What Is the Color of Foreigners?

/, Reviews, Blesok no. 118/What Is the Color of Foreigners?

What Is the Color of Foreigners?

What Is the Color of Foreigners?


The novel “No Oui” is a thick and impressively written book, created with the crossing of documentary historical events and authentic characters – faced with life abroad and personal pilgrimage as a destiny term and existential metaphor, previously found and already a striking component of Dimkovska’s creative work.

In a skilled and layered way, this novel reveals the silent, but no less than deep tragic flavor of the family dramas and traumas (family separations, divisions and alienations). Regardless of all seriousness of the theme, the narration takes place is a warm and close tone of the narrator-girl, while the text is seasoned with strange and comical scenes, which contributes to the playfulness and lightness of the otherwise distressful human situations, when one is thrown into history (with memories from World War II mixing with events indicative for the most immediate present).

The defiant spirit of antifascism prevails in this book, founded in a real space and town, such as Split, which, in the course of the narration grows into a universal chronotope and symbol (of the impossible dream) of return, or at least, travel – home.

The novel is based on the doubling principle, found on couple of grounds, starting from the title itself, which is a bit humoristic and non-binding, alluding to the eternal ambivalence, division, inability to be based on something, in-between: yes and no, between “us” and “the others (inside us)”, between the black and white, in life, as well as in writing (an indicative duality, which is actually visible in the very title of the author’s latest poetry collection – “Black on White”).

This principle of doubling further persists in the procedure of building the characters in the book: more precisely, in the reflected repeating of their names – grandmother Neda (whose conditionality of the name seems to also predetermine the conditionality of her life choices and actions) – as the main hero of the story and her granddaughter under the same name, Neda, as the narrator and witness of an unusual life story and destiny. The typical light motif, which is often repeated in the patting-like address of the grandmother “ajme, Nede”, also sounds like a symbol of their permanent conspiracy, even in the times when the grandmother, because of her demention, forgets the Italian language and slips back into her mother (Croatian) tongue – in this way, becoming inaccessible for communication with the other family members.

Thus, the seemingly spontaneous and open chats (of the narrator and grandmother Nedeljka) in this not very long (but impressive) work are a real small existential “bequeathed” wealth.

2018-09-25T09:47:49+00:00 March 27th, 2018|Categories: Literature, Reviews, Blesok no. 118|0 Comments