Titled The Cartier Project when the novel was first published in English translation a decade ago, it’s the darkly comic story of an ambitious young writer stuck in a dismal factory town and his attempts to stay one step ahead of hopelessness and corruption by relying on charisma and status symbols. Among his crowd of hard-drinking friends, he manages the illusion with varying degrees of success. Mostly, he devotes his time to sexual conquests, in real life and on the pages of his pseudonymous erotic fiction.
Although Crumbs is set in a deteriorating Yugoslavia in the years before Slovenia obtained its independence, the story resonates with publisher Adrian Searle, who sees it as “an utterly unique commentary on the pathology of self-determination.” He believes the book will have immediate relevance for readers in Scotland, as the country anticipates a 2014 referendum on its independence from the UK.
BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth interviewed the book’s author, Miha Mazzini, for her broadcast the Culture Studio, which also covers music. You can listen online to a free podcast of the program, in which Mazzini looks back on and attempts to explain the popularity his bestselling novel has enjoyed. The starting point for the 15-minute segment in which Forsyth and Mazzini discuss Crumbs is 1:03:00.
Freight also produced a 10-minute video of the author describing the organically punk style of his novel and the need for satire during a period when society is falling apart and materialism becomes everyone’s driving motivation.