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
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
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
Literary Translation
Samanta Schweblin and Matija Janeš:

Onoga dana kad sam navršila osam godina, moja sestra – koja nije podnosila da i na sekundu maknu pogled s nje – iskapila je cijelu šalicu izbjeljivača. Abi je imala tri godine. Prvo se osmjehnula, možda baš od gađenja, zatim je nabrala lice u preplašenu grimasu bola. Kad je mama ugledala praznu šalicu kako joj visi iz ruke, problijedjela je kao i ona.„Abi-moj-bože”, bilo je sve što je mama rekla. „Abi-moj-bože.” I još je prošlo nekoliko sekundi prije nego što se pokrenula.Prodrmala ju je za ramena, ali Abi nije reagirala. Povikala je na nju, ali Abi ni tada nije reagirala. Otrčala je do telefona i nazvala tatu, a kad je dotrčala natrag, Abi je i dalje stajala, sa šalicom što joj je visjela iz ruke. Mama joj je istrgnula šalicu i bacila je u sudoper. Otvorila je hladnjak, izvadila mlijeko i nalila ga u čašu. Zagledala se u čašu, potom je pogledala Abi pa uopet čašu te je na kraju bacila i čašu u sudoper. Tata, koji je radio jako blizu kuće, smjesta je stigao, ali mama je svejedno stigla...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.6.lt.6
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
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