Macedonian Literary Criticism of Goran Stefanovski

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Macedonian Literary Criticism of Goran Stefanovski

Though we have a quantitatively ample drama and theater criticism, one of its faults is that quite often it confuses definitions and terminology from other genres during the reviews of plays or stage productions, thus trying to look in drama (as a stage work) for values other than the literary ones. Rather, majority of the then Macedonian drama critics suffered from the complex of the values of the socialist state system, resulting in their attempts to locate the values of the socialist system in works of art or recognize in them,in a Romanticist manner,the aspects of love of country and its people.

This doesn’t mean that the criticism of the time was absolutely wrong in its views andthat it failed to detect the literary values and worthiness of the plays. Rather, its fault is in its confusion of contexts and terminologies, thus using ideas and terminology derived from sociology, philosophy, anthropology and very often psychology, instead of focusing strictly on theory of literature.

When Goran Stefanovski first stepped on the Macedonian literary and theatrical scene with his play Jane Zadrogazin 1974, when at the tender age of 24 years old he debuted with a dramatic work worthy of respect. Unfortunately, Macedonian critics failed to recognize in this play the characteristics of a new literary and cultural school – postmodernism. It was only in the 1990s that the first play of Stefanovski received adequate and argumented reviews and criticism.Until then, critics discussedJane Zadrogaz only in superlatives, yet the theoretical tools that they applied were insufficiently precise to provide an objective and substantial analyses. Jane Zadrogaz was highly praised, but only for its content, the use of folklore as a background, as well as for its folklore-based language.

The esteemed academician Georgi Stardelov in his book Portraits and Profiles (1987) includes an essay dedicated to Goran Stefanovski entitled “Goran Stefanovski (1952) or Vita triumphatrix“. In the text, Stardelov does not attempt an interpretation of the dramatic work by Goran Stefanovski, but rather focuses on the glorification of Stefanovski’s personality in everyday life – dwelling on his education, his theatrical family and his extensive knowledge of literature. In his attempt to locate the central idea of Stefanovski’s dramatic opus, Stardelov comes to the conclusion that it can be found in the essential role of violence in human history. He locates Stefanovski’s greatness in his ability to reveal the essence of violence in aspecific Macedonian context. The violence in <i>Jane Zadrogaz</i>, according to Stardelov, is presented from a mythical aspect, while in his other major play Wild Flesh it is viewed from amore social aspect. Furthermore, he claims that in Goran Stefanovski’s plays we can see the intersection of history and poetry, the existential and the poetic, as well as the topical and the utopian Lastly, Stardelov concludes that Stefanovskireveals in his plays the state of man in today’s nightmarish world and the same nightmarish world as found in man. It is our opinion that Stardelov postulates, but never truly fully forms his insights about what constitutes the greatness and importance of the role Goran Stefanovski plays in Macedonian drama. We think that the imprecisions found in this text are mostly due to the lack of knowledge of relevant theoretical terms and ideas necessary for the interpretation of a work of literature.

AuthorAleksandra Dimitrova
Translated byMilan Damjanoski
2019-01-15T10:22:41+00:00 January 5th, 2019|Categories: Essays, Literature, Blesok no. 123|Tags: |0 Comments