(on the book by Kristina Nikolovska: “Metaphor of Belonging,” Zojder, Skopje, 1999, 514)
The first book by Kristina Nikolovska is directed towards two entities: the metaphor of belonging and contemporary Macedonian poetry, more precisely towards the problem of the nature, presence, and function of this stylistic device in the given corpus of poetry.
The book Metaphor of Belonging published by “Zorder” from Skopje came out as a result of her magisterial work. It is an extensive work consisting of 514 pages, and can conditionally be divided into two parts.
The first part, comprising about 160 pages, presents the theory of the metaphor of belonging, as well as the indispensable key for reading of this stylistic device from a technical point of view. This theory is imparted in a few chapters. Hence, first and foremost, she explains the idea itself and its structure, with a particular review of the theory of divergence. Afterwards, in the part Typology she speaks about two types of metaphors: living and dead i.e. lexicalised metaphors. The next chapter refers to the identification, systematisation, and interpretation of semantic nuclei. Through the overview of the variety of metaboles, in the fourth chapter she deals with the metaphor of belonging itself, which is an object of her interest. Furthermore, she investigates several more phenomena of the metaphor of belonging such as its place and role in the context, its synchronical and diachronical perspective as well as its status in contemporary Macedonian poetry.
The second part of Kristina Nikolovska’s first book is composed of an inventory of the metaphor of belonging in contemporary Macedonian poetry, which is in essence a Dictionary of the Metaphor of Belonging in Contemporary Macedonian Poetry and consists of 310 pages. This dictionary is based upon the works of twenty distinguished Macedonian poets (K. Racin, S. Janevski, B. Koneski, A. Šopov, G. Ivanovski, S. Ivanovski, M. Matevski, G. Todorovski, C. Andreevski, A. Popovski, J. Koteski, D. Ručigaj, P.M. Andreevski, V. Urošević, P.T. Boškovski, M. Rendžov, R. Pavlovski, B. Gjuzel, C. Jakimovski, E. Kletnikov), who wrote poetry in the period from 1939 until 1992, which means more than fifty years. This fact points to two ordinary orientations in the analysis of this problem. On the one hand, an opportunity for a total synchronic perspective during the research, and on the other hand, a diachronical perspective as an evolutionary outline of the processes. Hereby, approximately 160 books of poetry or nearly 160,000 verses have been considered. The names of the authors are given in an alphabetical order, whereas for the inventory of works the author uses the chronological criterion. In her research, she starts from the results of the current neorhetorics (J. Cohen, M. Raiffater, Grupatta Mi) according to which, the figurative speech and thereby the metaphor of belonging itself is defined as: anomaly, divergence, offence, or deviation in reference to a given norm. Her entire research is stylistic by nature and as such, as Atanas Vangelov says in the foreword to this book, enters the very centre of the modern treatises in literature.
What are the results found by Kristina Nikolovska and presented in her work? The metaphor of belonging itself gains a status of a unique discursive mechanism, cliché, or stereotype in the poetry of Mateja Matevski. It appears as an individual standard in the poetry of R. Pavlovski, E. Kletnikov, and Bogomil Gjuzel. On a collective plan, this metaphor gains a status of a manner or way of writing poetry at the beginning of the sixties. In the practice of the poets: J. Koteski, S. Janevski, V. Urošević, A. Popovski, G. Todorovski, and M. Rendžov the figure of belonging occurs as an evident stylistic fact. It is confirmed as a quantitatively reduced phenomenon with the poets K. Racin, B. Koneski, A. Šopov, S. Ivanovski, P.M. Andreevski, G. Ivanovski, and the authors with fewer collections of poems: C. Andreevski, P.T. Boškovski, C. Jakimovski, and D. Ručigaj.
On the one hand, the book Metaphor of Belonging poses before us a crucial and to the same extent complex issue that in a general sense is an integral segment of the general field i.e. metaphorics. This is the reason why this work is very significant. On the other hand, in Macedonian literature science this issue has no great tradition. Most frequently Macedonian literary researchers have indirectly come across this issue, through its incorporation into the theses and antitheses related to the “old” and “the new” i.e. the modernism favoured through surrealism (D. Mitrev, A. Spasov, M. Gjurchinov). In Macedonian literary criticism, general metaphorics as an interdisciplinary medium is widely present in the work Macedonian Verse by G. Stalev, then Metaphor and Contemporary Macedonian Poetry by Katica Kjulavkova, as well as in the works Tired Words and Metaphor of Belonging in Contemporary Macedonian Poetry by Atanas Vangelov.
Hence, the book Metaphor of Belonging by Kristina Nikolovska and especially The Dictionary placed in this book is the first one, not only for her, but also in Macedonian literary science and criticism.
Translated by: Kristina Zimbakova