prose

Robert Međurečan: from the novel "Slightly used medals for sale"

Robert Međurečan (b. 1969) - veterinary school dropout (will never finish), former soldier (definitely never again), musician and singer (more and more). He says he's a real Balkan homo universalis – he knows all the things he never went to school for. His first novel For Sale: War Medals, First Owner (2008) entered the shortlists for the main national book prizes (Jutarnji list, Tportal, the MH prize, the HPB prize). The novel Silence of the lambs in Zdihovo (2011) was on the long list for the Jutarnji and Tportal awards. His third novel, with the working title Galloping Birds will be published late this year, as a sort of conclusion to the "war trilogy".



from the novel "Slightly used medals for sale"

 

(...)

 

Suddenly, as they began, the detonations stop. An unreal silence reigned, and then the cries were heard. Viktor raised himself from the trench, shaking off the heavy dirt cover. He feels his body with trembling hands looking for wounds. Nothing. Just blood flowing from the ears. From the detonations. Nothing hurt him. He cautiously came out of the trench and looked for survivors. Soon some other heads appeared out of the other trenches, but the cries are also multiplying. Viktor ran towards Drago's trench. He's sitting and holding his stomach with bloody hands. Blood flows between fingers and rags, mixes with the soil into bloody mud. Belly torn apart by shrapnel. The bloody rags are actually his guts, Oddly, he's conscious, looking through Viktor with a dull gaze.

"Fuck it, buddy... Friday, the thirteenth... - he whispered and expired.

 

(...)

 

- Where do I start... - Viktor whispered, cleared his throat and continued on more determined. - So, my problem is from the war. War couldn't have passed me by because I was young and wild, jacked up. I even started to like it all...

One night we went over to the Serbian lines and set an ambush. The spot was perfect: the dirt road cut through the woods, the sides gently rising up a hill, ideal for an ambush. We knew one of their units would go by there, all you had to do was lie in wait. In the moonlight, we saw them coming from far away. There were about twenty of them... - Viktor's voice trembled and became more quiet. - At the signal, we opened fire. Cut them down like grass, it was horrible to look at... Miraculously one of them was left standing, alive, untouched in that hail of bullets. He stood there paralysed with fear. I came out of cover and went down to the road, the others were still in their positions. The survivor stared at me in terror like I was the Devil himself., he gripped his rifle with trembling hands and then dropped it to the ground. I approached him a couple of feet away. I got a good look at his face, and he looked at me stiffly. He was very young. I pointed my assault rifle at him. He didn't budge, just kept staring. I let out a burst. He fell without a sound.

Viktor was quiet. He took out a worn out ID card from his pocket and stuck it in the priest's hand.

- Nenad Simić... born in 1975. - the priest read the faded letters.

There was a brown stain beneath the photo - the papir soaked in blood.

- Barely seventeen years old. They stuck a rifle in his hands and put him in front of my sights.

- The Lord forgives those who kill in self-defense. All these men on the other side were armed, were they not? They could have killed you.

- Yes, but he wouldn't have taken the shot.

- How do you know?

- I know. His rifle wasn't loaded.

- Maybe he was out of ammo.

. Oh, he had ammo to spare, but he carried an unloaded rifle.

(...)

His first visit to the shrink was forced. At a Christmas party he beat the shit out of a guy who was bragging to women about his war exploits. Viktor could tell by his stories that the guy never held a rifle in his life. The babbling offended him. He remembered Gramps and Siniša and the boys who'd died. He remembered Nenad Simić... He instantly went dark. The cops came just in time.

He assaulted the cops, too. Ended up in Vrapče. The date of the unfortunate event: December, the thirteenth. Exactly a year after the defeat on the river Kupa... In the medical papers it said: "reminiscient circumstances reactivated the memory. Typical anniversary reaction". There it was officially confirmed what Viktor already knew. He had PTSD.

- Don't worry about treatment - Davor Tot, his bunkmate, comforted him. - Here they shoot us up with one set of drugs until we're hooked, then we get off them by getting hooked on other drugs. And so it goes until we go bonkers.

When the doctor asked Tot why he wanted to blow himself up with a bomb, he answered briefly:

- Because I'm in an elevator.

- What kind of elevator?

- Narrow one. Can barely fit inside. And the elevator is in a commercial building. And it's Friday night, and everyone's away until Monday. I'm the last one. I go down and then the power goes out. Darkness. The walls of the elevator are closing in. I get panicked, I bang on the door, I scream, but in vain. My screams get lost in the deserted hallways. Monday is far off. The darkness turns to jelly, gets in my nostrils, my mouth. It chokes me. I scream, I bang the walls until my hands bleed... I scream, and the walls crush me. Darkness slides down by throat, goes through me. And it's a whole eternity until Monday...

Viktor never heard a better description of the way he himself felt.

- You're all a bunch of fakers - Kruno the Slavonian would yell back then, when there were no doctors around - I don't have that four letter syndrome. It doesn't exist. It was made up by the doctors just to keep me here.

- And throwing a potato masher grenade at the cops?

- I was framed by the Serbs, the motherfuckers. And you're helping them. You're one big fifth column. I'm the only one with the balls to tell the truth around here. I don't need any pills, I don't want them taking pictures of my brain, I don't want a binder full of faked reports. I'm healthy. I want to go home.

On New Year's Eve, Kruno the Slavonian blew himself up with a grenade in the park in front of the hospital. Because of his wife. She filed for divorce.

Viktor was terrified that Olga would come too and say, I've had it with you, I'm leaving until you ruin my life completely.

In the Fall of Ninety-Two, Viktor wanted to deal with himself. He slit his wrists with a razor blade and lay down in a hot bath. He was still conscious when Olga found him. The scars on his wrists still itch, sometimes. They tried hard to take away all importance from that event. Nobody knew it happened. Not even her parents, always ready to shove their nose in their business.

Much later, Davor Toth explained the rules of suicide to him.

- For starters, you have to pick the right way to kill yourself. Only depressed teenagers and pregnant girls slit their wrists anymore. That's beneath you. You're a warrior, and warriors kill themselves with guns. Pistol, rifle, grenade... Can you imagine a samurai drinking poison instead of cutting open his stomach? He'd bring dishonor to his family, eternal shame.

- But poison is less painful...

- Yeah... So? - that accountant from Daruvar was surprised.

He died a few years later. Kidney failure. From the pills, they say.

proza

Nell Zink: Zidarčac

Nell Zink je nakon "kasnog" debija (2014) ekspresno od autsajdera postala književni događaj, te je sa serijom knjiga idućih godina potvrdila visoko i izdvojeno mjesto na američkoj sceni. The New York Times uvrstio je njezin ekološki osviješten roman The Wallcreeper među značajne knjige 2014. godine, kao i njezinu knjigu iz 2015. godine o temama rase i roda, koja je nominirana za nacionalnu književnu nagradu Mislaid. Roman Nicotine objavila je 2016., kao i zbirku novela Private Novelist. Hvaljena je od Guardiana do New Yorkera, premda im je bilo teško klasificirati je.
Rođena je u južnoj Kaliforniji, odrasla je u ruralnoj Virginiji, diplomirala filozofiju na Fakultetu William i Mary 1981. godine.
Bila je gošća Lit link festivala / Književne karike 2018.
Pročitajte uvodni ulomak iz njezina romana The Wallcreeper.

proza

Rachel Kushner: Bacači plamena

Pročitajte "motoristički" ulomak iz romana "Bacači plamena" Rachel Kushner, već pomalo kultne američke spisateljice, smješten u 1977. godinu. Radnja romana klizi od američke provincije, preko artističkih i intelektualnih krugova New Yorka do Europe prateći put junakinje Reno. „Ovo je jedno od najuzbudljivijih književnih iskustava koje sam imao u posljednjem desetljeću... DeLillo odjekuje ovdje, kao i Doctorow, kao i Carey”, napisao je o romanu Colum McCann.
Rachel Kushner rođena je 1968. u saveznoj državi Oregon, a odrasla je u San Franciscu. Njezini su romani prevedeni na 15 jezika. Živi u Los Angelesu.
Roman "Bacači plamena" objavio je Profil u prijevodu Luize Bouharaoue.
Pročitajte dio pa vidite dalje (a ide dosta dalje).

poezija

Ana Škvorc: Strahujete li da se neću uklopiti?

Ana Škvorc (1991., Čakovec) prethodno je poeziju objavljivala u Temi i Poeziji. Studentica je hrvatskoga jezika i književnosti na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu.

poezija

Branko Maleš: Mutno

Pročitajte izbor iz knjige pjesama "Mutno" Branka Maleša, za koju je autor nedavno dobio nagradu "Vladimir Nazor".
Branko Maleš (1949., Zagreb) spada među najznačajnije suvremene hrvatske pjesnike i pjesničke inovatore internacionalnog ranga. Autor je brojnih knjiga ("Tekst", 1978; "Praksa laži", 1986; "Placebo", 1992; „biba posavec“, 1996; "Trickster", 1998; "Vertigo", 2010; "Mutno", 2017, itd.), dobitnik "Goranova vijenca", a među ostalim je i član žirija nagrade "Sedmica & Kritična masa" za mlade autore.

proza

Viktorija Božina: Ulomak iz romana 'Turbofolk'

Viktorija Božina rođena je 1990. u Zadru gdje pohađa diplomski studij hrvatskoga jezika i književnosti. Tri godine boravila je u Americi gdje je završila studij informatike. Roman iz kojeg donosimo ulomak uskoro će ugledati svjetlo dana u izdanju Sandorfa.

proza

Catherine Lacey: Povrede

Catherine Lacey sjajan je američki glas nove generacije. Autorica je romana "The Answers" i "Nobody Is Ever Missing" te zbirke kratkih priča "Certain American States" koja upravo izlazi. Dobitnica je nagrade Whiting, stipendije New York Foundation for the Arts, bila je finalistica nagrade Young Lions Fiction. Njezini romani prevedeni su na talijanski, francuski, španjolski, nizozemski i njemački, a djela su joj objavljivana u The New York Timesu, Harper’su, Vogueu i drugdje. Časopis Granta uvrstio ju je 2017. u prestižnu dekadnu selekciju najboljih novih američkih prozaika. Između brojnih pohvala nazvana je i “DeLillom za milenijalce”. Rođena je 1985. u Mississippiju, živi u Chicagu. Bila je gošća Lit link festivala 2018. te nastupala u Zagrebu, Puli i Rijeci.
Pročitajte ulomak iz njene knjige priča "Certain American States" koja u kolovozu izlazi u Americi.

proza

Marina Gudelj: Lee

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" 2017 - POBJEDNIČKA PRIČA

Marina Gudelj (1988., Split) diplomirala je hrvatski jezik i književnost na Sveučilištu u Zadru. Objavljivala je u Zarezu i na portalu KSET-a.

poezija

Ana Miković: Pjesme

Ana Miković rođena je 1987. u Beogradu gdje je diplomirala na katedri za srpsku književnost s južnoslavenskim književnostima. Dio je glazbeno-poetske trupe Nebograd.

proza

David Szalay: Duge rute

Pročitajte priču izvrsnog Davida Szalaya koji je bio sudionik Lit link festivala 2017 u Puli, Rijeci i Zagrebu.

David Szalay rođen je u Montrealu (1974.) u Kanadi odakle njegovi uskoro sele u Veliku Britaniju. Objavio je četiri prozne knjige, dobitnik je više književnih nagrada, a 2016. njegov je roman All That Man Is bio u užem izboru za Bookerovu nagradu. Szalay je uvršten u prestižni dekadni izbor najboljih mlađih britanskih romanopisaca časopisa Granta, kao i sličan izbor novina Telegraph. David Szalay pisac je minucioznog stila, naoko distanciranog, sa suptilnim i vrlo individualnim pomakom u tretiranju prozne događajnosti. Roman All That Man Is ono je što preporučamo za dulje upoznavanje, a za ovu priliku smo odabrali kratku priču Long Distance koju je napisao lani za radio BBC.

Stranice autora

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