prose

Igor Rajki: Carnal Parasite

LIT LINK FESTIVAL 2017

Igor Rajki (1965, Zagreb) is a prolific author with a unique style leaning towards unconventional expression, experimentation, linguistic interplay and a peculiar sense of humor. He has published five novels, six short story collections, youth fiction, radio plays and dramas and his works have been performed on stage as well. Two of his novels, Truth Detector (2012) and Carnal Parasite (2014) were shortlisted for the most prominent Croatian award for novels, the T-Portal Award.

Below is an excerpt from Rajki's novel, Carnal Parasite



 

Spirit’s Parasite

It was twilight on a rainy autumn day when my friends Anja and Adalbert turned up unannounced, brushing droplets off their jacket sleeves (my father Mario had already stopped working as a demonologist at ASPIL[1]; he was somewhere in the park, collecting bugs for breeding, while my mother was wiggling out of Martin’s tight embrace). Visibly stoned, they let themselves loose in my room. I put my guard up. Although our friendship was pointless, my friends were still quite capable of enticing me into new ways of thinking.

They certainly didn’t know I was already dead.

They were preoccupied with themselves: Adalbert had been fired from his job as a meditation coach because the “Leap in the dark” club was disbanded, while Anja, who was teaching elementary erotics in a private school, had recently received a paycut. I knew they were extremely egocentric, but I nevertheless feared they would notice my otherwordliness and spread it around, turning my death into a rumour, thus making it public, then boring – it would end up sharing the fate of similar manifestations: losing all credibility through wear and tear.

– Ugh, it’s so dark and stuffy in here! Like a grave! – said Anja, sitting down. She threw a glance at Adalbert, motioning him to roll a joint.

I didn’t want them to get suspicious, so I turned the light on, pulled back the curtains, slightly opened the window, switched on the radio, offered them a glass of wine, then got into  bed. I had to simply give in to dying and renounce all malice, delusions, truths, lies, my career… Still, I was able to hear them. They were luring an idea.

– Have you ever noticed – said Anja – that you always lose things in threes? When I was little, I once lost my pencil, my eraser and a hairpin. Today I lost my umbrella, my car keys and a payment slip. Do you understand that principle?

Adalbert and I exchanged looks. I sank deeper into the bed, refusing to participate further.

– Yes – said Adalbert – that’s true. When your first boyfriend left you, you lost your virginity, friendship and love.

Anja sprang up from the chair, flushed with anger.

– You are such a jerk, always bringing that up.

– Sit down and calm down – said Adalbert, drinking his wine.

Offended, she looked away. Then she sat down and said:

– Go on, roll another one.

Adalbert crushed the hashish into small pieces.

– You are so cynical and weak, you never fight for anything. I don’t know what to do with you – said Anja and scratched her eyebrow – And will somebody please change the music, it’s so funereal – she screamed and turned towards the speakers.

Adalbert’s eyes searched mine. I ignored him and just kept looking at the edge of my cover. He offered her the joint. She inhaled.

– We should go and live somewhere else. Here, everything has become so predictable. Nothing surprises me anymore – said Anja, exhaling smoke, and gave him back the joint.

– We could go to South America – said Adalbert.

– No way, not with all those snakes and poisonous spiders. Disgusting.

– Then let’s go to Northern Europe.

– Absolutely not. I’m freezing just thinking about it.

– What about a small tropical desert island?

– You can’t afford it. Stop daydreaming and start thinking about how we’re going to pay our heating bill.

– We’ll burn our books. It’ll make us warm – said Adalbert.

– Here we go again. The human ostrich. You bury your head in sarcasm and wait till I get over reality.

– Are you even listening to yourself? – asked Adalbert.

– Of course. What else is there for me to do but listen to myself? I can’t hear anything nice from you. I’ll tell you what happened to me today. While I was going home from work, I ran into my ex-boyfriend.

Adalbert groaned.

– Hey! Don’t start with me! Give me back the joint.

– I thought I already mentioned it to you? Besides, I thought we could tell each other everything? Anyway, he barely looked at me. He just slipped a brochure into my pocket and went on his way. Here it is…

Anja fished around in her bag, took out a worn out brochure and put it on the table, beside the ashtray. It was a miniature guide through consciousness, no bigger than the palm of your hand. Adalbert kept his cool. He stubbed out the joint and gulped down his wine.

– You’re still thinking about him, aren’t you?

– You are so retrogressive! It’s unbelievable! To think that when I met you, I was sure you were the one and only man for me. You can talk with him about anything, I said to myself. Crappy toothpicks, deformed foetuses, an elephant’s scent… I thought we’d be able to share everything, but no! You stumble over the most banal things. Your thoughts are all focused on preserving your sense of self. Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom.

Adalbert shot me a brief, deliberate glance and started rolling another joint. “Women!” he said and licked the paper. I nodded. The feeling of mutual understanding permeated the friendly silence – a silence so strong that it wasn’t disturbed even by the sudden racket somewhere in the apartment. We didn’t even notice when Anja came back.

– What’s that noise? – she asked, annoyed.

– Seems like your folks are back. They’re doing some remodeling – said Adalbert.

– Men! You still think about your parents. Of course, if you can’t become something yourselves, you talk about it!

– Come on, just sit down and stop babbling. Always with the same tone…

– Did you roll it yet? Oh, I love this song! – she said and started dancing in front of the loudspeakers.

– Go roll it yourself.

He angrily threw everything on the desk covered with papers, turned white, got up and went to the bathroom.

We were alone now. Anja was sitting and rolling a joint.

I avoided looking at her. The most feminine lines of her body could jeopardize my deadness. She inhaled.

– You see what I have to put up with? After seven years, I have no idea what I’m doing with him. Sometimes I don’t understand myself, like, at all. I can’t even accept my own opinion, I keep going astray. Just listen to the way I talk. I sound like like a commercial for anxiety. Maybe we really should go and live somewhere else? This is the land of endless adolescence. I feel unfinished! I just want to realize my potential and be fulfilled... And if I don’t recognize my own feeling, I become my own delusion. Of course I can’t understand myself! Besides, I could never leave him. I can’t stand the thought of talking about him to some future boyfriend like I talk to him about my ex. Would you please turn down the volume, I can’t hear us talk! – she screamed and turned towards the loudspeakers.

Adalbert appeared in the room. His colour was back.

– What took you so long? I have to sit here and talk bullshit while waiting for you. When you’re gone, I feel terribly uncomfortable.

As their eyes met, they both sparkled.

They dove into each other with their gaze. Suddenly, their bodies entwined in an embrace. They were kissing and rolling on the floor, covering each other with gentle caresses. They were sighing quietly, deeply. I looked away. It reminded me of the fact that I was no longer alive.

– Want to go home? – Anja whispered.

– We’ll have to be quiet, because of your mother.

– Pantomime fornicators – purred Anja.

– Scream stiflers – replied Adalbert, adding – We’ll go out through the window. A bit of adventure, what do you say?

– Excellent. What a great idea.

Anja finished her joint in silence, while Adalbert finished his wine.

I followed them out with my eyes, looking over the sheet. They climbed on the window sill, ducking their heads.

– What’s this? – asked Adalbert, one foot already on our neighbour’s balcony.

– Nothing. Leave it. – I said from the bed.

Those were my sketches of various crosses, the last remnants of life. A bed bug wriggled out of the window frame and scurried over the sketches, towards the wall. Anja automatically screamed, stamped on it and squashed it. I closed my eyes. It crackled delicately.

Friends are there only to remind you of the things you want to forget.

– Give me your hand, you idiot! I could have slipped! – I heared Anja shout from outside the window.

– Stop yelling! Don’t yank on me so viciously! Let go of my leg! – Adalbert was saying brusquely.

They jumped into the night, landed securely on the ground and walked away through the rain.

 

Translated by the author



[1] ASPIL – Agency for the Spying, Protection and Innovation of Language.

o nama

Dobitnik nagrade "Sedmica i Kritična masa 2020" je Filip Rutić

Dobitnik književne nagrade "Sedmica i Kritična masa 2020" za mlade prozaiste je Filip Rutić (1997).
Nagrađena priča ''Riža s kečapom, blagim ili ljutim” ima snažan pečat 2020, a autoru je uspjelo kroz nepretenciozan ton i jedan neobičan odnos dati sliku opće nestabilnosti u eri korone i potresa.
U užem izboru nagrade, osim nagrađenog Rutića, bili su Lucija Švaljek, Iva Hlavač, Luca Kozina, Marina Gudelj, Vid Hribar i Darko Šeparović.
Ovo je bio peti nagradni natječaj koji raspisuje Kritična masa, a partner nagrade je cafe-bar Sedmica (Kačićeva 7, Zagreb). Nagrada se sastoji od plakete i novčanog iznosa (5.000 kuna bruto). U žiriju nagrade bile su članice redakcije Viktorija Božina i Ilijana Marin, te vanjski članovi Branko Maleš i Damir Karakaš.

intervju

Filip Rutić: Književnost bez novih glasova i perspektiva pretvara se u historiografiju

Predstavljamo uži izbor nagrade ''Sedmica & Kritična masa''

Filip je u uži izbor ušao s pričom ''Riža s kečapom, blagim ili ljutim''. Standardnim setom pitanja predstavljamo jednog od trojice muških natjecatelja.

o nama

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' 2020 - uži izbor

Nakon šireg izbora slijedi uži izbor nagrade ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' za mlade prozne autore. Pogledajte tko su sedmero odabranih.

o nama

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' - popis šireg izbora, pred objavu užeg

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' za mlade autorice i autore do 35 godina starosti bliži se svome kraju. Ovo je peto izdanje nagrade, utemeljene 2015. godine, koja pruža pregled mlađe prozne scene (širi i uži izbor) i promovira nova prozna imena. Prva nagrada iznosi 5.000 kuna (bruto iznos) i dodjeljuje se uz plaketu. Prethodnih su godina nagradu dobile Ana Rajković, Jelena Zlatar, Marina Gudelj i Mira Petrović.

proza

Marina Gudelj: Ljudi na uglu ulice, pokraj prodavaonice pića

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Marina Gudelj (1988., Split) završila je Hrvatski jezik i književnost na Sveučilištu u Zadru. Radi kao nastavnica Hrvatskog jezika u školi. Prvi književni rad, kratka priča Semafor, šahta, apoteka, birtija objavljena je u Zarezu 2015. godine. Iste je godine osvojila prvu književnu nagradu na portalu KSET-a za priču Kamo idu irske mačke. 2017. godine osvaja prvo mjesto na natječaju Kritične mase za priču Lee. S istom pričom iduće godine sudjeluje na LitLink festivalu u Zagrebu. 2018. godine osvaja treće mjesto s pričom Dulcinea na konjaku na 17. izdanju Festivala europske kratke priče, a krajem iste godine ulazi u uži izbor natječaja Prvi Prozak i Na vrhu jezika s pričom Vještica. 2019. godine osvaja nagradu Prvi Prozak za autore do 35 godina starosti, a objava zbirke priča očekuje se sredinom 2020. godine.

proza

Vid Hribar: Bilješke za preživljavanje

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Vid Hribar (1993., Zagreb) je trenutno na završnoj godini diplomskog studija na odsjeku dramaturgije pri Akademiji dramske umjetnosti u Zagrebu. Piše scenarije, drame, poeziju, kratke priče, uz to se bavi komponiranjem i sviranjem klavira u brojnim zagrebačkim bendovima. Na radiju se izvode njegove ''Nule i ništice'' (2017.), radiodrama inspirirana motivima Harmsove istoimene zbirke kratkih priča, drama ''Oskarov san'' (2019.) te ''Od Vlaške do Britanca'' (2019.). Njegova drama ''Tuneli'' prevedena je na makedonski jezik od strane Makedonskog centra ITI, a njegova drama ''404'' objavljena je na portalu drame.hr. Kao kompozitor radi na nizu kazališnih, filmskih, televizijskih te radiodramskih projekata.

proza

Luca Kozina: Grbava plesačica

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Luca Kozina (1990., Split) piše prozu i poeziju. Radovi su joj objavljeni u časopisima: Zarez, Fantom Slobode, Mogućnosti, Republika, u zborniku Rukopisi 43 te na internetu (Zvona i Nari, Književnost Uživo, Kultipraktik, Nema). Dobitnica je nagrade Prozak za 2019. godinu. Piše književne kritike za portal Booksa. Članica je književne grupe NKV.

proza

Petra Bolić: Hans.

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Petra Bolić (1992., Varaždinu) studirala je francuski jezik i književnost, kulturološku germanistiku i književno-interkulturalnu južnoslavistiku na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu i Karl-Franzens Universität u Grazu. Znanstveno polje interesa su joj njemačko-južnoslavenski kulturno-književni transferi i suvremena slovenska proza. U slobodno se vrijeme bavi književnim prevođenjem i književnom kritikom. Vlastitu je kratku prozu do današnjega dana skrivala u ladicama.

proza

Ivana Pintarić: Propuštanje riječi

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ivana Pintarić (1988., Zagreb) je edukacijski rehabilitator. Piše poeziju i kratke priče. Ulomkom iz romana ''Gorimo (ali ne boli više)'' ušla je u finale izbora za nagradu "Sedmica & Kritična masa" 2015. godine. Ulazi u širi izbor nagrade "Sedmica & Kritična masa" 2017. ulomkom iz romana "Ovo nije putopis o Americi". Bila je polaznica Booksine radionice pisanja kratke priče pod mentorstvom Zorana Ferića. Objavila je radove na portalima kultipraktik.org i booksa.hr. Objavila je priču u časopisu Fantom slobode. Članica je književne grupe ZLO koja okuplja mlade pisce različitih književnih afiniteta i usmjerenja, koji zajednički promiču ''mladu'' književnost, sudjeluju na književnim natječajima, festivalima te organiziraju književne susrete i čitanja.

proza

Josip Čekolj: Kokoši ne letiju visoko

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Josip Čekolj (1999., Zabok) student je treće godine kroatistike te etnologije i kulturne antropologije na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu. Dosad je svoje pjesme i kratke priče objavljivao u hrvatskim i regionalnim časopisima i zbornicima poput ''Rukopisa'', ''Alepha'', ''PoZiCe'', zbornika Gornjogradskog književnog festivala, Po(e)zitive i drugih te na portalima Kritična masa, Strane, Poeziju na štrikove, Čovjek-časopis i NEMA. Ovog ljeta izdaje dječju slikovnicu ''Srna i Mak u potrazi za uplašenim mjesecom'' u nakladi Mala zvona. S pjesničkim rukopisom ''Junaci i zmajevi su izumiruće vrste'' ušao je uži krug za nagradu ''Na vrh jezika'' 2019. godine.

proza

Ana Vučić: U Limbu

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ana Vučić (1992., Karlovac) još uvijek pokušava završiti Kroatistiku i Sociologiju na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu. Dosad su joj objavljene neke pjesme i jedan ulomak u studentskim časopisima i na Kritičnoj masi. Otkad je Jastrebarsko zamijenila Zagrebom piše tek neznatno više. U slobodno vrijeme čita, gleda sport i serije te mašta o obrani diplomskog rada u normalnim okolnostima. Vrhuncem svoje dosadašnje književne karijere smatra sudjelovanje na prvoj Kroeziji u kafiću Luxor.

proza

Ivan Katičić: Klošari

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ivan Katičić (1990., Split) objavio je zbirku kratkih priča ''Pet metara bliže zvijezdama'' (Pučko otvoreno učilište Velika Gorica, 2016.). Živi i ne radi u Omišu.

proza

Gabrijel Delić: Orlovski

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Gabrijel Delić (1998., Zagreb) napisao je nekoliko članaka na temu automobilizma objavljenih na jednoj britanskoj web-stranici i poneku kratku priču od kojih je zadnja objavljena u regionalnom natječaju ''Biber'' za 2019. godinu.

Stranice autora

Književna Republika Relations PRAVOnaPROFESIJU LitLink mk zg