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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 101-102 | volume  | November-December, 2015



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 101-102November-December, 2015
Essays

THE METAMORPHOSIS OF THE LABYRINTH IN CONTEMPORARY MACEDONIAN SHORT STORY

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Vladimir Martinovski

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THE METAMORPHOSIS OF THE LABYRINTH  IN CONTEMPORARY MACEDONIAN SHORT STORY

Translated from Macedonian
    by Milan Damjanoski
      
      
    Introduction
      
    Telling a story is very much like entering into a labyrinth: both the story teller and the reader at that point are taking on a series of risks. The former with every subsequent word can set or alter the course of the story, but with every new step he or she can stray, wander, get off track… The story as is told may lure the reader into its dark corridors, offering him the chance to become “someone else” after reading the book, but it can also leave him with the feeling that he has been slain multiple times by the Minotaur. Some story tellers discreetly place Ariadne’s thread in the hands of their readers, while others delight in the notion that the reader is bound to wander for a long time through the bends and paths of their story.
    The ancient mythical image of the labyrinth has encased a multiplicity of different symbolism even in archaic mythologies and the oldest literary documents. In the conclusion to his renowned study The Book of Labyrinths, Paolo Santarcangeli points to the indelible link between space and time produced by the labyrinth within its universally widespread mythic-ritualistic complex. As seen from a Bakhtinian perspective, the labyrinth in the context of literature represents a chronotope which markedly reflects “the essential mutual connection between temporal and spatial relations” (Bahtin 1989, 193). This is likely the reason that the labyrinth has always been an irresistible challenge in the artistic journeys of the spirit to a series of canonised authors of prose in the 20th century: from Joyce to Kafka, Eco to Tabucchi, Borges to Gide, Blanchot to Robbe-Grillet. According to ancient mythology, the labyrinth is the masterpiece of the skilled architect Daedalus, the construction of which was ordered by the King Minos of Crete, the son of Zeus and Europa. This colossal edifice was compared to the royal palace in Knossos (16th century BCE), which according to archaeologists and architects comprised of around 1,800 rooms and covered an area of 16,000 m The labyrinth became emblematic of the material and spiritual culture of the Minoan civilization, even though the labyrinth as a symbol can be found worldwide and in a number of religious and esoteric systems.
    The primary function of the labyrinth is to serve as a site for






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