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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 77-79 | volume XIV | March-August, 2011



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 77-79March-August, 2011

An Excellent, Promising Opening

(Sibila Petlevski: The Time of Lies)

p. 1
Strahimir Primorac

"We were both fascinated with the life story of Viktor Tausk, and we decided to look into it, each of us in our own way", says the storyteller somewhere at the beginning of Sibila Petlevski's novel Vrijeme laži (The Time of Lies), the first in the series of three novels (the novels which follow are: Bilo nam je tako lijepo! / We Had Such a Marvellous Time! and Stanje sumraka / The State of Dusk) of the "necrography" jointly entitled Tabu (Taboo). The other one who was fascinated in the quoted sentence is the Croatian writer Tvrtko, a character who, needless to say, belongs to a world of the novelistic reality, therefore the world of fiction, and who is, according to the "List of Real, Fictional and Fictitious Characters" added at the end of the book, a "fictitious character": "Tvrtko from Vrijeme laži is a character composed of the elements of the biographies and testimonies of a Tvrtko (T. Zane) and a Vlado (V. Gorovac)". Namely, into his literary form, the author has skilfully and functionally integrated a documentary material – certain statements of Branimir Donat (which was the pseudonym of the citizen Tvrtko Zane) about his imprisonment experience revealed in an interview, and parts of the charge brought against Vlado Gotovac in 1972.
    At another point in the novel, the storyteller, whose position mainly corresponds to that of the author, also emphasises the difference in their attempt to answer the question "Who was the real Viktor Tausk?": While Tvrtko is interested in the story of his life ("What did this man live for?"), the storyteller is interested in the story about his death ("Why? Why in that particular manner?"; Tausk, namely, ended his life committing unusual "double" suicide – by shooting himself in the head and by hanging. It is why the author talks about the "necrography" and not about biography). The disparity of those interests has determined the course and the logic of their research. The curious Tvrtko/Donat – who was always inclined to drag out of the darkness those unjustly forgotten or neglected creators – made an effort to – marking the 150th anniversary of Sigmund Freud's birth (in 2006) – pull out from the deep shadows the lawyer and the doctor, psychoanalyst Viktor Tausk (1879-1919) – one of the most talented students and protégés of the "father of psychoanalysis" – a man who was in youth,

"Blesok" editions 01-93 are also available at CEEOL web site.

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