Blesok no. 84, May-June, 2012

The Closeness of Distance(s)
Zvonko Taneski’s Macedonian-Slovakian Comparativist Views (Studies and Interpretations), Institute of Macedonian Literature (Skopje, 2012)

Jasmina Mojsieva Guševa

Every element contains its opposite, which in turn allows for its referentiality, meaning and ultimate sense of presence. A simultaneous fulfilment of one or another opposition does not only involve exclusion, hostility and antagonism, but also a sense of a complementary whole. As a matter of fact, the immanent goal of each existence and act lies in its oppositionality. The transitions, from one finality into another, strengthen the willingness and the prospect for weakness to turn into strength, for marginality to rise to the centre, for the distant to enter the near, for the unknown to become known.
The book Macedonian-Slovalian Comparativist Views (Studies and Interpretations) by Zvonko Taneski accomplishes just that, namely, it brings together two distant, and quite removed from each other, cultural spaces, that of Macedonia and that of Slovakia. For one, it represents a kind of sublimation of its author’s continuous engagement in the area of Macedonian-Slovakian and Slovakian-Macedonian cultural bonds, as part of the vast field of comparative literature. That is to say, the reader consists of studies dedicated to already established Macedonian and Slovakian authors, exploring their reception by the two cultural settings; to name a few: Kočo Racin, Blaže Koneski, Vladimir Reisel, Milan Richter, Jordan Plevneš, etc. One particular accomplishment, for example, is the comparativist study on the poetry of Milan Rufus and Mateja Matevski, respectively, which examines the two authors’ development processes, their commonalities as well as their differences. Then, there is the rather vast and pertinent study entitled “A Mirror of the Surrealist Poetic Intuition: The Slovak 1930s as found in the Macedonian1950s”, which informs the domain of those specific comparativist researches that are used as benchmarks when studying the developmental shifts and trends of Macedonian literature. Furthermore, we also encounter, in all of its specificity, a methodological study dedicated to the theoretical-methodological developments of the comparativist literary-scientific research conducted both in Slovakia and Macedonia. And then there are those studies dedicated to the authors of the younger generations, whose writing caught Taneski’s attention; a mutual presentation of the anthological selections in the two countries, as well as the short introductory notes, applicable to both countries, and key editions published on Macedonian and Slovak literature, respectively.
In short, Zvonko Taneski’s book is set apart by its scientific basis and the wide cultural and political significance it bears on the on-going process of ascertain a greater familiarity and mutual acquaintance between the Macedonian and the Slovak people, whose relations date back to the days of the mission of Cyril and Methodius in Slovakia. Ever since then, these bilateral relations have been characterized by a sense of propriety, mutual understanding and closeness, yet at the same time, sadly so, followed by an insufficient communicative intensity, which is attested by the bibliography included at the end pages of the book. The numerous articles, from Taneski’s book, are a good example of how seemingly ‘small’ yet seriously developed themes, provide an excellent basis for comparativist research, since they reveal the specific circumspect paths of shared and familiar intersections of the different cultural models of the two distant yet close countries.

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