Text topic: Lie in Art and Culture
Text author: Ljubica Matek
The paper focuses on the concept of lies and lying as an auto therapeutic act, as represented in Kristian Novak’s novel Črna mati zemla. Novak illustrates the complexity of the philosophical and literary concept of truth (and lie) by means of a heterogeneous narrative structure. The novel consist of five non-chronologically arranged chapters which deal with different versions of truth, or rather, which point to the fact that the truth about the protagonist’s life changes depending on who perceives and interprets it, and when. The elaborate relationship between the truth and lie is additionally complicated by the author’s play with different genres or forms of narrative, which includes the representation of scientific research, fictional representation of the protagonist’s adult life and an autobiographical story of the protagonist’s childhood. Lying is simultaneously represented as a creative and a destructive act because inventing stories is the very basis of literary creativity (both Novak and his literary protagonist are writers, which establishes a metatextual relationship between the novel as a fictional creation and the reality) and it helps the protagonist cope with the trauma of his father’s death. However, at the same time, lying and believing in imaginary people and situations serve to psychologically destabilize the protagonist, both as a boy and as an adult.