What is she doing today: Lidija Dimkovska, writer and translator

Lidija Dimkovska
Lidija Dimkovska / Photo: Natasha Kupljenik / Private archive

Lidija Dimkovska is a Macedonian poet, prose writer, essayist, theorist in the field of literature and a translator who has lived in Slovenia for years, but often visits her homeland.

She graduated from the Faculty of Philology in Skopje in the General and Comparative Literature group, and earned her doctorate on a topic from Romanian literature at the Faculty of Philology in Bucharest, Romania, where she later worked as a lecturer in Macedonian language and literature. Also, she was the editor of the poetry section of the electronic magazine for culture and art "Blesok". He has been a member of DPM since 1995.

Dimkovska is the winner of the "Studentski svor" award for the best debut book. For her first novel "Hidden Camera" she received the award of DPM "Stale Popov" for the best novel. She also received this award for her novel "Reserve Life", published in 2012. For the novel "Reserved Life", in 2013, Dimkovska also received the prize for literature of the European Union.

Her most important works are "Bows from the East", "Black on White", "Bitten Nails", "Nobel vs. Nobel", the novels "Hidden Camera", "Spare Life", "No-Ui" and others.

Lidija Dimkovska
Lidija Dimkovska / Photo: Natasha Kupljenik

We asked Lydia what a typical day looks like for her, and here's what she revealed.

- My day starts with Turkish (or coffee brought from Skopje) that my husband Ales Mustar makes for me, preparing himself a macchiato. With my coffee, I usually read a classic newspaper that awaits us every morning at the doorstep, as well as Macedonian newspapers on the Internet and news on social networks. After I find out what is happening in Macedonia, Slovenia and in the world, saturated with reality, I continue through the day creating my own reality – writing it/thinking about it/changing it/thinking about my new novel "Unique National Number".

At the same time, I am preparing the translation workshop that I will hold in Skopje in August, I am writing down the questions that I will ask the Polish writer Mikolaj Grinberg about his book of excellent short stories "Jewish Work" at the promotion that "Ili-Ili" is planning for August , and even now I am happy that in August the Poetry Night in Velestovo, a joint poetry reading with Ales in Bitola, as well as the performance of the Struga evenings of poetry, are waiting for me.

Lidija Dimkovska
Lidija Dimkovska / Photo: Private archive

When Emma wakes up, who has just finished elementary school and enrolled in high school, both Ales and I drop everything and devote ourselves to her by "suffocating" her with our hugs, kisses, conversations and offers for breakfast. Then everyone retires to their "own" room. Lunch is a relaxation for me from the mental work that often includes translations and re-singings, literary research, writing forewords, essays or articles, editing anthologies and literary selections, answering interviews, correspondence, selecting literary materials, contagious festivals and publications, help for my translator/s who address me with questions and other things, is our most important meal together, and it is followed above all by long hours of reading books, family conversations, then walks along Ljubljana, viber-chats, meeting friends, visiting plays, exhibitions , readings and concerts, and Ljubljana abounds with cultural events in the summer, but we often spend our evenings watching good movies with Aleš while we wait for Emma to return from socializing with her peers in the neighborhood.

Lidija Dimkovska
Lidija Dimkovska / Photo: Private archive

However, every day is different in some way and that is the beauty or ugliness of the day. Sometimes the day is light as a feather, sometimes heavy as a saddle, it depends on external influences and internal conditions, the soul has no routine. Today, for example, a wonderful event awaits me: a poetry reading in the city theater in Ptuj together with Slovenian poets Boris A. Novak, Milan Jesih and Anja Golob and with the Ukrainian poet who lives in Slovenia, Evgenia Chuprina. Our reading, organized by the publishing house "Goga", has a noble goal - we would like to collect donations for scholarships for Ukrainian authors who sought refuge from the war in Slovenia. I think it is important that the engagement does not remain only within the literary expression, but also extends into the sphere of life as such, because for me literature is life, and life is literature.

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