Particular drama readings in the Balkans

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Particular drama readings in the Balkans

Second message: work is a mean for man’s freedom, gaining life wisdom: opposite to the useless, “ideal” society of the baron Thunder-ten-tronckh, exactly as replaced with the productive society of Popontide. Candide is the only one who wants to make the life of the people better. The ultimate lesson from the story is: the man is created for action, as it is the only thing that makes the life bearable.
Out of the other interesting ideas, we should mention the following, derived also from the subtitle of the novel – the idea of optimism. It is uttered through the dialogue of Candide and his companion Cacambo: On the Cucambo`s question What is optimism, Candide answers: Oh, (unfortunately) it is to claim everything to be good when is bad.
Andonovski in his palimpsest of Voltaire’s Candide as if he starts right from this point, the common bind between their two worlds comprise– the optimism of Candide as result of his delusion he lives in the most ideal, of all societies (although in this society he is totally degraded because of his suspicious background as illegitimate son) also at Candide by V. Andonovski – the illusion for the best of all worlds, (Balkan’s variant), is the oasis of peace, under protection of UN. The most beautiful of all worlds (at Voltaire) – is the world where the philosophy of Pangloss rules.
In The Candide in Wonderland (by Andonovski) – the world is in question where the logic has its rule (the king forbids any doubt). According the received education he is metaphisic-theolocigic– cosmolonigocologist – (same as Pangloss) – he defenses the idea: every thing has its cause– there is no consequence without the reason, in the best world of all worlds everything has its logical aim. Nevertheless – the problem is – “whenever you want to speak logically, you feel like saying a joke, pardon me, as if it wants to shit over your logic, as the devil at Cepenkov shitted over peasant’s door”.3F Only the illogicality is funny and humorous. As emphasized in the text, the logic is invented to justify the violence, to justify the own enslaved soul. People are perfidious: moan against the king, but they accept the slavery voluntarily, calculable. They are masochistic people. They all call upon the logic to find the alibi for their slavery reflex. The logic itself is dungeon according to Andonovski. Man enters the dungeon voluntarily, because it offers him masochistic security.
For Andonovski it is also a temporal intrigue, nevertheless with many references to the actual events, which offer the reader an unusual/inexplicable viewing of the known facts. In Candide in Wonderland, the Voltaire’s famous hero “falls from the sky as Deus ex machine in the evil tragedy”4F (carrying humanitarian aid from France).
His reaction after his arrival is: the people from the Balkan live in an unseen tyranny, apart from their conviction that they think logically, they actually haven`t got any clue what is real logic.
The king, according his education is metaphysic – cosmologokongologist – assumes that all things have aim, i.e. there is no consequence without reason. Thus, the Balkan (Wonderland), according that logic, is the best world of all worlds, that the things can not be better then what they already are, as everything is created with a certain aim (the best one). Nevertheless is it only according to authority (his highness), but according to Candide, the representative of the “holy honor of the west philosophy and democracy, and the graves of his French grandfathers the encyclopedists and his mother logic”5F, the tyranny rules here, and he in accordance to his principles, swears that he is going to liberate this people from the tyranny of the merciless grandmother, and the Cunegonde, from the sexual slavery and shameless credit.
From his aspect – everything here is actually absurd. The authority, as the oldest thing in the world (shown as king – grandmother), does everything in purpose to swallow everyone (allusion of the wolf from the Red Ridding Hood – it has big ears to hear everything, a big mouth – to swallow everything that opposes it). Its strength is not in the power of giving orders, but in the inexplicable readiness of each miserable biped to obey the orders. Supplementary: the world is not full of torments because of the tyrants, but because of the fools fulfilling the orders. There is something dark in the man that forces him to be slave, to be worm, to creep to crawl. Even the God escaped from these people as a reason of their subduing to everything, even to the devil. There from, the logic, which everyone cites to, and the authority before all, are invented only to justify the violence, to justify own slavery soul, to acknowledge that the things could not be better then they already are. The logic is alibi for the reflex of the slavery; it is the dungeon where everyone voluntarily enters.
Hereby, according to Candide by Andonovski, two options, two perspectives for this areas result from: tyranny (totalitarism) and democracy (madness, anarchy). In the first option, only one thinks logically, the others subdue. In the other: everyone thinks logically, and when everybody simulate wisdom, the world become mad house – there is no prosperity, here everyone rule – nobody in fact.
Therefore, Candide poses himself a question: if this world is the best of all, what are the others like?
According to Cucumbo, this is the world where there is not a legal state, not even the God, as disappointed in people He left them to a certain evil creature.
As a consequence, one million killers are running from one to another end of the Europe, and disciplinary are killing and plundering all with the purpose to earn a living, because they know, not more dissent trade.
In this kind of world – the intellectuals are eunuchs, gaining the civil service have not any responsibility of having their own point of view for anything. Thereof the curriculum policy is important to be set; that no one could surpass the king with the education (he finished only second primary class. Thus the alphabet constantly changes so no one could be able to pass the first primary class).
As Voltaire, Andonovski also mentions the option of the garden (“We are going to buy a small house in a peaceful village. I will build a small garden. We are going to plant cabbages and potatoes. We will breed rabbits”, he says to Cunegonde). Nevertheless, it is retold as a calming fairytale, without assurance of its possible realization.
The rationalist Candide fits very difficult into the system in the land of logic, i.e. of wonders, and has to be executed. But the salvation comes right from the defect of the system – or as “the illogic came again, pardon me as well as at Cepenkov, climbed the timber and shitted the logic right into the…”6F, i.e. as the suspension of the investigative judge, accused for irregular working, as typically Balkans way of people`s behaving towards the authority – the moment they have the authority in their hands they violate it i.e. do not respect it. Thus, suddenly Candide gains double role – of a prisoner and of their own supervisor. After the suggestion from the voice of the democracy the supervisor liberates the prisoner – i.e. liberates himself. Hence the end at Andonovski obviously suggests the activistic principle – the liberation of the man/individual/intellectual has to result from the personal engagement, of personal choice, that leads towards an existential comprehension you can become man only through the accomplished act, not by the various mimicries who will hide himself behind the established authorities (No matter from the logic of the authority, false optimism or the servile intellectualism).
In his expressive postmodern action, Andonovski takes not only the main hero from Voltaire and his same named novel, but at the same time builds his text with one masterly performed citation, which provides additional aesthetic satisfaction for the audience. Thus in some way all the lines are double coded – from Voltaire, but also from Andonovski. In Candide the auto-referent expressions of this kind are frequent: “Cunegonde: Haven’t we met before, maybe in some other worlds, some film, some play. As I know your name”.7F
In the text scenes/dialogues from Dostoevsky are used – from his The House of the Dead, for example the idea of God’s nonexistence by which everything is possible (for the shallow minds). It is a procedure of typically postmodern frittering with the world literature – from Red Ridding Hood to Cepenkov, through Alice in Wonderland, till V. Urošević (“comiti” – haiduks are models in the landscape), K. Čašule, and others.
Conclusion: The world literature abundances the descriptions of violence, of tyranny, of slavery mentality, so that Andonovski, using the frame of the Voltaire’s Candide, uses this sources in his play all in purpose to emphasize his speaking about the very famous, old truth, discovered long ago, about the relationship of the individual and the authority, of the terrorism and the freedom, of the false freedom, of the intellectuals` weakness, achieving drastically their dimensions right in the Balkans, so it can simply not be transformed into the oasis of peace. (Accurately – it is a false oasis of peace, so that the authority can calm its conscience and without any obstacle to rule – in a Balkans way it means – without obstacle to use public goods as it own).
The dominant view/aspect in the play by Andonovski is the aspect of Candide, as a view of the other one, of the representative from the western world, determined as democratic, free, rational and anticlerical, totalitarian towards the other one. Although it is the view of a man two ages ago, simultaneously enriched by the views of many thinkers and literary authorities from the recent date, its truths coincide with the present: Candide in his strivings to acknowledge the world, to acquire new philosophical picture, he just discovers the primeval truth about the imperfect picture of the world, especially deformed in the Balkans. Hereof instead of the idea about the modest happiness possible without many thinking about the meaning, the decision is the active principle of personal rebellion, some kind of possible exit from the dead-end of logic. Candide by Andonovski – accidentally felt in the Balkans winches, clearly perceives all his inconsistencies, but after all he sees the ultimate exit in the action rather then in reconciliation, although he revises that option too.
Some dramatic consequences: Taking as base a rather rich romanesque text, besides, finding some interesting materials for the given issue at the other authors also, Andonovski found himself in hardly unenviable position because of the abundance of the material that can be “endured” by a single dramatic text, having rather different technology then the novel: while the novel is gaining its objectivity, all-exclusivity accumulating many details, the play is summing up, i.e. generalizing, omitting everything that has descriptive character. Following his inspirational source, hereof Andonovski reserves the way of extensive descriptive wedging of the parts (there are 15), so that the stage performance needs inclusion of a narrator – he says – it is an episation of the dramatic structure, used with the abundant speech, hardly to be followed by the corresponding dramatic play.

Translated by: Margareta Ivanovska

3 V. Andonovski: Candide in Wonderland, Kulturen Zivot, Skopje, no.4/2000, 68
4 Ibidem, 69
5 Ibid, 68
6 Ibid, 101
7 Ibid, 73

AuthorNada Petkovska
2018-08-21T17:23:41+00:00 January 1st, 2002|Categories: Reviews, Theatre/Film, Blesok no. 24|0 Comments