prose

Slađana Bukovac: Countryside - sample from an untitled novel

Listen to those mathematically identical pauses between the hoof beats, that trackless train engine which one must subordinate to one's own uncoordinated movements.




 

 

Hundreds, thousands of hours wedged between worn out, always worn out pieces of woodwork, between school chairs of minimal manufacturing complexity designed with the best humanist intentions and their matching ascetic tables, all these efforts to understand exactly and globally, comparative methods, abstract thinking and experiments. Today at five o'clock in the afternoon, just like at any other time of day tomorrow and yesterday, as she's trying to walk in front of the bridled nag, in front of her, that is, not parallel with her fore legs or, even worse, skipping behind her shoulders, behind the shoulders of that damned perfectly balanced animal that can coordinate better on four legs than she could on two, she faces the same, unpredictable and irreparable educational deficit made when one did not go for two more hours of riding, among the children of wanton and distracted parents. Who mimic the educational model of the British aristocracy, meaning piano, French and riding lessons on patient nags. These ten year olds, raised to be vain, but mostly without the talent to become arrogant, wouldn't aim for the narrow wooden door on the fence like this, me like this, the horse like this, and then a bow and a picador's cape sweep through the dust, the prettiest movement is an unnoticed one, we passed through the door tramping melodiously, we didn't get stuck on the croup between the wooden stakes. It's too late now, Jelena thinks every day of her only riding experience, of a horse who, she now knows, was a retired hurdler, with the astonishingly long and slim legs of a supermodel, the fence of the manege barely reached his groin, and she had to hold on to the saddle with both hands in order to lift the flat-heeled boot, which she now knows is unacceptable when on a horse, up to the stirrup, and straddle that animal that didn't fill her with trust, but forced her with its anatomy to sit up straight for what must have been the first time in her life, to understand the meaning of uprightness, which had nothing to do with class and arms crossed behind the school chairs, from that position, the riders position, Jelena first saw in an almost shocking manner what a spine was for, and then followed the disastrous report on the state of her character, because horses know everything you can possibly know about human failures, they recognise hesitation and feigned vigor when pulling the reins, cowardice masked as empathy in lukewarm goading, the evolutionary fall of the lovers of plush puppies and kittens who are no longer bold enough to use the whip.

 

Controlling a horse meant controlling life, it's a skill you have to master at any cost, but Jelena nevertheless never came back, although she wasn't afraid, not at that point, she comforted herself with lack of time and the high cost of training, she justified herself with contempt for the exclusive character of riding, she defended herself from that terrible personal defeat as well as she could. Long term, the damage was enormous. She became painfully aware people were divided into those who ride and those who don't, that the position of rider was the only measure of meaning to someone's biography, and that the speed of reflexes was immeasurably superior to intelligence after the fact, however masterfully reflexive that intelligence may be.

 

The nag hesitated at the stable entrance. Then she pulled her usual trick: lifting her head suddenly, she tried to rip the reins from her hands. Jelena was ready for it, her harmless mutiny is part of an everyday ritual. Earlier she'd often get scared and let her go, even when she could hang on to her, partly because she understood her unwillingness to return to the obscure area of the box two hours before dusk, and partly because that image of a horse, with its head raised and its eyes turned downward, was simultaneously terrible and fascinating, like a direct insight into insanity, an omen of disaster, a hundredth of a second of a frame from a dream laden with symbols of the unconscious.

She's pretty, nicely built, with a refined head, delicate nostrils, dramatically dark, doe-like eyes. She's not pretty in a phantasmagoric way like thoroughbreds are, she's a mixture of a hot blooded and cold blooded horse; the usual and time tested recipe for an obedient, stable horse meant for beginners, invalids, those suffering from cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.

 

About ten of them visit the ranch every month with their caretakers. The caretakers are mostly parents whose duty is to try and outlive their own children, because the usual, reversed biological order is working directly against them. There is no free, or even cheap sanctuary for young men and girls with twisted limbs and distorted heads fixed on the headrest of the wheelchair, there is no humane solution, it's beyond the ability of every general-purpose philanthropist, so these parents live in the hell of longevity, condemned to timelessness, vitality and optimism, and can't afford loosening, sickness and death. Sick children (no matter what their age, they're always children) mostly expressly ask for this nag, Tara, she's used to walking in circles for hours in a slow, steady tempo, eating apples from a cramped hand in a wheelchair, rubbing her head on their locked shoulders. She's the muse of the handicapped, her framed photographs stand and hang in the neat living rooms of these homes, forever defined by misfortune, photographs on which those who were never walkers become riders, and witness with their happy faces the miracle that a simple horse can produce.

 

Two parts of oat and a bale of hay. The goat, who lives with Tara in the same box, and awaits her return from pasture always in the same position, with her front hooves over the fence, like a curious neighbor, grabbed the oats first again. Standing on her hind legs, her head is deep in the bowl. The nag sometimes bites her and chases her away, but very rarely. Mostly she just calmly watches the goat eat her food, and eats what's left over. Why does a big animal allow a small one to deprive her of an elementary need, food? if there is an explanation for it, it wasn't available to Jelena. A horse can kill with one blow, or at the very least mutilate a goat. She can hurt her by accident, in a state of anxiety or fear, and fear and anxiety are very common states in the world of horses, in the world of a prey animal, used through evolution to being attacked by perfectly organised packs, tearing off pieces of flesh from its legs and body from several sides at once, until the victim kneels and collapses, so they can bite through her neck and eat enough to secure energy for the next few days, or weeks. Were Tara and the goat friends, in some way? Every morning when she gets in the stable, she finds them in the same position, with their heads over the fence, the same eye movements, a similar look on their faces. The goat with her hooves on the board, a curious suburban neighbor lady, the horse with her hooves on the ground, but identifying with the goat's silliness, a kitsch image of an idyllic family. They've tried to separate them but the goat kept coming back, either from self-interest or loyalty, or both.

 

"Horses don't want to kill", the Righteous One once said, when he was trying to teach Jelena to block a galloping stallions path with her hands above her head. "Horses don't want to kill." "Horses don't want to kill." "Kill." Could a quadrupedal animal really understand the meaning of murder and death, violent death? The link between a blow of the hoof, the ending of an irritating nuisance, like a fly in reach of the tail or a goat with its head in the bowl, with a taboo that isn't its taboo, which doesn't concern it, the taboo of murder? And if there is no taboo, what's left is empathy. There are no large animals that don't kill small ones out of empathy. Buddhists don't kill ants, but not because of empathy, but for religious beliefs. People mostly don't kill their pets, but that has nothing to do with empathy, it's about complex psychological and social mechanisms, identification, anthropomorphism; complicated, but harmless deviations.

 

An unseemly curious goat, a neighbor in a housecoat with her annoying braying, perchance the horse's friend, every morning safe and sound, unharmed. There is no explanation. There is no explanation, unless one succumbs to the myths from the melodramatic genre, about the eternal good that lives in Lassie who's coming home, just like Saint Francis of Assisi. Good isn't eternal, it's sporadic, and inexplicable. Sometimes it's a consequence of thorough breeding or successful dressage, but, unlike evil, which is reliable and transparent, almost mathematically predictable, it's mostly unexplainable. Jelena fears what she can't understand, and she can't understand horses.

 

The Righteous One knows nothing about people, he's completely face blind, he can't read discomfort, polite refusal, absentmindedness, he can't see where a joke ends and offense begins, he can't tell false enthusiasm from the real thing. Occasionally he's suspected of being bereft of empathy, which turns out to be unprovable and pointless every time. He knows horses, which is superior, you can live off horses. Off people too, and even their moods, but it's slippery turf you're better off not stepping into.

 

Jelena likes to think she knows a thing or two about people. It's no exact knowledge, she's infantile, she responds to movements, to other people's energy, her nervous system is programmed much like that of a horse.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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