The dictionary of the Khazars

The dictionnary of the Khazars

Original titleHazarski recnik. Roman-leksikon u 100.000 reci
Author Milorad Pavić
Publisher Editions Vintage
Language English
Release 1984

This extraordinary book is a dictionary which can be read like a novel (of A to Z), as well as a novel which can be read like a dictionary (while following the links between articles). This true hypertext novel was written before the internet era. Its central topic is the conversion to Judaism of the Khazar people (people located between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea) at the IXth century. But the author has a particularly inventive and funny style to mix-up authentic history with legends. The reader will find vampire stories, Christian Saints biographies, dream hunters, Muslim philosophers, cabalistic legends…

But be careful : originally, the book has two editions : a male, and a female. Both editions differed in a subtle way on one of the articles. Due to economical reasons, the reeditions are now known as “androgynous”, and the author explains in their foreword which was the difference between the 2 editions…

Often called the Umberto Eco of the Balkans, Milorad Pavić defines himself as a mighty author : despite the huge success of this book (translated into more than 28 languages), he regrets to write into ”the language of the country the most hated in the world”. Milorad Pavić, was born in 1929 in Belgrade where he lives.

Note : I built my own book Le lexique subjectif d'Emir Kusturica thinking of the structure of the dictionary of the Khazars

Buy online :


en/the_dictionary_of_the_khazars.txt · Last modified: 2007/03/24 13:40 by matthieu1