SUMMER READS

“Južnjaci, marš!” (Southerners, out!), Goran Vojnović

 

 

For most members of the generation born in the 1980’s, Slovenia today is a symbol of prosperity and frugality, but also of hedonistic Belgrade New Year’s celebrations, as well as washing machines.  The novel, “Southerners, out!” by Goran Vojnović from 2009 dismantles the existing stereotypes, providing a new, fresh and sometimes raw view of the world of modern Slovenians, shown through the lens of Goran Đorđić, a high-school student from Bosnia. Stylistically, this piece continues the discourse began in the films “Outsider” and “Kajmak i marmelada” (Cheese and Jam), as well as musically notorious “Leibach”.

 

 

   This novel is a somewhat autobiographic work.  Author Goran Vojnović shares with the main character not only his name, but also his native country, year of birth, and love of basketball. His fictive name holder is the typical representative of a “southerner” or “čefur”, which is a Slovenian slanderous term for all those originating from the southern republics of the former Yugoslavia. They live in a specific part of Ljubljana named Fužine, a projects-style neighborhood reminiscent of New Belgrade. Goran’s mother Ranka is a housewife, and his father Radovan is a physical worker who refuses to drown his Bosnian personality relapses into a new Slovenian identity.

 

Precisely this question of identity is the main focal point and key theme of this novel of a somewhat provocative title. Will southerners ever be completely assimilated into new society or is something like this impossible? And is this form of assimilation at all necessary in modern society, which insists on unique differences? These are questions, which, as they surface in this novel full of profanities and slang taking place on the gray concrete of Fužina, only at first glance seem unimportant.

 

Educated as a screenplay writer and director, Vojnović cannot be considered Yugo-nostalgic, nor archaic. The dose of irony with which he speaks of Slovenians is equal to that with which he handles the southerners. Despite using the terminology and slang of a teenager, his novel is filled with many lyric moments, which never appear pathetic. The last page of the novel “Južnjaci, marš!” testifies that this work, however much it attempted to draw a different conclusion, is actually another story of the growing up and maturing of a boy.

 

 

“To Kill a Mocking Bird”, Harper Lee

 

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This quote is the motto of the novel “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by the author Harper Lee, written in 1960 and decorated with the Pulitzer prize. This novel falls into a class of books that strongly impacted generations of readers and so marked the twentieth century, and is therefore mandatory on the shelves of a home library of every literature buff.

 

The plot of the novel, placed in the post-war period in the American South, is told from the view of Scout Finch, a girl living with her father, attorney Atticus Finch.  She spends her summers playing and exploring her surroundings. The author chose a child narrator, as this enabled her to handle the heavy themes the novel engages in with innocent, honest, easily understandable, simple language. The novel begins like yet another in a string of southern, childish, epic poems such as Twain’s “Tom Sawyer”. Scout and her older brother Jem spend their summer vacations playing with Dill, a boy who spends each summer in their town. The rhythm begins to alter as we are introduced to the mysterious Boo Radley, a local boy whom the children have never seen, and whose house is an ominous presence for the children. Boo Radley symbolizes a different, unfamiliar, and incomprehensible world, which is why the children see him as a representative of everything that simultaneously terrifies and captivates.

 

However, the main hero of the novel is not Boo Radley, but Atticus Finch, a widower and respected lawyer who takes us to the central theme of the novel – standing up to the prejudices of a particular time. To the utter repulsion of the residents of the small town in the American South, attorney Finch agrees to represent Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape. As a result he becomes the target of numerous racists who call him “negro lover.” This theme presents the central focal point of the novel that in the further flow of the story unifies in itself all others. The author never refers to Atticus as “dad”, but always by his name whose etymology points to the justice and honor of the main hero, which was implored by the racist South of that time.

 

The demystification of Boo Radley, who at the end of the novel is finally accepted as an equal member of society, contributes to the message of the novel, which equates disrespect of differences with killing mockingbirds.

 

The novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” left an enormous imprint on generations of readers to follow. Besides becoming required reading in the American school system, the novel was made into the famed movie with Gregory Peck in the leading role. His Atticus was declared the most important influence for young people.

 

 

 

“The Secret Life of Salvador Dali”, Salvador Dali

 

Few are the painters who have managed to so popularize art and their own persona as did Salvador Dali. This Spanish surrealist with the mustache of Hercule Poirot is today known even to those, whose interest in painting has ended with elementary school. His autobiography “Diary of a Genius” has attained critical acclaim and numerous republications.

 

The book “The Secret Life of Salvador Dali” is written long before Dali reached the twilight of his life, when people usually draw the line. Thus the book presents a retrospective of a segment of Dali’s life, which he deemed valuable. It can be said that it is Dali’s dedication to himself, his creative genius, and artistic intensity that graced him since he was born. The peculiarity of this autobiography lies not only in the third party narrative, but also the author’s description of prenatal life in his mother’s womb. Immediately after the first few lines, the reader realizes there is no classical narrative in this book. Instead, Dali writes as he paints. With inspiration, poetry, and vividness.

 

The book is segmented into four chapters named “Youth age”, “Stone age”, “The Secret Life of Salvador Dali”, and “Meeting Gala”. A certain narrative segment is reserved for the author’s interpretation of tradition. Dali was often criticized for his inclination towards “Frankism” and his invalidation of communism from aristocratic rebellion. Ironically on portion of the book shares the same name with Hitler’s work “My Battle”. In actuality, it consists of a simple chart in which Dali explains to his critics his vision of life and value system, negating any kind of connection to fascists.

 

The last part of the autobiography describes Dali’s meeting with Gala and the beginning of their life together. It is symbolic that this autobiography begins with the story of the yet unborn author and ends with Gala, thus further reiterating his infatuation with this woman. Even her name in Dali’s book does not sound like the name of a woman made of blood and meat, rather it reads like the name of an institution or an abbreviation for some organization.

 

Lucid as in his painting, Dali as an author retains his right to interpret the world by his own instruments. The key moment in his autobiographical habit is encountered in the very beginning of the book in the sentence, “I, luckily, am not one of those people who when they smile, can show the remains of that awful and degrading vegetable named spinach stuck between two teeth. This does not happen to me, not because I meticulously brush my teeth, but because I never eat spinach.” This allegory most clearly presents an author incapable of compromise, which is at the same time the message of Dali’s unusual autobiography as a whole.

Autor: Miodrag Stošić

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KnjiževnostLITERATURE

LETNJA LEKTIRA

“Južnjaci, marš!“, Goran Vojnović

 

 

Za većinu pripadnika generacija rođenih osamdesetih godina dvadesetog veka, Slovenija je danas simbol države blagostanja i kafanske štedljivosti, ali i hedonističkih beogradskih Novih godina, kao i najboljih mašina za veš. Roman „Južnjaci, marš!“ Gorana Vojnovića iz 2009. razbija postojeće stereotipe nudeći nov, svež i katkad sirov pogled na svet modernih Slovenaca, prikazan iz vizure Gorana Đorđića, srednjoškolca poreklom iz Bosne. Stilski, ovo delo se nastavlja na diskurs započet u filmovima „Autsajder“ i „Kajmak i marmelada“, kao i u muzici čuvenog „Lajbaha“.

 

 

    Ovaj roman donekle spada u red autobiografskih dela. Autor Goran Vojnović deli s glavnim junakom ne samo ime, već i zemlju porekla, godište i sklonost ka košarci. Njegov fiktivni imenjak tipični je predstavnik „južnjaka“ ili „čefura“, što je u Sloveniji pogrdan naziv za sve one koji su poreklom iz južnih republika bivše Jugoslavije. Oni žive u posebnom delu Ljubljane pod nazivom Fužine, blokovskom naselju koje podseća na Novi Beograd. Goranova majka Ranka je domaćica, a otac Radovan fizički radnik koji odbija da utopi bosanske recidive ličnosti u novi slovenački identitet.

 

Upravo je pitanje identiteta glavna okosnica i ključna tema ovog romana pomalo provokativnog naslova. Da li će južnjaci ikada biti potpuno asimilovani u novo društvo ili je tako nešto nemoguće? I da li je takav vid asimilacije uopšte potreban u modernom društvu koje insistira na jedinstvu različitosti? To su pitanja koja, izbijajući na površinu romana prepunog psovki i žargonskih kovanica, u scenama na sivom betonu Fužina samo na prvi pogled deluju nevažno.

 

Po obrazovanju scenarista i režiser, Vojnović u ovom romanu veoma vešto gradi dva nivoa pripovedanja. Jedan od njih obrađuje problem južnjaka u Sloveniji, a drugi, koji je inkorporiran u prvi, bavi se tipičnim problemom odrastanja adolescenata u sukobu s autoritetima – predstavnicima policije, škole, sporta – odnosno sa svetom odraslih u celini.

 

Ton pripovedanja Gorana Vojnovića ne može se smatrati ni jugonostalgičnim, ni arhaičnim. Doza ironije s kojom govori o Slovencima jednaka je onoj s kojom pristupa južnjacima. I pored toga što koristi terminologiju i žargon tinejdžera, njegov roman ima mnogo lirskih momenata, koji ni u jednom trenutku ne deluju patetično. Poslednja iščitana stranica romana „Južnjaci, marš!“ svedoči o tome da je ovo delo, koliko god pokušavalo da nas navede na drugačiji zaključak, u stvari još jedna priča o odrastanju i sazrevanju dečaka.

 

 

„Ubiti pticu rugalicu“, Harper Li  

 

"Drugo ljudsko biće se ne može upoznati i razumeti dok se, ma i na tren, ne obuju njegove cipele i malo prošeta u njima". Ovaj citat je moto romana „Ubiti pticu rugalicu" književnice Harper Li, napisanog 1960. i ovenčanog Pulicerovom nagradom. Ovaj roman spada u red knjiga koje su izvršile snažan uticaj na generacije čitalaca i tako obeležile dvadeseti vek, zbog čega su obavezne na policama kućne biblioteke svakog ljubitelja književosti.

 

Radnja romana, smeštena u posleratno doba na američkom Jugu, ispripovedana je iz vizure devojčice Skaut Finč koja živi s ocem, advokatom Atikusom Finčem, provodeći leta u igranju i istraživanju okoline. Autorka se opredelila za dečijeg naratora, jer joj je to omogućilo da velike teme kojima se roman bavi opiše nevinim i iskrenim, ali svima razumljivim, jednostavnim jezikom. Roman počinje kao još jedna u nizu južnjačkih infantilnih epopeja, slično Tvenovom „Tomu Sojeru". Skaut i njen stariji brat Džem letnji raspust provode igrajući se s Dilom, dečakom koji svakog leta boravi u njihovom gradu. Ritam priče menja se uvođenjem mističnog Boa Ridlija u strukturu romana, lokalnog čudaka kojeg deca nikada nisu videla i čija kuća za njih predstavlja opasnost. Bo Ridli simbolizuje drugačiji, nepoznat i neshvatljiv svet, zbog čega ga deca vide kao predstavnika svega što ih istovremeno i užasava i privlači.

 

Međutim, glavni junak romana nije Bo Ridli nego Atikus Finč, udovac i cenjeni advokat, koji nas vodi do središnje teme romana – suprotstavljanju predrasudama jednog vremena. Naime, na sveopšte zgražavanje stanovnika malog grada na američkom Jugu, advokat Finč pristaje da brani Toma Robinsona, crnca optuženog za silovanje. Zbog toga on postaje meta mnogobrojnih rasista koji ga nazivaju „ljubiteljem crnaca". Ova tema predstavlja težišnu tačku romana i u daljem toku priče objediniće u sebi sve ostale. Atikusa Finča naratorka romana nijednom ne naziva „tatom“, već uvek po imenu čiji latinski prizvuk treba da ukaže na pravičnost i poštenje glavnog junaka za kojim je vapio rasistički Jug tog vremena.

 

Demistifikacija Boa Ridlija, koji na kraju romana napokon biva prihvaćen kao punopravni član društva, doprinosi poruci romana koja nepoštovanje različitosti izjednačava s ubistvom „ptice rugalice".

 

Knjiga „Ubiti pticu rugalicu" ostavila je veliki pečat na potonje generacije čitalaca. Pored toga što je u američkim školama postala obavezna lektira, po motivima ove knjige snimljen je i čuveni film s Gregorijem Pekom u glavnoj ulozi. Njegov Atikus proglašen je za najznačajniji uzor mladima.

 

 

„Ja sam genije", Salvador Dali

 

Malo je slikara koji su uspeli toliko da popularizuju umetnost i sopstvenu ličnost kao što je to uspelo Salvadoru Daliju. Ovaj španski nadrealista s brkovima Herkula Poara danas je poznat čak i onima čije insteresovanje za slikarstvo prestaje završetkom osnovne škole. Stoga je i njegova autobiografska knjiga „Ja sam genije" doživela očekivanu popularnost i brojna reizdanja.

 

Knjiga „Ja sam genije" je napisana mnogo pre nego što je Dali dospeo u poslednje godine života, kada ljudi obično podvlače crtu. Stoga ona predstavlja  retrospekciju segmenata Dalijevog života, koje je on označio kao vredne. Može se reći da je ona Dalijeva posveta samom sebi, njegovom stvaralačkom geniju i umetničkom intenzitetu koji ga je krasio od rođenja. Nesvakidašnjosti ove autobiografije doprinosi ne samo pripovedanje u trećem licu, nego i opis autorovog prenatalnog života u majčinoj utrobi. Već posle prvih pročitanih redova, čitalac shvata da u ovoj knjizi nema klasičnog narativnog oblika pripovedanja. Umesto toga, Dali piše kao što slika. Nadahnuto, poetski i slikovito.

 

Knjiga je podeljena na četiri poglavlja pod nazivima „Mladićko doba", „Kameno doba", „Tajni život Salvadora Dalija" i „Susret sa Galom". Poseban pripovedački segment odnosi se na autorovo tumačenje tradicije. Dali je često bio osporavan zbog sklonosti frankizmu i nipodištavanja komunizma iz aristokratskih pobuda. Ironično, jedan deo romana zove se kao istoimeno Hitlerovo delo „Moja borba". U stvari, radi se o jednostavnoj tabeli u kojoj Dali svim kritičarima objašnjava sopstvenu viziju života i vredonosni sistem negirajući bilo kakvu povezanost s fašistima.

 

Poslednji deo autobiografije opisuje Dalijev susret s Galom i početak njihovog zajedničkog života. Simbolično je to što ova autobiografija započinje pričom o još nerođenom autoru a završava se Galom, čime je Dali još jednom podvukao očaranost ovom ženom. Čak ni njeno ime u Dalijevoj knjizi ne zvuči kao ime žene od krvi i mesa, već više kao naziv institucije ili skraćenica neke organizacije.

Lucidan kao u slikarstvu, Dali kao pisac zadržava pravo da tumači svet sopstvenim merilima. Ključni momenat njegovog autobiografskog habitusa sreće se na samom početku romana u rečenici: „Ja, srećom, nisam od onih ljudi kojima, kada se nasmeju, može da se dogodi da pokažu, zakačene između dva zuba, ostatke onog groznog i ponižavajućeg povrća koje se zove spanać. Meni se to ne događa, i to ne zato što brižljivije perem zube nego drugi već zbog toga što ja nikada ne jedem spanać". Ova alegorija najjasnije prikazuje autora kao biće nesposobno za kompromise, što je, ujedno, i poruka Dalijeve neobične autobiografije u celosti.