To the question of the journalist Toni Dimkov “How many words are enough to express a feeling or emotion?” regarding the choice of the short form, from an incomplete page to a maximum one page and a line or two extra, Bakovska herself in an interview says: “With the fact that I chose the short story (or the short lyrical prose) as a literary form, I probably thought there was no need for many words. For some of the stories here I’ve even been told that they are more poetry than prose. However, for me, at this moment in my creative life, the choice of the manner in which I would express the things that lie in my soul (to use such a cliché) was also related to the intensity of the emotion I felt. The thicker and more intense the emotion (and this period has been such – thick, heavy and emotionally intense), the shorter and more concise the text that will convey it, now and immediately, at the moment when it appeared” (Bakovska, in Dimkov, 2020: web, without pagination). This tells us that obviously for Bakovska this autobiographical collection is a kind of art therapy, a wonderful opportunity to share her sighs through words to save them from oblivion, in fact they were first posted on her Facebook profile. But the unpretentiousness of such an approach of occasionally registered free associations is not contrary to Bakovska’s aspiration to bring every text to perfection. This results in refined sentences in which everything flows calmly and easily, and even the twist surprises us gently, perhaps because, as she herself says, “in my heart I’m a lyricist despite the fact that I write prose” (Bakovska in Jolevski, 2020: web, without pagination). In fact, we always expect that extremely precise lyrical expression as a benchmark for Bakovska who adheres extremely strictly to her high standards, both when translating and when writing poetry, prose or literary theory and criticism. In this context, her latest work builds on the previous two collections of short stories she has published, Four Seasons: Essays on Essentials (Blesok, 2004) and The Last Sips: Essays on Essentials, Second Time (self-published, 2018), because as Olivera Kjorveziroska wrote, those stories were “a book of and for the memory, a notebook from the past placed under the table of the present, to make it more stable, so that it doesn’t shake” (Kjorveziroska, quoted according to Okno, 2019).
I have no doubt that the readers will recognize this prose by Bakovska in all its literary and aesthetic, but also empathetic and universal human dimension. “In the end, when the details are distilled, about the way someone experienced something, the one common thing is the emotion, the feeling that caused in us by a certain life experience” (Bakovska in Jolevski, 2020: web, without pagination). Thus refined and felt, maybe these emotions will bring to light your memories, maybe the author’s memories will press play of some other songs from your music notebook, maybe we are all just lyrical refrains from all the songs and memories of our parents, partners and children.
Баковска Елизабета, „Во главата слушам песна (лирски рефрени)“, Скопје: Или-или, 2020
Димков Тони, Разговор со писателката Елизабета Баковска: Емоцијата е она што на светот му дава значење и смисла, Културен печат број 42, Слободен печат, 4 август 2020, https://www.slobodenpecat.mk/razgovor-so-pisatelkata-elizabeta-bakovska-emoczijata-e-ona-shto-na-svetot-mu-dava-znachene-i-smisla/ Accessed on 28.09.2020
Јолевски Љупчо, Баковска: Во душата сум лиричар и покрај тоа што пишувам проза, Радио Слободна Европа, април 23, 2019, https://www.slobodnaevropa.mk/a/29898882.html Accessed on 28.09.2020
Малеска Калина, Немирни сеќавања со траги од сегашноста, во Баковска Елизабета, „Во главата слушам песна (лирски рефрени)“, Скопје: Или-или, 2020
— Промоција на збирката раскази „Последните голтки“ од Елизабета Баковска, Окно, 25.02.2019, https://okno.mk/node/76918 Accessed on 28.09.2020