a letter to mr. paul auster
Dear Mr. Paul Auster,
My name is Borut Šeparović and I am a theater-maker from Croatia. For the last eighteen years I’ve been active on the international scene as an artistic leader of the Montažstroj performance group. In my artistic work, I am continuously concerned with a subversive approach to theater practice and the breaking of established boundaries of performing arts.
I am addressing you because of your book, “Timbuktu”, which has served as a source of great inspiration and a starting point for my final project at the DasArts (Advanced postgraduate studies in performing arts) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Your exceptional storytelling skills encouraged me to reflect upon new modes of narration and the performers’ presence on stage. I conceived my upcoming piece as a sort of walking in your footsteps… It’s a loose adaptation based on the main framework of your story. With your consent, I’d like to keep the title of the novel as well.
I have opted for a provocative and implicitly political concept, which successfully retains the melancholic nature of your original. Within it, I intend to explore the irruptions of reality into the conventional theatre illusion; the story is told by a trained dog and, instead of professional performers, only homeless people and abandoned dogs appear on stage.
Additionally, this is a unique opportunity to dedicate my work to Max, my dog, who has been my companion for almost thirteen years now. I hope you will agree with this sort of treatment of your compelling novel. Taking into consideration that it is a nonprofit project, I hope you would be willing to cede the copyrights to me without any charge.
Moreover, I would be extremely delighted if you might be willing to attend the premiere (4th October) or one of the later performances of the piece (from 4th to 19th October), all of which will be taking place in Zagreb, Croatia.
Thank you for your time and attention.
In hope of receiving your answer soon.