Editorial Diwan 17-18/2006

Dear & respected reader!

Unfortunately, the practice of Diwan‘s irregular issues has continued. In the year of the introduction of VAT and cancellation of the PLANJAX and GKS literary awards when the Gradacac Meetings will be significantly downsized, it is no wonder that issue 17-18 of Diwan is this late in coming out. When publishers have to let go of their staff and cancel projects, every literary initiative in BiH becomes an incident. Still, the contents of the long-awaited issue look something like this:

In her text “The Institution of Literature/Art and the Notion of the Canon”, Dubravka Duric presents a cultural studies perspective on a theory that interprets “and mediates the world” (C. Baker) since it modifies fact through the process of “verification”, that is, it affects it by the perspective defined by the hypothesis and “the signifying practice which produces meanings in the context of social power”. While the secular canon, as the basis of institutionalized art, becomes “a guiding star of the common culture of the educated elite” (D. LaCapra). The pertinence of Duric’s examination for literary, intercultural, and political phenomena of the pre-political Balkan communities is more than obvious.

The first thematic unit of this double issue – a transcript of the round table entitled “The Literary Left and Right Today”, held at the Gradacac Literary Meetings on 28 May 2005 – is in a similar tone. Seeking out the possibilities of naming the literary polarizations in BiH and the region, the following people contributed to this discussion by “hook” or by “crook”: Zeljko Grahovac, Marko Vesovic, Zilhad Kljucanin, Hadzem Hajdarevic, Ismet Bekric, Munib Maglajlic, Ivan Kordic, and your non-editor. The nervous discussion from the beginning of the debate was transformed – in the end – into an exchange of arguments instead of labels and the initial failings of the organization were thus overcome.

The second thematic unit is translation. Namely, in the deafness of isolation and poverty, every literature suffers from a deficit of translations, from a lack of communication, even with a friendly environment. The same is true of Bosnian-Herzegovinian literature. That is why our “transl(iter)ators”: Ulvija Tanovic, Svetislav Travica, Aleksandar Becanovic, Zdravko Kecman, Lukasz Szopa, Stevan Tontic, and Kerima Filan “bring” you the texts of Elia Domenzain and Anna Akhmatova, Richard Rorty and Osip Mandelstam, Jana Putrle-Srdic and Pedro de la Peña, Gregorz Wroblewski, Christa Reinig and Marina Achenbach, Haldun Taner… We humbly hope, dear reader, that this will enlist your “multicultural” support for the Diwan editorial desk.

Two industrious young women – Branka Vujanovic and Mevlida Duvic – have contributed their research on William Blake and Abdurezak Hivzi Bjelevac. They demonstrate how the environment of cultural predispositions and spiritual preoccupations of a writer does not depend upon the “wheel of time”. How the hundred years between Bjelevac (beginning of the twentieth century) and Blake (beginning of the nineteenth century) is a gap that cannot be bridged by either technology or emancipation. How the mature individualism of mythological (romantic) philosophemes is far “ahead” (!??) of petty bourgeois mannerism and pseudo-enlightenment. Which seems unfair to Bjelevac only at first glance. It is a matter of the “horizon of expectations”, that is, the power of adaptation (coercion) of the member and citizen (minion) towards the cultural context and environment. And, you must agree, this is a problem even today.

Jasna Samic, Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, Aleksandra Cvorovic, and Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers have written reviews of books by Frederic Mitterand, Adam B. Seligman, Vladan Matijevic, and Miljenko Jergovic. This is our attempt to initiate the genre of review, so absent (and profaned) in B-H contemporary periodicals, to devote space and significance to the evaluation of literature and the writing process outside of “privatization” and protectionism.

Apart from the thematic units, the poetry was contributed by: Fadila Nura Haver, Goran Saric, Sasa Skenderija, Ivancica Deric, Jasna Samic, Vlatko Marinovic, Goran Karanovic, and your humble editor. And the prose by: Ferid Muhic, Miljenko Buhac, Srdan Papic, Bosiljka Pusic, Ljerka Car Matutinovic, and Mirjana Kapetanovic. However, your special attention is warranted by the hypertext by Sanjin Sorel “Devils on Bread and Water”. Sorel combines poetry, essay, and prose into a unique linguistic being. Into a seductive space/time continuum. I hope you will enjoy itŠ

Pardon me! It would be terrible to forget the fascinating illustrations of Bojan Bahic, our “canonized” maestro of digital art. And in this issue of Diwan, he is joined by the tempestuous genius William Blake and the German-French Lena Vandrey, whose sophisticated philogyny is fascinating in its explosion of shapes and colours. In addition: it would be incorrect to term such diversity “queer” in the “Paradigms of Uncomfortable Beauty” of Lena Vandrey (Paradigmen der unbequemen Schönheit, Bremen 1986), for they refine the “eye of the beholder” even if it is mired in the mundane.

Your editor, Dinko Delic

Tuzla, 30 March 2006

Published 2 June 2006
Original in English

Contributed by Diwan © Diwan


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