On masters of life and death

The text “Heart attack of Clinton’s dog” by Jelena Grozdanović Radovanović, in a way, can be taken as a war diary, recorded by the author according to the dictate of the elementary and profane reality. This apparently simple procedure demanded great abstention, first of all towards one’s own emotions, but also freedom from fear and readiness for events that occur for the first time.

The narration is of ideogramic structure with respect to the time of the main flow of the action, while being analytical in vertical and horizontal branches. The reality has taken the form of fantasy, and only then has it become comprehensible to human mind. Put into place. The sentences publicly said by Madeleine Albright, threatening to make Serbs into pariahs of Europe, the statement of Lauren Eagleburger that Serbs won’t laugh for the next fifty years, and of Martti Ahtisaari, that Belgrade will be flattened, with five hundred thousand dead, seem like replicas of the Theatre of Absurdity. Those sentences were determining our fate at the time when they were said. In spring of 1999 the world was ruled by the irrational that integrated into a highly directed and systematically planned destruction of Serbia and Serbian people.

The text by Jelena Grozdanović Radovanović is a special testimony about a bloody drama, written in condensed, dynamic, and concise sentences. It is as if the author wanted simply to send into the world the messages, as concise and trustworthy as possible, from Serbia, which experienced seventy-eight days of exterritoriality on the planet.

The inner structure of the text is organic, because it unifies essence and form. Such structure of the text Jelena Gvozdanović Radovanović achieved by a form of inversion. In that inversion the reality obtains its logic only when it starts to appear as fiction, because it is incomprehensible as reality. In this way the author fulfills one of the main functions of every creation, that is, makes us think about what we see. Even more: she makes us an indivisible part of her world. The concise, bare record of the reality substituted what in classical literature is fiction, being a consistent system.

Jelena Grozdanović Radovanović wrote a particular “Bloody Fairy-Tale”, based on hyperreality and hyperfiction, which are one and the same in this case. The creative imagination of the author and a violent and hardly comprehensive reality are mutually evened in the common act, so that the role of the creator was this time, it seems, to select, from the passing time and her own coherent perception, elements of a horrifying and apocalyptic mosaic.

While reading the text of Jelena Grozdanović Radovanović, which is in itself an exciting testimony about the time and people, about the masters of life and death, I thought the text was suitable to be rolled up, put in a bottle, and thrown into the sea, as a message, drawn up at the end of the twentieth century for some future century, or some other universe that coexists with our own, because, what Serbia experienced, for me personally, is a testimony, and I would say, proof that parallel universes exist.

July 29, 1999.
Slobodan Rakitić

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