Mark’s, 1976), Ruski hrt (Borzoi, 1979), Nove beogradske priče (New Belgrade Stories, 1981), Duše se kupaju poslednji put (Souls Bathe for the Last Time, 1982), Izvrnuta rukavica (The Inverted Glove, 1989), Šešir od riblje kože. Ljubavna priča (The Fish Skin Hat. A Love Story, 1996), Stakleni puž. Priče sa interneta (Snail of Glass. Short Stories for the Internet, 1998), (co-authored with Jasmina Mihajlović) Dve kotorske priče (Two Tales from Kotor, 1998), Glinena armija (China’s Underground Army, 1999), Strašne ljubavne priče, izabrane i nove (Terrifying Love Stories, Selected and New, 2001), Vrata sna i druge priče (Dream’s Door and Other Stories, 2002), Priča o travi i druge priče (Tale of Grass and Other Stories, 2002), Devet kiša i druge priče (Nine Rains and Other Stories, 2002), Carski rez i druge priče (Cezarian Section and Other Stories, 2002), Dve lepeze iz Galate―Stakleni puž i druge priče (Two Fans from Galata―The Glass Snail and Other Stories, 2003), (co-authored with Jasmina Mihajlović) Ljubavni roman u dve priče, 2004 (Love Story in Two Tales, 2004), Priča koja je ubila Emiliju Knor, 2005 (The Tale that Killed Emily Knorr, 2005), Sve priče (All Stories, 2008). Nevertheless, Pavić is probably best known for his novels that tested the limits of narrative genre, which include Hazarski rečnik. Roman-leksikon u 100.000 reči (Dictionary of the Khazars. A Lexicon Novel in 100.000 Words, 1984 and translated into English in 1988), Predeo slikan čajem. Roman za ljubitelje ukrštenih reči. (Landscape Painted with Tea or Novel for Crossword Puzzle Lovers, 1988, English translation in 1990), Unutrašnja strana vetra ili roman o Heri i Leandru (Inner Side of the Wind or a Novel of Hero and Leander, 1991 and translated into English in 1993), Poslednja ljubav u Carigradu. Priručnik za gatanje (Last Love in Constantinopole―Tarot Novel, 1994 and translated into English in 1998), Kutija za pisanje (Writing Box, 1999 and translated into English in 2012), Zvezdani plašt. Astrološki vodič za neupućene (Star Cape. An Astrologic Guide for Amateurs, 2000), Sedam smrtnih grehova (Seven Mortal Sins, 2002), Nevidljivo ogledalo ― Šareni hleb. Roman za decu i ostale (Invisible Mirror. Multicolored Bread. Novel for Children and Others, 2003), Unikat. Roman delta sa 100 krajeva (Unique Item. Delta novel with a Hundred Endings, 2004 and translated into English in 2005), Drugo telo. Pobožni roman (Second Body. A Pious Novel, 2006, with a supplemented edition published in 2008 and translated into English in 2011), Pozorište od hartije (Paper Theater, 2007), and his last publication, Veštački mladež (Artificial Mole, 2009). Pavić’s dramas include Pozorišni jelovnik zauvek i dan više (Theatre Menu for Ever and a Day, 1993 and translated into English in 2012), Dve interaktivne drame ― Krevet za troje, Stakleni puž (Two Interactive Plays: Triple Bed and The Glass Snail, 2002), and Svadba u kupatilu ― Vesela igra u sedam slika (Bathroom Wedding. Merry Play in Seven Scenes, 2005). Hi is most important works in the field literary theory and cultural history are Istorija srpske književnosti baroknog doba (History of Serbian Literature in the Age of Baroque, 1970), Vojislav Ilić i evropsko pesništvo (Vojislav Ilić and European Poetry, 1971), Gavril Stefanović Venclović (Gavril Stefanović Venclović, 1972), Vojislav Ilić, njegovo vreme i delo (Vojislav Ilić, His Times and Work, Chronicle of a Family of Poets, 1972), Jezičko pamćenje i pesnički oblik (The Memory in Language and the Poetic Form, 1976), Istorija srpske književnosti klasicizma i predromantizma (History of Serbian Literature in the Age of Classicism and Pre-Romanticism, 1979), Rađanje nove srpske književnosti (The Birth of the New Serbian Literature, 1983), Istorija, stalež i stil (History, Class and Style, 1985), Kratka istorija Beograda (A Short History of Belgrade, 1990, bilingual edition), and Roman kao država i drugi ogledi (The Novel as State and Other Essays, 2005).
The most idiosyncratic works within the entire belle lettre oeuvre of this Serbian writer comprise the trio of the encyclopedic with discrete entries entitled the Dictionary of the Khazars. A Lexicon Novel in 100.000 Words (published into female, male and androgynous versions, accordingly), the crossword-puzzle strategy of Landscape Painted with Tea or Novel for Crossword Puzzle Lovers and his penultimate self-referential novel, the Second Body. A Pious Novel. These three non-linear novels embody the essential ars poetica of Pavić and are characterized by a triple form, the presence of three religions (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) and three narrative times, all of which are knit together through enigmatic women characters that challenge their narrative roles by implicating readers into multiple cross-referential riddles and mysteries. In Dictionary of the Khazars this character is the powerful, multifaceted Khazar Princess Ateh, the ultimate symbol of her Caucasian motherland and mother tongue; she represents, among the dream-hunters of her people, the word as beginning (of all things) and the body (as the end of a world). She is, in the midst of the ninth-century Khazar polemics on religion, the last representative of a faraway civilization, like the remnant of a vanishing dream; Ateh is the only Khazar name the reader is allowed to know, therefore, the narrative can be identified as Ateh’s dictionary in this fictional reconstruction of a lost encyclopedia of an extinct empire. Similar to Ateh, Vitača Milut Petka in the Landscape Painted with Tea is another peculiar feminine figure. She is another woman of striking beautify known under multiple names; her role in this novel-shaped, unusual crossword puzzle is to involve the body of the reader into an act of love-making seamed into the virtual fabric of the novel through her glance into a water fountain. As a result, she falls in love with the reader, who can find its gender identity only at the end, if he or she wishes to do so. The reader is a key figure in all of Pavić’s narratives: its role is to open the text and to make ends meet. In his Beginning and the End of the Novel (Početak i kraj romana, 2005) Pavić describes the terms in which fiction embodies lives as narratives and has no limits in its acts of various transgressions. Each novel, he claims, “selects its specific form,” while “each story can search for, and find, its adequate body.” In the works of the Serbian writer there are as many bodies as texts. According to Pavić, the so-called second body is always already there, alongside the previous one; this second body lurks from between the lines of his penultimate novel, in which the author points to the path(s) leading to a glimpse of it. The Second Body (Drugo telo, 2008)― after a list of unusually constructed stories beginning with Dictionary of Khazars, Landscape Painted with Tea and the game-oriented Last Love on Constantinople. A Tarot Novel for Divination, accompanied by a pack of Tarot cards to help readers construct their own version(s) of the novel’s narrative ― invites readers to reflect first on its contents by getting acquainted with Vladimir Dunjić‘s painting, “Mirror,” on its cover presenting a woman’s ‘second’ face melting in her own mirror image, a symbolic invitation to self-reflection in the gusto of Pavić’s tradition of the trick novel. This trick-and-love novel is appropriately dedicated to the wife of the author, Jasmina Mihajlović, herself a writer and critic (and with whom they share the same webpage). The intellectually endowed love adventures are built on a subtle time-scheme ranging from the eighteenth through the twenty-first century in various European venues including Belgrade, Paris, Venice, and Szentendre. The key character is Elizabeth (Lisa) Amava Arzuaga Eulohia Ihar-Swift (nicknamed Imola), whose full name the reader discovers only at the end. She is the final custodian of the secret to the second, other body. The book’s protagonist is the fictional narrator-author; he stitches the plots together and slaloms among several public but mostly personal texts and, and by balancing between existence and non-existence creates a crossroad of stories that is left, at points, for the reader to end. The ‘other’ body in this novel is always a function of narrative and narrating bodies: it appears disseminated and ever shifting throughout the novel both as a textual body and a body-in-the-text, but it also does embody a third character in love triangles. In the first love story, the one between Lisa Swift (herself a Protestant character) and the author-narrator, the second body becomes visible (actually, readable) after the death of the fictional author, who then becomes an interlocutory character directly addressing the reader. Among the characters Pavić employs in his fictive world are historical persons such as Zaharije Orfelin (1726-1785) and Gavril Stefanović Venclović (both lived in the second half of the seventeenth century through the mid-eighteen century), figures of crucial importance Pavić (re)discovered while writing his history of Serbian literature. The Second Body displays not only a sage cultural background intertextualizing readers into an intricate web of narratives but also has a subtle sense of self-irony pertaining to this European region. Pavić manages to present and represent Byzantine inter-cultural dialogues that are established in and around the Balkans among Western, Central and South-Eastern European individuals with their heterogeneous cultural backgrounds through particular stories that involve various cultural or religious conflicts; he exposes the communicative strategies among these individuals through elaborate love stories with a touch of humor catalyzed by rich historical circumstances reevaluated through the prism of individual experience.
Milorad Pavić died on 30 November 2009 in Belgrade. While he was keen to eliminate the traditional beginnings and ends of his novels, he could not avoid encountering his own end he foresaw in the Second Body. As he wrote in his last poem, published posthumously as The Epilogue on his webpage, he “seized the moment/ When the spirit and body were equal”. Jasmina Mihajlović, Pavić’s main biographer, bibliographer, and editor of his collected worksis today managing “The Milorad Pavić Bequest” and their common website, the www.khazars.com
Written by RóbertTúri
Translated by Réka M. Cristian.
Coover, Robert. “He Thinks the Way We Dream.” In Short History of a Book / Kratka istorija jedne knjige. Ed. PetruCârdu, Vršac: KOV, 1991, 188-201.
Pavić, Milorad. “Beginning and the End of the Novel.” 2005. Web: http://www.khazars.com/en/
Túri, Róbert. The Second Body. A Pious Novel. “OtheRings: Textual Bodies and Bodily Textures.” Book Review of Milorad Pavić’s DrugoTelo,” East Central Europe, 2009. April. Web: http://www.ece.ceu.hu/?q=node/145 and http://www.rastko.rs/rastko/delo/13942
Author: Džoja Ratković Gavela
CHILDHOOD AND FIRST LITERARY WORKS
Milorad Pavić was born in Belgrade on October 25th, 1929, between 8 and 9 a.m. He was named after his godfather, dr. Milorad Dragić, doctor of preventive medicine and founder of the Institute of Hygiene. He was also known by his nickname "Cici", ever since childhood, because he knew by heart and frequently recited the poem "Ciciban" written by Oton Župančić. His father was Zdenko, an art teacher and an athlete, who also enjoyed sculpting. His mother, Vera, was a philosophy teacher and athlete.
After WWII, in 1945, Pavić moved with his parents to Ruse in Bulgaria. He continued his education there for a while, because his parents had found employment in a Yugoslav school. During his stay in Bulgaria fifteen-year-old Milorad Pavić kept a diary,Diary of my life in Bulgaria, ( Dnevnik moga života u Bugarskoj), the manuscript of which can be found at the Bequest of Milorad Pavić.
In 1947 Pavić published his stories in the school newspaper, having been rejected by the Mladost magazine. The stories were "Three Sinful Maries" and a fairytale in French.
He passed his high-school graduation exam in 1949 and began studying Yugoslav literature at the Faculty of Philosophy and the violin at the Music Academy in Belgrade. He already spoke fluent French, Russian and English.
EARLY CREATIVE PERIOD
(WORKS IN THE FIELDS OF TRANSLATION, LITERARY SCIENCE, POETRY AND LITERATURE)
In 1952 publishing house Nopok published Pavić's translation of Pushkin's poem Poltava, with afterword written by well-known Polonist, prof. dr. Đorđe Živanović. Writing a term paper about Cyril and Methodius in 1953, Pavić came across the subject of the Khazars for the first time. He was enthralled by the lectures of reputed professors, linguist Aleksandar Belić, literary historian, Ragusologist Petar Kolendić, Baroque expert Dragoljub Pavlović. He also sat in on classes at the Faculty of Medicine, being fascinated by the rhetorical skills of some of the professors there.
In 1954 Pavić graduated from the Department of Yugoslav Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy and abandoned his studies of music just before his final exam. That same year he published his first work in the field of literary science inPrilozi za Književnost, Jezik, Istoriju i Folklor ( Contributions to Literature, Language, History, and Folklore), and then in Književne novine (Literary paper) and magazine Susreti (Encounters). He became an avid mountaineer and a member of the Serbian Alpinism team.
Pavić became an associate of the literary editorial board of Radio Belgrade in 1955, translating poetry. His translations of French and Burmese poetry were published in the weekly NIN. In the autumn he began his military service in Sarajevo, later transferring to Visoko.
In 1957 Publishing house Narodna knjiga published his translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. Pavić wrote literary, art, theater and music reviews and authored two program series entitled "Muzika sa slika" (Music from Pictures) and "Hiljadu godina lirike" (One Thousand Years of Lyric Poetry) for Radio Belgrade. He married art historian Branka Basta and enrolled in postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Philosophy.
In 1960 his son Ivan was born. Pavić became a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
For the hundred-year anniversary of the birth of Vojislav Ilić (1961) Pavić published the collected works of this author in two volumes, at publishing house Prosveta. The same publisher published his Selected Works of A. S. Pushkin in 1962. He translated from the Russian, French and English (Villon, Ronsard, Molière, Mistral, troubadours and trouvères, Byron, Shelley, Scottish folk ballads, Pushkin, Lermontov).
In 1963 Pavić became an editor at Prosveta, where he edited the collection "Srpski pisci" (Serbian Authors), followed by "Savremeni strani pisci" (Contemporary Foreign Authors) and started the edition "Plave brazde" (Blue Furrows), reaffirming the works of old Serbian literature. He researched archives in Yugoslavia, but also in Szentendre, Hilandar, Vienna. He became interested in the works of Gavrilo Stefanović Venclović. Pavić kept company with Vasko Popa, Miodrag Pavlović, Zoran Mišić and they read their manuscripts to one another. In the magazine Književnost ( Literature) he published a travelogue, "Istarska Kadenca“ (Istrian Cadenza) (1964).
Pavić's daughter Jelena was born in 1965. He published his first poems inLetopis Matice srpske (Chronicle of Matica Srpska) and Savremenik (Contemporary). He compiled a collection of papers Od baroka do klasicizma ( From Baroque to Classicism), a book - Vojislav Ilić and a collection of tales, legends and poetic writings by Gavrilo Venclović - Crni bivo u srcu (Black Buffalo in the Heart). Pavić defended his doctoral thesis in the field of comparative literatureVojislav Ilić i evropsko pesništvo ( Vojislav Ilić and European Poetry) at the Zagreb University (1966) before a panel comprising the following professors: Ivo Frangeš, Aleksandar Flaker and Vice Zaninović, since he had practically been prevented from doing so in Belgrade by years of postponements.
Pavić published his first book of poetry, entitled Palimpsesti ( Palimpsests) (1967). Društvo pisaca Hrvatske (Society of Croatian Authors) published a "Declaration on Language" ("Deklaracija o jeziku"), and the most eminent Serbian writers replied with a "Proposal for Thinking about Language" ("Predlog za razmišljanje o jeziku"). Pavić was one of the signatories of the "Proposal", for which he was penalized by the Communist Party. In 1968 his choice of selected works of George Gordon Byron was published, and he edited Život i priključenija (Life and Adventures (of Dositej Obradović)) with Pismo Haralampiju (Letter to Haralampije), and in 1969 a monograph about Vuk's Danica in Zabavnik Vuka Karadžića ( Almanac of Vuk Karadžić).
Istorija srpske književnosti baroknog doba (XVII i XVIII vek) ( History of Serbian Literature during the Baroque Period (17 th and 18th Century ) was published by Nolit in 1970, thanks to which an entry on Serbian Baroque was included in an additional volume of the Soviet Encyclopedia. Pavić prepared a two-volume biography of Peter the Great by Zaharije Orfelin. In 1971 the Contemporary Theater in Belgrade put on Venclović's play Udvorenije Arhangela Gavrila devojci Mariji ( Archangel Gabriel Courting the Girl Mary) as adapted by Pavić. Matica srpska published Milorad Pavić's doctoral thesis. He published a book of poetry, Mesečev Kamen (Moonstone) (1971).
Pavić lectured at the Sorbonne in Paris in June of 1972, and in Vienna in the autumn of that year. The Serbian literary cooperative Srpska književna zadruga published his monograph Gavril Stefanović Venclović. The collective works of Pushkin in eight volumes with Pavić's foreword, comments and translations was published. In May 1973 he stayed at Hilandar on Mount Athos, Greece, and published his first collection of stories, Gvozdena zavesa (Iron Curtain).
In 1974 Pavić became an associate professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, referred by Dragiša Živković, Vladan Nedić and Vojislav Ilić. On January 17th 1975 the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad performed the premiere of his Krevet za tri osobe ( Bed for Three) (directed by Dejan Mijač), based on motifs from his eponymous story. Pavić was appointed editor in chief of the magazine Književnost (Literature), but abandoned the post two days later. Matica srpska published his esseys in the field of comparative literature and history of Serbian literature,Jezičko pamćenje i pesnički oblik ( Linguistic Memory and Poetic Form).
In 1977 Pavić became a full professor and dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad. Towards the end of 1977 he began writing his Hazarski rečnik (Dictionary of the Khazars). In 1979 he published aHistory of Serbian Literature in Classicism and Pre-Romanticism ( Istorija srpske književnosti klasicizna i predromantizma), and a new book of prose, Ruski Hrt (Borzoi). As a guest of the British Academy he visited London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Nottingham and Regensburg. In 1981 TV Novi Sad broadcast the television drama Crvena kraljica (Red Queen), based on the story "Partija šaha sa živim figurama" (Game of Chess with Live Figures), while TV Belgrade broadcast series about the history of Serbian literature: Baroque, Classicism and Pre-Romanticism, all authored by Pavić. That same year a selection of stories entitled Nove beogradske priče ( New Tales from Belgrade) was published. Pavić began teaching cultural history of Yugoslav peoples in the modern era, at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, while Matica srpska published his book of poetry and prose Duše se kupaju poslednji put ( Souls Bathe for the Last Time). In 1983 Srpska književna zadruga published a literary and historical synthesis Rađanje nove srpske književnosti (istorija srpske književnosti baroka, klasicizma i predromantizma) ( The Birth of a New Serbian Literature (a history of Serbian literature in the periods of Baroque, Classicism and Pre-Romanticism) ).
PERIOD OF OVERTURN
(PAVIĆ AS WRITER OF PROSE)
While working on the Dictionary of the Khazars, on December 8 th 1979 Pavić jotted down on the manuscript his decision to no longer delve in literary science. From then on he would primarily be a writer of prose.
(8.12.79. evening. From now on I no longer delve in literary science.)
In the spring of 1984 Prosveta published the Dictionary of the Khazars. Pavić's son Ivan completed his studies of fine arts at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. Visiting Istanbul, Pavić had the idea to write Poslednja ljubav u Carigradu ( Last Love in Constantinople). On January 25th 1985 he received the NIN award for best novel in 1984. Matica srpska published his book of essays Istorija, stalež, stil ( History, Class, Style), and together with Dimitrije Bogdanović Pavić started the book collection "Stara srpska književnost" ("Old Serbian Literature") in 24 volumes at Prosveta. In 1985 translators were already starting to translate the Dictionary of the Khazars, not waiting for publishers or signed contracts. He made guest appearances at the universities in Tubingen and Heidelberg. In 1987 Knopf published books bearing a borzoi emblem and won the right to print the Dictionary of the Khazars at the Belfond auction, while Garzanti became the Italian publisher of the novel. The Hungarian translation was published by Forum and Europa, to be followed shortly by the Slovak translation, and then the translation into German, published by Hanser.
In France Philippe Tretiak called the Dictionary of the Khazars the first book of the twenty-first century, while the Spanish publisher announced it as the first novel of the 21st century. The German publisher advertized the Dictionary of the Khazars as a stroke of luck for literature, the kind that happens once every hundred years. Robert Coover in the New York Times was the first to call Pavić's book a hypertext, including him among authors that create in a non-sequential, interactive form. Predeo slikan čajem (Landscape Painted with Tea) was translated into German, French, English, Italian.New York Times Book Review named the Dictionary of the Khazars one of the 8 best books of 1988.
Predeo slikan čajem (Landscape Painted with Tea) came out in 1988, and in 1989 was already playing in the National Theater in Zenica (directed by Vladimir Milčin). Towards the end of the year Matica srpska published the book of stories Izvrnuta Rukavica (The Inverted Glove).
In 1990 Pavić was pronounced the most widely-read author of the past year, and the first book of interviews with him was published, Razgovori s Pavićem (Conversations with Pavić), as interviewed by Miloš Jevtić. This was followed by book of interviewsHazari ili obnova vizantijskog romana ( Khazars or a Renewal of the Byzantine Novel), written by Ana Šomlo. A bilingual edition (in Serbian and English) of Kratka istorija Beograda (A Short History of Belgrade) was published (1990). Belfond published Predeo slikan čajem ( Landscape Painted with Tea), and Alain Bosquet a review "Holiday of the Imagination"; in London, Penguin Books printed a pocket-sized Dictionary of the Khazars. Translations into Hungarian, Romanian, Czech and Slovak were published. The Dictionary of the Khazars came out in Israel, translated by Dina Katan Ben-Zion. On March 27 th the Poetry Theater in Belgrade staged adaptations of Pavić's stories and poetry, "Anđeo s naočarima" (Angel with Glasses) and "Anđeo s lulom" (Angel with a Pipe) (directed by Uroš Glovacki).
The linguistic and literary department of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts decided in 1991 to directly appoint Milorad Pavić a regular Academy member. That same year Jovan Delić published a study entitled Hazarska prizma (Khazar Prism), the first monograph on the author in Yugoslavia, followed in 1992 by Jasmina Mihajlović's monograph Priča o duši i telu. Slojevi i značenja u prozi Milorada Pavića ( Tale of the Body and Soul. Layers and Meanings in the Prose of Milorad Pavić ). In 1991 Prosveta published Unutrašnja strana vetra ( The Inner Side of the Wind). Landscape Painted with Tea enchanted the USA and Canada, three editions of theDictionary of the Khazars were published in Israel, and the Inner Side of the Wind was translated from the manuscript into French, English and German. The Dictionary of the Khazars and Landscape Painted with Tea were translated into Russian.
Pavić retired on January 1st 1992 and was appointed member of the Crown Council. He decided to be with his new life partner, Jasmina Mihajlović, author and critic, whom he met in 1986. They lived in Belgrade, and occasionally in Paris and Greece. He received the Belgrade October Award for his entire literary work. Belfond published the translation of The Inner Side of the Wind, and Alain Bosquet called the success of the Dictionary of the Khazars "a thunderclap".
The "Dobrica Milutinović" theater in Sremska Mitrovica put on "Anđeo sa naočarima i... dve zasebne priče koje čine treću" ("Angel with Glasses and... two separate stories that form a third", adapted by Uroš Glovacki. At the same time a stage adaptation of the Dictionary of the Khazars was played in the castles of France (Emanuel Welsh), and a ballet in Belgium and Denmark (Wim Vandekeybus). Pavić took part in literary evenings throughout Europe, the USA and Canada.
In 1992 he started living in a new apartment with his wife Jasmina Mihajlović, at Braće Baruh 2/I, the future home of the Bequest of Milorad Pavić. Film director Dragan Marinković made a film based on Pavić's stories - Vizantijsko plavo (Byzantine Blue), which was first shown at the film festival in Herceg Novi, and then in Paris and Athens. Pavić wrote Zauvek i dan više (Forever and a Day). At this point his works had been translated into 23 languages, and he had 5 million readers. The Dictionary of the Khazars was translated into Japanese from the French by Yukio Kudo. The Inner Side of the Wind was printed in America, Spain, Turkey, the Dictionary of the Khazars published in Spanish and Catalan, followed by Dutch, Swedish and Danish; Landscape Painted with Tea came out in Israel, and a selection of stories Ikona koja kija ( The Sneezing Icon) in Hungary.
In 1994 Poslednja ljubav u Carigradu (Last Love in Constantinople) was published.The Inner Side of the Wind was printed in Greece,Iron Curtain in France, Borzoi in Turkey, Forever and a Day in Sweden. In Klagenfurt in Austria the first doctoral dissertation on the works of Pavić was defended . Forever and a Day and Inner Side of the Wind were printed in 1995 in Swedish, The Inner Side of the Wind in German and Japanese, Konji Svetoga Marka (The Horses of St. Mark ) in French, and Forever and a Day in Russian. In 1996 Šešir od riblje kože (The Fish Skin Hat) was published. The same year publishing house Draganić published the collective works of Milorad Pavić in ten volumes, with bibliography by Jasmina Mihajlović and afterword by Aleksandar Jerkov, while a translation of the Dictionary of the Khazars into Russian came out in Kiev. In 1998 Milorad Pavić and Jasmina Mihajlović published their collaborative bookDve kotorske priče ("Steznik" i "Tri stola") (Two Tales from Kotor (Corset and "Three Tables")), and Pavić hisStakleni puž. Priče sa Interneta ( Glass Snail. Stories from the Internet). Petar Pijanović came out with a monograph Pavić, and Smiljka Vasić with Frekvencijski rečnik (Frequency Dictionary). Pavić's opus, particularly the Dictionary of the Khazars, was by then studied at almost all universities worldwide, scholars and artists were writing studies, doctoral theses, preparing exhibitions and multimedia projects inspired by his books. Kutija za pisanje (The Writing Box) came out in 1999, and Zvezdani plašt (Star Cape) and a monographMilorad Pavić mora pričati priče ( Milorad Pavić has to Tell Stories) by Sava Babić in 2000. By 2001 all Pavić's novels written thus far had been published in Russia.
Between 1992 and 2008 Pavić was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature by literary experts from the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, as well as by universities from Europe, the USA, Israel and Brazil. All the nominations can be found at the Bequest of Milorad Pavić.
The Last Love in Constantinople was published in Paris, Madrid and Constantinople, and Star Cape was translated into Slovenian. Dereta publishing house published Pavić's works of fiction from 1998 onwards, with the addition of new books - Interaktivne drame: Zauvek i dan više, Krevet za troje i Stakleni puž ( Interactive plays: Forever and a Day, Bed for Three and Glass Snail ) (2002; 2004), Šareni hleb / Nevidljivo ogledalo (roman za decu i ostale) (Multicolored Bread / Invisible Mirror (novel for children and others)), Priča koja je ubila Emiliju Knor (The Tale that Killed Emily Knorr) (2005), a playSvadba u kupatilu (Bathroom Wedding), and a novel Drugo telo (Second Body) (2006). In 2002 Plato published Pavić's novel / collection of stories Sedam smrtnih grehova ( Seven Mortal Sins) for which Pavić won the Andrić award, and in 2005 a selection of his essays Roman kao država i drugi ogledi ( The Novel as a State and other essays). In 2002 and 2003 Tomaž Pandur created a spectacular stage adaptation of the Dictionary of the Khazars which was put on in Belgrade, Ljubljana and Novi Sad. The Moscow MHAT staged the premiere of Pavić's Forever and a Day (directed by Vladimir Petrov). Adaptations of his works for theater were played throughout Russia and Europe and in New York.
In 2007 Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva published Pozorište od hartije (Paper Theater), another work oscillating between collection of stories and novel, and in 2009 Matica srpska published Pavić's last novel Veštački mladež ( Artificial Mole). In 2008 Pavić's daughter Jelena tragically died.
Several months before his death, a monument to Milorad Pavić was unveiled on June 24th 2009 in Moscow, in front of the "Library for Foreign Literature". This bronze bust by well-known Russian sculptor Grigoriy Potocki is located in the Alley of Renowned Foreigners.
Pavić died of complications following a heart attack on November 30 th 2009, at 1:10 p.m. He was buried on December 3rd 2009 at 12 noon in the Alley of Distinguished Citizens in Belgrade's New Cemetery. The library of the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad was named after Milorad Pavić in 2010. A monument to Milorad Pavić was unveiled in the Tašmajdan Park in Belgrade on June 8th 2011 (the work of sculptor Natig Aliyev, professor from Baku and member of the Russian Academy of Arts).
Pavić's works have so far been translated into 38 languages: Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Lithuanian, Estonian, Latvian, Slovenian, Slovak, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Macedonian, Greek, Turkish, Albanian, Chinese, Mongolian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hebrew, Armenian, Azeri, Georgian, Persian. The number of books by Milorad Pavić that have been translated so far is 381.
In China the Dictionary of the Khazars was pronounced book of the year in 2014, while in 2016 a new edition of the same novel received the "Book Night" award in France.
From Pavić's death to date (2009-2018) a total of 133 posthumous editions of his works have been published in Serbia and worldwide: http://www.khazars.com/sr-YU/dela-milorada-pavica/posthumna-izdanja , and plays based on his works have been put on in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Romania, Poland: http://www.khazars.com/sr-YU/recepcija/pavic-film-tv-adaptacije-lat .
Pavić's works live on throughout the world in classical and digital editions, equally well received by readers and scholars alike.
Author: Jelena Marićević, PhD