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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 106 | volume  | March-April, 2016



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 106March-April, 2016
Essays

The Principle of Freedom vs. The Traps of Fear

on Aleš Debeljak’s poetry


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p. 1
Katica Kulavkova

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The Principle of Freedom vs. The Traps of Fear

Translated from Macedonian: Elizabeta Bakovska
    If it is considered that with every reading the poem passes the way from a person to an above-personal expression, thus transforming the other’s expression of the poem into one’s own, personal expression of the reader, then the “universalization” of the poetic world is fulfilled via the initiation of the other’s expression into one’s own, by adopting the poetic vision as one’s own, which on the other hand implies marginalization of the category one’s own (author). The difference between one’s own and other’s view of the world is erased and the space of shared images of the world is opened. In the space of spiritual and literary communication, “property” and ownership categories become secondary. The joint space of the author and the reader is the shared vision and discrete understanding, which is the other name for recognizing oneself in the other and his identity.
    Therefore, the question asked by Aleš Debeljak in his prose poem, from his cycle “Elegies from the North” (Мигови страв, 1990): “Do you recognize yourself in this poem?” (Космополис, 2010: 12) is legitimate.[1] This question is implicitly directed to the reader and explicitly to the lyrical subject and the other face of the poet (oneself), and even to the imaginary collocutor of the poem (even if it is the divided I!). The question of the recognition is constantly open, before every poem, with every reading, with every facing with the world and its images. Maybe this act of recognition of the reality intervenes in the fictional world, and it becomes important to cherish the “sense of reality, which changes like shifting archipelagos in the South Seas”.
    Taking into consideration these signals of the presence of (the intimate shadow of) reality in the poetry of the Slovenian, South Slavic and European poet Aleš Debeljak (1961, Ljubljana),[2] I will give myself the liberty to contextualize the interpretation of his poetry regarding the cultural and historical situation of the end of the XX century and beginning of the XXI century. In these frames, the context will refer also to his essay, i.e. socio-politiciologal and philosophical understanding of the Yugoslav habitus and the meaning and consequences of the breakdown of the Yugoslav federation (approved as “Atlantis”), understood as a parable of the Balkanization of Europe and the world, published in the Croatian translation of the book

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1. In the first Macedonian translation, authored by Lidija Dimkovska, the statement is: “Ќе најдеш ли сега сили да се препознаеш во оваа песна?“ (Will you find the strength now to recognize yourself in this poem?) (Избрани песни, 2004: 44).
2. Zamenjave, zamenjave (PAM, Mladinska knjiga 1982), The Names of Death (Imena smrti, Mladinska knjiga 1985), Slovar tišine (Aleph Press 1987), Moments of Fear (Minute strahu, Mladinska knjiga 1990), The City and the Child (Mesto in otrok, Mladinska knjiga 1996), Unfinished Odes (Nedokončane hvalnice, Mladinska knjiga 2000), Under the Surface (2004 Pod gladino, Mladinska knjiga 2004), Smugglers (Tihotapci, Mladinska knjiga 2009). His essays cover more than 14 books, such as Melancholic Figures 1988, The Postmodern Sphinx 1989, The Dark Skies of America 1991, Above the Ruins of Modernity 1999, The Balkan Bridge: Essays on the Literature of the “Yugoslav Atlantis”, 2010 and others.






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