Aleš Debeljak

Aleš Debeljak

Slovenian poet, essayist, translator (of works including those of John Ashbery), and cultural critic; at present he belongs to the most highly regarded Slovenian authors, alongside Drag Jančar i Tomaž Salamun. He was born in Ljubljana. There, as a student of philosophy and foreign literature, he edited the monthly Literatura, the periodical of his generation. He did his post-graduate work at Syracuse University in New York, where he received his doctorate. He is a renowned expert in mass culture, postmodernist theory, and the American lifestyle and religious imagination. He is the author of the following books of essays: Melanholične figure (The Melancholy Figures, 1988), Temne nebo Ameriki (The Dark Skies of America, 1991), Oblike religiozne imaginacije (Forms of Religious Imagination, 1995), Na ruševinah modernosti (On the Ruins of Modernity, 1999). His essays also appeared in the 2002 collection published by the Polish publishing house Czarne: Nostalgia. Eseje o tęsknocie za komunizmem (Nostalgia. Essays on Missing Communism), which included work by authors such as Vaclav Žak, Martin Šimečka, Paweł Smoleński, Dubravka Ugresic, Yuri Andrukhovych, Joachim Trenkner, and others. In Poland, two collections of his works are available, translated by Katarina Šalamun-Biedrzycka – Slovar Tisine (Dictionary of Silence, 1992), and Mesto a Dite (The City and the Child, 2000). This last work has been translated into a number of languages (as were selected earlier poetry and essay collections). He currently lives in Ljubljana with his American wife and three children, and he works as a professor of the sociology of culture and religion. During 2. Conrad Festival he was a guest of Krzysztof Varga, who leaded a meeting entitled Pępek Europy (Europe’s Navel).