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
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
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
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
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
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