Liminal Balkans

No. 2 - Year 6 - 06/2016

University of Zadar | ISSN 1847-7755 | SIC.JOURNAL.CONTACT@GMAIL.COM

Editorial

It was our presumption that we would be able to tackle and cover, or at least sketch and therefore possibly define the equivocal notion of the Balkans that led us to the idea of dedicating an issue of our journal to this task. However, as these things usually end up, we were proven wrong. The notion of the Liminal Balkans even after the issue was concluded remained the same – a threshold, an elusive construct whose discursive diversity and complexity only instigated numerous new questions, together with new starting points for alternative debates, coming in the end full circle to the initial premise presented by Maria Todorova about the Balkans as a transitional space....

Literature and Culture
Raino Isto, University of Maryland, USA:

This article examines the Tirana Independence Monument, first inaugurated in November of 2012 on the hundredth anniversary of Albanian independence from the Ottoman Empire. The monument, designed by Visar Obrija and Kai Roman Kiklas, swiftly fell into disrepair until it was recently renovated in November of 2015. The article analyzes the monument’s function in terms of its doubled existence as a sign of perpetual natality (the possibility of the rebirth of national consciousness) and as a ruin with a spectral pseudo-presence (as an object that continually reminds us of the disjunctures that divorce the present from its historicity). It considers the way the monument’s inauguration relates to the politics of monumentality in contemporary Albania, and argues that the monument’s gradual ruination between 2012 and 2015 can be read as a particular manifestation of the history of the image in late capitalist society.Keywords: spectrality, natality, monumentality, Albania, Tirana, independenc...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lc.6
Literature and Culture
Graham St. John Stott and Aysar Yaseen:

In The Secret of Chimneys (1925) Agatha Christie uses the all too familiar Balkan stereotypes of backwardness and brigandage, but not – as was usually the case at the time – as an Other to illustrate British virtue, but as a mirror to British vice. It is Britain, not the fictional Herzoslovakia, that is a nation of brigands. Herzoslovakia remains relatively unknown, as none of the novel’s scenes take place there, but it is described by disinterested observers as democratic and prosperous. In London, however, the Foreign Office plans to overthrow its government to secure oil rights promised by a royal heir-in-exile to a London-based financial consortium. Keywords: Christie, Balkans, Romania, oil, brigandsAgatha Christie’s The Secret of Chimneys (1925) has been faulted for being on the one hand a frothy mix of Anthony Hope and P. G. Wodehouse (Thompson 143) and on the other a mishmash of popular ethnic, national and regional stereotypes – including those of the Balkans (Todorova 122). It...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lc.3
Literature and Culture
Ana Ille Horvat, University of Zagreb, Croatia:

Sudbine ljudi s ruba portugalskog društva – koji tešku muku svakodnevice žive iz dana u dan, boreći se protiv gladi i neimaštine, svaki na svoj osobit, a opet sličan način – životne su priče koje nam u trećem dijelu tetralogije prikazuje mladi portugalski književnik Valter Hugo Mae. Godine 2004. objavljen je prvi dio tetralogije, pod naslovom o nosso reino (naše kraljevstvo), u kojem je protagonist dječak. Već dvije godine kasnije, 2006., izlazi o remorso de baltasar serapiao (kajanje baltasara serapiaoa), priča o mladosti glavnog lika, a tetralogija završava romanom stroj za pravljenje španjolaca (máquina de fazer espanhóis), objavljenom 2010. godine, koji pripovijeda o sudbini 84 – godišnjeg Antónia Silve, koji starost provodi u domu za umirovljenike.

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lc.7
Literary Translation
Yuri Herrera and Ana Stanić:

Dogodilo se to u srijedu, to prosvjetljenje o kojem svi pričaju. Utorkom je Pedro bio Srce i razbijao gubice. Laka kategorija, žestok borac. S crvenom maskom i trokutastim crvenim boom na glatkim prsima. Uhvatio bi protivnika u polugu i stezao, sve dok se ne prestane opirati, i tek tad rekao sucu – Broji! Nema veze što sudac ne bi brojio ili bi brojio prebrzo, sve je to bilo samo predstava. Publika želi adrenalin, svjetla, galamu s tribina, divlju eleganciju borbe koja ga je svakog utorka navečer pretvarala u zvijezdu. Svakog bi utorka izlazio u noć, ozaren od pobjede.Zatim bi tu energiju ispucao s Marinom u najbližem motelu, ali vrlo brzo, dok bi je vozio kući, stvarnost bi počela nagrizati taj sjaj: jednosoban stan, Marinin stari, sav podbuhao od jeftina alkohola i buljenja u televizor, s poraženim izrazom lica, kao netko tko je svjestan koliko je zapravo jadan, tko neprestano smišlja kako da se izvuče, ali se nikako ne usudi napraviti prvi korak. Tad bi se Srce opet pretvorio u Pedr...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lt.4
Literature and Culture
Miranda Levanat-Peričić, University of Zadar, Croatia:

Beginning with the concept of "nesting orientalism" introduced by Milica Bakić-Hayden in the sense of patterns of representation used to describe the Other by all ethnic groups in former Yugoslavia, this paper examines four views of "nesting balkanism" in post-Yugoslav literature. First, there is a chronotopic view from the post-Yugoslav exile back to the past, in which the Balkans function as a contextual synonym for the "former homeland," always used in a context of "war," "violence," "primitivism," "disorder" and "cruelty". The second view refers to several Slovenian authors, starting with Slavoj Žižek, Aleš Debeljak and the young novelist Goran Vojnović, who show specific balkanistic representation connected with sevdah and turbofolk music. The third view is connected with travelling and trains, as a frequent topic of orientalistic representation inherited from the Orient Express novels. Finally, the fourth view draws on examples from Dubravka Ugrešić’s descriptions of her "fellow-...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lc.5
Literary Translation
Bel Olid and Boris Dumančić:

Sjecka peršin, sitno, sitno. Peršin mora biti sitno nasjeckan jer ako nije, mali neće mesne okruglice, a mesne su okruglice Pacovo omiljeno jelo. Sitno sjecka peršin, a poslije i češnjak, tako sitno da se gotovo ne vidi; nevidljiv češnjak da ga mali ne vidi i da ne kaže da ima češnjaka, što Paco najviše voli kad je riječ o mesnim okruglicama. Pa s rukama u smjesi mljevenog svinjećeg i junećeg mesa, pola-pola, mijesi kao nekad, kad je imala vremena mijesiti blato i izrađivati vrčeve, tanjure, pepeljare. Mijesi, posoli i malo popapri, tek toliko da Paco primijeti, a mali ne, pa još jaje i krušne mrvice. Mijesi, a na televiziji, u pozadini, svira ona pjesma za koju ne zna kako se zove, ali koja ide ovako pa pjevuši. Izgleda gotovo sretno dok s čistom pregačom mijesi, pjevuši la-la-la dok joj fluorescentno svjetlo s televizora u pozadini bliješti u oči, mijesi smjesu koju više sigurno ne treba mijesiti, ali koju ona i dalje mijesi jer voli zariti ruke u vlažno meso i osjetiti ga među prsti...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lt.3