The Quite Dead

Vladan Matijević

E-knjige, Domaća književnost

The short story collection The Quite Dead, awarded with the prestigious Andrić Award in 2000, is one of the titles that signaled a turnover in the literary field of contemporary Serbian prose. Its publication, unique and distinct both in terms of form and character development, overlapped with the turn of the century, but also with the transition from one to another, more open socio-historical pattern of political and cultural life in Serbia, opened the question of "neither there – nor here" – the existential situation which seemingly is a frequently imposed topic of our culture and attitude towards the past, but also the present. Matijević approaches the issue of characters stuck in everyday life with the language that is open to experiment but retains the need for fixed anchorage and classical narration. The experience of a world whose various aspects are captured and illuminated in the eighteen stories of this book, which some critics call a "post-traumatic parody breviary," while others reveal its tone as the "dark side of reality," overlaps paradox and lightness of humor as levels of experiences of transition and reality with fantastic nightmarish cataclysm of these lethargic, maladjusted and grotesque characters. Thus each story, apparently "stuck" between the existential numbness and the metaphysical power of the absurdity of "death before death", represents more than a chronicle of historical events on this soil and the consequential triviality of the sense of life: each is a concise and linguistically blissfully playful parable of the destiny of an individual separated from life.

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The short story collection The Quite Dead, awarded with the prestigious Andrić Award in 2000, is one of the titles that signaled a turnover in the literary field of contemporary Serbian prose.

Its publication, unique and distinct both in terms of form and character development, overlapped with the turn of the century, but also with the transition from one to another, more open socio-historical pattern of political and cultural life in Serbia, opened the question of "neither there – nor here" – the existential situation which seemingly is a frequently imposed topic of our culture and attitude towards the past, but also the present.

Matijević approaches the issue of characters stuck in everyday life with the language that is open to experiment but retains the need for fixed anchorage and classical narration. The experience of a world whose various aspects are captured and illuminated in the eighteen stories of this book, which some critics call a "post-traumatic parody breviary," while others reveal its tone as the "dark side of reality," overlaps paradox and lightness of humor as levels of experiences of transition and reality with fantastic nightmarish cataclysm of these lethargic, maladjusted and grotesque characters. Thus each story, apparently "stuck" between the existential numbness and the metaphysical power of the absurdity of "death before death", represents more than a chronicle of historical events on this soil and the consequential triviality of the sense of life: each is a concise and linguistically blissfully playful parable of the destiny of an individual separated from life.

 

  • ISBN: 978-86-6036-074-0
  • Broj strana: 148
  • Pismo: Latinica
  • Povez: Mek
  • Godina izdanja: 2020

Vladan Matijević
Vladan Matijević was born in 1962 in Čačak. He is one of the most prominent voices of contemporary Serbian literature. He has published eleven books, majority of which have had several editions, and being translated into French, German and Spanish. Some of his stories have been translated into as many as ten languages. He has published Without Disturbing the Chaos (poetry, 1991), Out of Control (novel, 1995), R. C. Unavoidable (novel, 1997; 2017), Self-reduction (poetry, 1999), The Quite Dead (stories, 2000), A Writer from Far Away (novel, 2003), Moments of Joy (novel, 2006), Tough Plays (dramas, 2009), Very Little Light (novel, 2010), Memoirs, Amnesias (essays and notes, 2012) and Freedom of Speech (novel, 2020). His work was awarded with all major Serbian literary prizes: NIN Award, Andrić Prize, Golden Hit Liber, Golden Bestseller, Meša Selimović Prize, Borisav Stanković Prize, Isidora Sekulić Award, among others. He worked in the factory of base chemistry for eighteen years, and since 2005 he has been employed at the Gallery of Nadežda Petrović in Čačak.