Title: Dictionary of the Khazars

Author: Milorad Pavić

Original language: Serbian

Translation(s): 37 languages

Context: Dictionary of the Khazars (1984) is a translated lexicon novel by Milorad Pavić. It is an imaginary book of knowledge of the Khazars. The Khazars a fictional Indo-European tribe flourished between the seventh and the ninth centuries beyond Transylvania and then later on vanished in the tenth century.

Synopsis: Dictionary of the Khazars is written in the male and female versions which are identical save for 17 crucial lines. The dictionaries of three major religions of the world are combined while this conventional plot and narrative has been eschewed. Entries in this novel jump between the future and past presenting 3 rowdy wise men.

Dictionary of the Khazars is a book printed about a sect of priests who are able to infiltrate into the dreams of the person, suicide by mirrors, romances between the dead and the living, a book printed in poison ink and lots more.

Arrangement of the entries is done in alphabetical order and can be randomly perused. The book can be read back to front and the regular start to finish. As per legends, a dervish, a monk and a rabbi were asked by a Khazar ruler to explain a predictive dream. The one who would win would gain the conversion of the Khazar tribe to Islam, Christianity or Judaism. In time this contest didn’t have any results. Avram Branovich, the Serbian warlord with his interest in the’Khazar Polemic’ compiled a dictionary on the Khazars with assistance of his retinue in the seventeenth century. A monk codified it and it was destroyed to the extent of 99% ultimately. One of the copies was found and later revised. Modern day scholars now have laid their hands on the dictionary.

Other works by the Author:

1988 – Landscape Painted with Tea

1991 – The Inner Side of the Wind or A Novel of Hero and Leander

1994 – Last Love in Constantinople

1995 – The Third Argument

1997 – For Ever and a Day

1998 – Damascene

1999 – Writing Box

2003 – The Glass Snail

2004 – Unique Item

2005 – The Tale that Killed Emily Knorr

2007 – Second Body