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How orientalistic and how topical is the anti-fascist novel by Vladimir Bartol (1903–1967) issued in 1938 disguised as a Persian fable, which was set to music in 2022 by the group Laibach in collaboration with Iranian musicians?

Alamut is the name of an actual castle in Iran, but also the title of the famous novel by Vladimir Bartol, who was born in Trieste in 1903 and wanted to protest against the Italian fascist tyranny with this work in Persian disguise. The novel deals with the topic of soldiers who are drugged and made to believe that they are experiencing paradise, so that they are then prepared to do anything to get back to paradise again. The novel raises the question of reality and illusion. It also inspired the computer game franchise Assassin's Creed, as well as theatre performances in Slovenia. The quote: \"Nothing is true, everything is permitted\" has influenced generations of regime opponents, hippies and anarchists in Yugoslavia. In German, only a questionable, indirect translation from French has been published. The text is crying out for a new translation and a film adaptation. In 2022, the novel was set to music by the cult group Laibach in collaboration with Iranian composers and performed with Iranian musicians. The concert will take place on October 19 at the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt. The author and his work will be presented by the comparatist and poet Miran Košuta (University of Trieste). The Orientalist aspects of the work and its adaptation will be explained by the Arabist, Islamic scholar and former director of the Oriental Institute at the University of Leipzig Verena Klemm. Uwe Schütte, editor of the monograph Kunst-Maschine Laibach (Drava, 2023), will speak about the band Laibach. The discussion will be held in German with simultaneous interpretation from Slovenian.

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Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1
60327 Frankfurt am Main

Ehrengast 2023: Slowenien
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Miran Košuta


Uwe Schütte


Verena Klemm


© Jernej Čampelj

Miha Kovač