Editorial Diwan 15-16/2005

Dear & respected reader!

You have waited for Diwan 15-16 unusually long, even for a magazine like ours that is issued so irregularly. Please accept our apologies and we will spare you our lamentations, because the everyday situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina brings little joy as it is. However, what the Diwan editorial board has put together for your pleasure is as follows:

“Sarcevic’s Philosophy”, a text by Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, is more then a review and note on the publishing feat of the Sarajevo “Svjetlost” – a book of essays by Abdulah Sarcevic. Mahmutcehajic writes an essay about essays, a travelogue of thinking and an exoteric diary of reading Sarcevic’s philosophemes.

Our first thematic unit is a transcript from the round table, entitled “Post-Apocalyptic Discourse – New Magazines, a New Sensitivity”, held at the Gradacac Literary Meetings on 19 May 2004. Magazines and webzines were presented in two panels (in the morning): Album, Apokalipsa, Ars, Diwan, Kolaps, Lica, LitKon, Margina, ProFemina, Quorum and Razlika/Différance. And (in the afternoon) we heard from the critics: Julijana Matanovic, Nedzad Ibrahimovic, Mihajlo Pantic, Branko Cegec, Zoran Hamovic, and your humble editor.

Marko Kosnik, a multimedia and performance artist from Ljubljana, contributed to the workshops at the Gradacac Meetings and to this round table (but unfortunately we are unable to present his contributions in written text). Special attention was attracted by the fierce debate between editors and critics, featuring Ranko Milanovic-Blank, along with Robert Alagjozovski, Marko Tomas, Asmir Kujevic, Primoz Repar, Jovanka Uljarevic, Igor Banjac, Danica Pavlovic, and Sla_an Lipovac. The turmoil that beset the literary “collective consciousness” following this debate and the GLM 2004 still has not died down.

Tvrtko Klaric’s study, “Group Picture with a Lady”, is a contribution to the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nikola Sop, one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s best poets. This study on the “poetic interrelation between Margherita Guidacci and Nikola Sop” is a valuable testimony on translations of literary values from one culture into another, and on the tireless Margherita Guidacci, the dispeller of poetic emptiness between Italy, Croatia, and Bosnia.

Ales Debeljak and his “Serbian Poetry of the 1980s” open the second thematic unit devoted to poetry in Serbia at the end of the twentieth century. As an “outside” observer, Debeljak offers cultural criticism assessments of the “Serbian Armageddon” in a text published in 1993, in the midst of the Yugoslav dissolution wars and the transition rashomon of the former Yugoslav republics. And by way of a “response”, Mihajlo Pantic, Dubravka Duric, and Zoran Bognar have made an “inside/outside”, according to their own aesthetic viewpoint, and present three selections of Serbian poetry accompanied by appropriate programme texts. We believe that these anthologies and the poetic approach are of multiple value: to the readership in Bosnia and Herzegovina as information about the poetry from “over there”, and to the criticism scene in Serbia as a corrective, because Duric, Pantic, and Bognar have subversively intervened in the rigid canon of Serbian literary-assessment practices.

The poetry between the thematic units was written by Branislav Oblucar, Amela Iskric, Sladan Lipovec, Mehmed Begic, Asja Bakic, Zeljko Durdevic, and Paula Petricevic. As participants at the 2004 Gradacac Meetings, they left a lasting impression of an explosion of the urban horizon discernible in their verses.

Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers presents us with prose attractive for its freshness and unobtrusiveness. Aleksandra Cvorovic writes a review of Zdravko Kecman’s new book. In the overview of “Feminist Standpoints,” Anisa Avdagic theoretically suggests a position of the “Other” that we examine in this double issue of Diwan.

For, as Mahmutcehacic says, “in opposition to ideological and tyrannical exploits of closing up existence within […] borders, Sarcevic’s philosophical utterances flow open for every listening […]”. This “listening” was important both in the poetry of Nikola Sop and the letter of the “invisible poetic generation” emanated by Dubravka Duric. It is important: to re-present, to transform from discrimination into affirmation. And the “adversarial Other” – as the signifier of cultural exchange between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – is still unfortunately often employed to change its determinant through realizing the necessity of mutual recognition. And recognition can only be mutual.

I hope that I will soon hold in my hand a publication of some publisher, from Belgrade, for example, and read an overview/anthology of Bosniak and Bosnian-Herzegovinian poetry intended for the readership “on the other side of the Drina,” not as a reciprocity, but a reversibility of the system of futile hatred.

Your editor, Dinko Delic

Tuzla, 19 April 2005

Published 13 June 2005
Original in Bosnian

Contributed by Diwan © Diwan


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