YUGOSLAVIA IN POST-YUGOSLAV FICTION: LITERATURE AND REMEMBRANCE
Text topic: Changes
- post-Yugoslav fiction
- Serbian fiction
Text author: Владислава Гордић Петковић
The paper examines artistic practices and effects of transposing both the symbolic image of Yugoslavia and the accumulated experience of living in it into contemporary fiction written in Serbian and published in Serbia during the second decade of the 21st century. The authors whose novels are discussed represent diverging memories and concepts connected with the country that is either irretrievably lost or willfully abandoned, but constantly longed for and therefore narrativized. Novelists Ivančica Đerić, Mirjana Novaković, Tanja Stupar Trifunović and Milan Tripković employ diverse mechanisms in their search for meaning within a paradigm of Yugoslav identity, which implied many different emotional responses and cultural concepts. Una, the main character in Đerić’s novel, is haunted by memories of a paradise lost, as she saw the breakup of Yugoslavia first-hand and emerged from it a cripple, both literally and metaphorically, because of her self-contained act of rebellion against it. Boldly dealing with traumatized protagonists whose feelings and mood swings are difficult to convey, Đerić and Stupar Trifunović refuse to abide to the stereotypical literary characterization and their narratives find their own ways to express the pain, anger, memory and longing, the same as Novaković and Tripković choose to focus on depravities of living in the post-Yugoslav transition. Displacement is too painful a condition to be simply shrugged off as a temporary crisis and the only way to rescue oneself is leaving the turbulent history of both the family and the homeland behind, yet returning to it with a renewed potential of both self-examination and suffering.