Text topic: Cultures of Rhythms and Spectacle
Text author: Гордана Бекчић-Пјешчић
The author analyzes the Book Fair as a peculiar modern festival with specific ritual elements. Out of complexity of its temporal discourse this cultural event derives its specific structure which provides for its symbolic-ritual potential.
Modern festivals inherited their ritual-symbolic forms from the former, mostly religious ones. Ritual elements of contemporary happenings are breaking a chronotop of everyday linearity. Modern festival also brings about a new understanding of social cohesion. While potentials of renewal and affirmation of a community as a whole were inherent to the old model of ritual and festival, the contemporary festival out of the field of social dispersion establishes cohesion of a micro group.
In the contemporary cultural-political discourse the need for ritual persists as an archetypal necessity, as a mean enabling community to reaffirm and renew itself. The fact that modern festival lacks capacity of totality facilitating a social community to identify with it as a whole, significantly relativizes this archetypal normative.
The relativization of contemporary festivals, their invisibility on the universal level has to find its counter-balance somewhere else if they are to remain a genuine social need. The point of balance between the former totality of festival and ephemeral character of the contemporary one has been found in specialization of the latter. The Book Fair is a kind of normative communitas organized within a social system, and demanding a certain degree of social control.