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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 90 | volume XVI | May-June, 2013



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 90May-June, 2013

The Fairy Tale and the Magical: The Chronotope of the South-Slavic Balkans

p. 1
Nataša Avramovska

The fairy tale and the magical, within Macedonian contemporary literature, always emerge as a kind of ‘magic formula’, whose genre matrix helps express the turning points and social crises. The social prerogatives about the presence of the fairy tale and the magical in Macedonian literature can be found in the presence of orality and the oral-poetic code within the context of the current communicative practices of the Macedonian community. Reaching out to the simple forms of narration, in a nutshell, can be traced back to the pragmatics of storytelling in ‘a neighborly context’, as such preferring the texture of narration shaped though the use of familiar oral codes. The orally codified forms of narration get constantly transformed, productively speaking, through their intersection with the artistic methods of the art of the fine word.
    The presence of the fairy tale in the contemporary Macedonian literary production could be most directly pointed out through the emergence of the first, explicit auto/biographical testimonial in Macedonian literature in regards to the theme of “Goli Otok”[1], namely, the fairy tale for children by the poet Dushko Nanevski, The Boy with the Starfish, published in 1993. It is comprised of narration consistently driven by the paradigm of the folk fairy tale. As with all fairy tales centered on people, this one too examines the ‘I versus the world’ theme. ‘I’ is always right; the antagonistic world is always wrong. It is a question of the magic the ‘I’ possesses, which in the end proves victorious over the twisted world. However, when the ‘I’ is too weakened, too frail, and at the end of its tether, by the perversion of “Goli Otok – The Devils’ Island”, its morals are helped by the good spirits who dwell in the realm of the Magic Mountain: the fairies, the clever forest birds, and the like. The given realist paradigm of narration, until then seen as the dominant one, which takes the magic of the word (a change in the planes of narration) and the dream, in the chapter titled “Dreaming in the Road”, introduces the realm of the magical, the supernatural, and the exit from the ordeals experienced on the island, no matter that a dark shadow keeps on following the boy with the starfish as the shadow of the man adorning black. Indeed, we are presented with a fairy tale granted in the spirit of its folk counterpart, which tells


1. During the Informbiro period, the island of Goli Otok, located off the northern Adriatic coastline, served in the capacity of a prison-labor camp run by the authorities of FPR Yugoslavia, alongside with the nearby Sveti Grgur island (a similar camp for female prisoners). The imprisoned population was comprised of political dissidents, what the system labelled as known and alleged Stalinists, together with other Yugoslav Communist Party members or even ordinary citizens accused of exhibiting any sort of sympathy or leanings towards the Soviet Union. (Translator’s note).

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

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