Editorial Diwan 11-12/2003
Dear & respected reader!
The double issue of “Diwan” 11-12, which you are reading at the moment, is dedicated to the literary meetings held from June 30 to July 32003 in Tuzla. And for the second time, the main attraction of the Meetings significant for the literature of the western Balkans was the “Mesa Selimovic” award for the best novel published in the territory of the (BHSC) language, i.e. in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.
The jury made up of: Ivan Lovrenovic (B-H, chairman), Branko Cegec (Croatia), Nedzad Ibrahimovic (B-H), Svein Monnesland (Norway) and Marko Vesovic (B-H), chose among the 17 novels suggested by the selectors: Enver Kazaz (B-H), Mihajlo Pantic (Serbia), Kresimir Bagic (Croatia) and Pavle Goranovic (Montenegro), and included texts by 4 authors in the shortlist. The short listed texts were: “Topli zrak” /”Hot Air”/ by Davor Slamnig (Cro), “Ko je zgazio gospodju Mjesec” /”Who Trampled over Mrs. Moon”/ by Asmir Kujovic (B-H), “Privatna galerija” /”Private Gallery”/ by Balsa Brkovic (Montenegro) and “William Shakespeare u Dar es Salaamu” /”William Shakespeare in Dar es Salaam”/ by Irfan Horozovic (B-H).
At the closing ceremony of on Wednesday, July 2 2003, in the “Crystal Hall” of Hotel “Tuzla”, the chairman of the jury, Ivan Lovrenovic said that the jury, just as in 2002 they had to name Marinko Koscec laureate, this year awarded the “Mesa Selimovic” award to Irfan Horozovic for his novel “William Shakespeare in Dar es Salaam”. On behalf of the editorial board of Diwan, albeit belatedly, I would like to congratulate Mr. Horozovic to this award, because I believe good manners are never late or inappropriate.
In our presentation of the Tuzla Meetings, the work of the jury and the Award ceremony, we employed independent critics who have composed a review for each of the nominated novels. For the parody “Hot Air” by Davor Slaming, the “sharp pen” was the Travnik-Sarajevo writer and journalist Muharem Bazdulj. For the “Private Gallery” of Balsa Brkovic, the “producer of meanings” was the Zagreb doctor and hit maker Julijana Matanovic. A member of the “Diwan” editorial board, the poetess Aleksandra Cvorovic from Banja Luka critically debated the phantasms from “Who Tranpled over Mrs. Moon” by Aleksandar Kujevic. While the editor of the magazine “Zivot” and anthologist Seljko Grahovac, constantly traveling in the triangle Zenica-Kakanj-Sarajevo, had the honour to review the structural segments of the award winning novel “William Shakespeare in Dar es Salaam” by Irfan Horozovic.
The “Diwan” editorial board is humbly trying to draw the attention of the public to the post-war practice of unprincipled assessment of the value of B-H literary awards and the pseudo-polemical clashes of writers and critics on the pages of magazines and the yellow press. We believe that it is possible to avoid personal attitudes and non-argumented writing only by hearing the voice of the jury and of the author along with the voice of an independent assessment remote from any territorial, national, gender, aesthetical or other criterion. It is up to you, dear reader, to judge the success of our intentions.
So, we begin issue 11-12 with the fragmented text “On Love” by Rusmir Mahmutcehajic. Professor Mahmutcehajic has ‘composed’ an aesthetic symphony to Love using erotic, philosophical and Sufi motifs, but on the premise that Love “means /quoting Thomas Merton/ to love life as it is /and/ to accept it /life/ in its full reality which includes death; not only to accept the idea of death but also those works which precede death in the offering and giving of ourselves.”
But – let us return to the primary virtuality – between the “Diwan” prose passages, the poetic vendettas such as: Amir Brka, Dubravka Djuric, Dragoslav Dedovic, Melika Salihbeg Bosnawi and Aleksandar Becanovic, are a “counterweight” to some of the younger “lions”: Mehmed Begic, Tanja Stupar Trifunovic, Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers, Marko Tomas, Tarik Zukic, Zeljko Djurdjevic and Mirko S. Bozic. And the prose “wavers” along with Kader Abdulah and Ferid Muhic include Jasna Samic, Josip Mlakic, Zilhad Kljucanin, Radivoj Sajtinac, Goran Saric, Harris Dzajic and Miljenko Buhac.
Furthermore, our exclusives include: an interview with the Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk by Vid Jeraj, ballad & blues poetry by the song-writer Muhamed Zlatan Hernovica and your humble editor, reviews by Jasna Samic, Atif Kujundzuc, Tanja Stupar Trifunovic and Mladjen Trifunovic as well as an essay on Giordano Bruno penned by Jovanka Uljarevic.
In presenting Tuzla, we were particularly pleased to venture into the atelier of the artist Nesim Tahirovic. This doyen of a very specific expression in graphics, sculpture and painting emanates unusual symbolism where the universal/local and individual/collective are two faces of the Hessian Abrax, of dual uniqueness. Tahirovic’s reproductions (apart from the unfortunately black-and-white one in “Diwan”) are commented on by visitors of his exhibition: Kristof Dovjak and Sasa Radojcic.
This visually rich double issue of “Diwan” was illustrated, as always, by Bojan Bahic and his Art Creation Service. However, with the participation of distinguished guests, Ozren Pavlovic from Sarajevo and Sanctuary Mental Space: Aryan Kaganof, Dick Tuinder & Alexander VD Woel.
Diwan No. 11-12 was ready for publishing much earlier then we were able to hand in the CD with the texts and illustrations to the printer. In the general “cultural poverty” produced by the international-local but “reforming” B-H government, your favourite magazine could not avoid the “cut back wave”. That is why we are publishing this issue a few months late.
I hope, dear reader, that you will support us as always. I wish you both visual enjoyment and reading delight.
Tuzla, March 22, 2004
Your editor, Dinko Delic
Published 16 April 2004
Original in Bosnian
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