The title of the novel Ultramarine is a highly symbolic and a well chosen one too: it refers to a specific type of blue color, and also it vibrates with associations of the sea, and indirectly to death, since death can be perceived as crossing to the other shore. It is also the favorite color of the narrator’s late father who was a painter. It tells the story of a father-son relationship, of maturation and coming to terms with oneself. It is often said that a picture paints a thousand words, but in the case of Prodanovic’s novel, it is really a tie, or it is more like pictures and words joined together are a worthy, and rewarding, reading experience.
Ultramarine is a novel that can be read as an illustrated autobiographical essay, or as a novel travelogue – this genre fluctuation being one of the greatest qualities of the book which is at the same time bitter and nostalgic, critical and escapist… The reading of Ultramarine requires
a specific visual imagination; it is a journey not into the realm of dreams but into the past, into reality and politics.
Mileta Prodanović centers his text on the character of the father, a never-ending and secretive obsession of Serbian culture; it offers an analysis of masculinity and identity, of maturation and political expressiveness. Ultamarine is an ironic and sentimental guide through our time in which its author shows how poetics and politics can be effectively combined.
Vladislava Gordić Petković