Blesok no. 98, September-October, 2014
About the Novel “Apparitions with Silver Threads” by Kalina Maleska
In front of us we have an extraordinary manuscript by Kalina Maleska, one of the most pleasant surprises on our literary scene in the last few years.
Kalina Maleska has had two short story collections published so far: Misunderstandings and The Naming of the Insect, as well as the novel Bruno and the Colours, and the play An Event among Many.
She managed to attract attention with all four literary achievements, and to have her name listed among the most talented and renowned Macedonian writers belonging to a middle generation that unfortunately is being recognized only now for its aesthetic values, because of the domination of certain deeply rooted literary “myths” of the generations before.
Apparitions with Silver Threads is a novel that incorporates the global knowledge of what a modern-day novel should look like. Firstly, it has a distinguished meta-literary concept, being a novel in which a character (Srna) is writing another novel. This little mise en abyme (a plot within the plot) provides the author with the possibility of a meta-literary commentary on the definition of the contemporary novel, its meaning, its establishment and its place in our lives in general. This meta-literary, that is to say, meta-lingual function of the novel is masterfully done.
Secondly, the novel has a strong realistic capacity, which at times becomes engaging, an attribute that along with its meta-fictionality is a quality today often found in novels around the world. This character that is writing a novel has her own practical, sociological problems from everyday life (she can’t find a job, for example). In that sense, the novel is an extract cut out from our reality and it examines the position of young people in our community.
Thirdly, the novel is full of short essayistic passages, which proves true the thesis that the modern novel is a form of literary essay and that the essayistic approach to reality is a component and constant of the genre. Fourthly, the novel conceals a lot of mysteries, secret manuscripts, secret names, mystified books and pseudo-historical facts, all of which weave the fine thread of its enigmatic code.
All in all, the novel Apparitions with Silver Threads by Kalina Maleska will undoubtedly provoke a keen interest within the literary circles as well as in the reading public. It’s written in an easy, clean, elegant manner, and with all its attributes it reflects everything that’s valuable in the genre of novel today, in our country, as well as abroad, thus meeting the standards of current world literature.
Translated by: Anastasija Petrevska