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....

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
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
Duncan Lien, Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi, Turkey:

Albania lies at the crux of the doubly oriental identity of the Balkans on account of its Ottoman and Socialist past. This paper examines the role of the Ottoman Empire in literary works that engage with history in an effort to articulate a conception of Albanian identity as fundamentally European. The Kosovar epic ballads of Millosh Kopiliq and Ismail Kadare’s novel The Siege both portray the medieval conflicts between Albanians and Ottomans. Yet the works do not simply assert the cultural superiority of Albanians in the face of “oriental barbarism”. Instead, the Ottomans serve to dramatize the ambiguous cultural and geographical positioning of Kosovo and Albania. Using Lucien Goldmann’s method of genetic structuralism, this study understands the particular identity articulated in each text as a response to the geographical, cultural and political environment of its author.Keywords: identity, nationalism, Kadare, Albania, Kosovo, orientalism, Ottoman Empire, Millosh Kopiliq

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lc.1
Literary Translation
Stanislava Nikolić Aras and Una Krizmanić Ožegović:

“C'mon, let's go people, it's the coppers,” she would shout sometimes, out of the blue, but for the most part, Gracijela was saying things to herself on a loop and dragging her feet in shabby men's shoes. The day was cut off by a sharp siren – an air raid. On that note, all the doors opened. People came out of lunch-infused kitchens and headed towards our street. With her hair combed, Mrs. Doma straightened her skirt and calmly locked her green wooden door. Jelka limped fast from her street, so they met at the corner and walked together. Old men, Schmatte and Owl, both awarded the People's Liberation Movement medals for serving in the Second World War, tapped their canes across their rain-soaked courtyards. The 48 Prosciutto walked slowly with hands behind his back and seemingly indifferent, just going out for a walk, no intention of hiding from the planes. He was just passing through the street and saying hi to the neighbors: “You good, Mrs. Jele?”“All right, all right, Mr. Schmatte.”

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lt.2
Literature and Culture
Ivana Škevin and Iva Grgić Maroević:

In Croatia, the political changes involving most of Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s included a war fought between 1991 and 1995. This paper aims, by examining the press releases and newspaper articles published in the Italian daily La Stampa in 1995, to show how this influential newspaper worked on shaping Italian public opinion about the war in Croatia, and to examine the extent to which well-rooted stereotypes about the Balkans played a role in the process. The application of the methods of Critical Discourse Analysis on the material has confirmed the occurrence of stereotypes expressed through several types of polarized representations, for example, the one between the good (Italy/Europe/West) and the bad (Croatia/the Balkans – associated with “primitive” nationalism and chaos). It has also shown that Italy (as part of Europe), largely saw itself as the “appointed” Western civilized neighbour towards one of its Balkan neighbours, Croatia, and worked on trying, as To...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lc.2