The basic hypothesis of this research belongs to the field of interdisciplinary studies of Serbian literature, especially of the changes in literary paradigms, formed on the boundary of interactions between Slavic and non-Slavic literatures, which reached significant dynamics in the unifying perspectives of the new media. The main assumption of this analysis concerns the relationship between the elements of medieval Byzantine and Japanese literary heritage in the context of the development of Serbian literature with certain elements of digital modernism.
The issue of impermanence of this worldly existence, not only in humans but shared by all sentient beings, had been, both as a theme and a motive, ubiquitously present in the medieval literature of both Serbia and Japan. Although very different by almost all formal literary criteria, both of them have in common an inherent inclination to the care of the metaphysical status of this world and all its creatures. A seriousness in their relation to the transcendental is the main trait by which their heritage differs from the literature of their respective countries today. That is the very reason why they can be treated in the same dialogical context. Contemporary conscience with its belief that nothing is left to say about the evanescence of the world, gave up this issue to be further dealt with only according to individual needs and randomly. But, both Serbian Christian and Japanese Buddhist medieval mind tended to put this problem right in the middle of almost every literary text. Far from only deploring the transient human fate, people are encouraged to foster everlasting memories of death, just to be able to get saved – either by returning to God, or in Japan, by being reborn in the Buddhist paradise of the Pure Land. Yet, there are some significant differences in the way impermanence is treated in these two traditions. This paper tries to elucidate how these differences were rooted in their respective literary and religious praxis.
Reaching out to distant Japanese culture, in an attempt to bring it into correlation with Serbian medieval tradition, a comparison is made of The Tale of Saigyo – a story by an unknown author about one of the legendary poets of the ancient Japanese literature from the 13th century, with several motifs from our haghiographies by Domentian and Theodosios. The poet-monk Saigyo is compared with Saint Sava, as a writer, as well as with Peter of Korisha, as an ascete. Special attention is paid to the motif of departure from this world, which is simultaneously an entry into the world of literary creation, as the writer-monk also appears as a literary character in later writings.