O knjizi "THE QUITE DEAD"
THE QUITE DEAD – Vladan Matijević
THE QUITE DEAD – 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.
Vladan 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. Some critics call a “post-traumatic parody breviary”. 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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