Blesok no. 100, September, 2015
For Igor Isakovski
Countless Books and Sighs for This Fucked Up World and Thirteen
I wanted, I wanted a lot to translate books from German to Macedonian and I looked, I looked for a long time for a publisher in Skopje with whom I would be able to cooperate at a different professional level than the one that had been usual for the publishing houses there. It was in 2007-2008 when I came across Blesok and Igor Isakovski, whom I had known from the times of Van Gogh and Nipon cafés, but I had never met him personally. I contacted him and with the very first drink at Jetro Tal with which we saluted to our future cooperation I had the feeling that we will make the world a more beautiful place with our enthusiasm and love to literature, with our hunger for books and literature, with the idea that we would make something big, something important… What a nice beginning of a fruitful cooperation which slowly grew into friendship and then into family.
Indeed, as in every family we also had our conflicts and disagreements about this or that, we had at times outbursts of anger, but also a feeling of pain about the possible loss, which, luckily, led to honest and reasonable conversation, conflict resolution and inevitable strengthening of the existing mutuality.
Again and again one has the feeling that it would all last, because we are young, and the world is hungry for good books and good thoughts, for certain quality of what is said, imagined, created… that someone would have to publish literary food in this stiff and automatized reality for a long time to come, and that we could give the world part of the beauty that we think it has deserved… outside the mediocre, outside the artificial and imposed, outside the quazi-intellectual and the mass that considers itself better and dictates this fucked-up reality… and who do not buy books anyway, not ours, but still they would be present and bring some value to the world. We wanted a different kind of beauty, for those who see it, even if they are few, it still has to, has to exist…
Igor became insatiable, he worked as if it was breathing, as if he would not have breathed if he had stopped, and then neither the world nor reality would exists, because he would not breathe in them the beauty that they needed, as if the world would have suffocated if it hadn’t been for his work… He worked and created too much… until his last breath, which came too early.
I am not superstitious, but it is unquestionable that the world is full with some signs and signals which do not have to be negative, unless we consider them such. Igor and I published a total of 13 books in my translation together. We both agreed on the cover of the last one – Clemens J. Setz’s Die Liebe zur Zeit des Mahlstädter Kindes, as it would fit both the title and the contents of the book. Igor had mentioned long ago that the photo was for some cover – it is a photo of me hugging a statue of a boy on a tombstone in Dresden, made at the end of 1999, immediately prior to the new century and new millennium…
I am not superstitious, but when I sent my texts to the Berlin magazine Prolog and its current issue 13 at the beginning of October 2014, I did not expect anything particular, except that my poems in German would finally be published – even experimental ones. Much more than that happened: my texts were published in the thirteenth edition, and I had three of my works exhibited at the exhibition and promotion on Prolog X3, one of which dedicated to Igor Isakovski.
I am not superstitious, but on 14 December 2014 I started to make a collage – an inevitable fling I have with visual arts, to distance from text which is my daily preoccupation. After two days of sorting and sticking pictures, on the night between 15 and 16 December 2014 the basis of the collage was made. I was exhausted and I slept for a long time, and when I got up, I heard the awful news about the separation with Igor… Walking around the apartment and looking for a way to remain calm in this fucked-up reality, I saw that the basis of the collage with which I quote some dear artists and their works via images is the motif of death itself. The collage dedicated itself to Igor, and in 13 days, from 14 to 27 December 2014 I made this piece which was entitled “Vanitas”.
For thirteen more months, thirteen years, or thirteen centuries, I don’t know, nobody knowns, but yet, I will continue to work with the other people close to him on what Igor and I planned for the future of our cooperation. It is definitely many more books for this fucked-up world and this cruel reality which screams for a nice word and beauties of all kinds; I will see that I don’t lose my breath too early, and who knows, maybe all of those books, created or in the process of creation, have been timeless and intended for another, more beautiful worlds and another joint reality which expects us here and somewhere.