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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
Reviews

COUNTDOWN OF TIME AS A STORYTELLING TECHNIQUE

Towards the book 3’53’’ (Intimate History of Music from 1984 to 2004) (Goten, 2015) by Bert Stajn


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Darin Angelovski

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COUNTDOWN OF TIME AS A STORYTELLING TECHNIQUE

    Translated by: Angela Momirovska
      
    The ones familiar with the topic already know that the unusual title 3’53’’ which unites the twenty one stories in this book (as many as the book contains), according to Google search engine statistical data, actually represents the average length of a modern song. According to the author, on the other hand, 3 minutes and 53 seconds is the average time that the reader would need to read one of his stories. Having in mind this basic information, the thing that grabs one’s attention when reading Bert Stajn’s autobiographical prose is his intention to encase the personal story in a specific time capsule, which as a technique compellingly resembles the storytelling strategy of counting down of time which Georgi Gospodinov used when structuring his short story 8 Minutes and 19 Seconds.[1] It is a peculiar absurdist story, which unfolds during the last sunset of the world, during the course of eight minutes – the time the sunlight needs to reach the earth, and the time the author of the story actually gives to the reader to read the story.
    If we agree that this playing with the formal side of storytelling in Gospodinov’s writing is in function of actualising the topic of facing “the end of it all“, that is, our imaginary comprehension of the end of the world, or with the nature of its content; that, on the other hand, would allow the making of numerous intertextual references to some other motifs or themes from some of his previously published literary works, works created in completely different poetics (for example, the play The Apocalypse Comes at 6pm (2009)). On the other hand, having in mind the playing with authorship which Bert Stajn takes up in the case of 3’53’’, that kind of focusing on the author’s creative process, although not entirely impossible, is quite limited and tight, so what is left to be said comes not only from the shaping of the stories according to the duration of the music hits, but also from the fine symbolic relationship which is created during the mutual contact of the rhythm of music, and the word.
    All that allows for this autobiographical writing, which, according to its genre determinant, oscillates between a novel, a novella, and a short story, to be looked at in terms of the two layers of which

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1. Господинов. Георги (2013) И всичко стана луна. Пловдив. Жанет 45, стр. 5-13.






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