(Venko Andonovski: Veštica (The Witch). – Skopje, “Kultura”, 2006)
This novel is not to be read. This novel is to be lived…
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#1 The testimony of the genocide of the so-called XVII century “witches” in Croatia is a potresna metonymy for even bigger inquisitions. These inquisitions still “travel” and “move” through times and space. This is when fiction is an ideal alibi for the existence of – reality. Thus witches are fiction – perfectly constructed alibi of reality of the morbid world of: prosecutors, investigators, persecutors, executioners, butchers, punishers, inquisitors (of life and passion). Respectfully disguised in: uniforms, roles, functions, positions… There is a logical inversion made: what is being trialed is fiction, purposefully constructed world, instead of one’s own “dirty” reality. There is a social, institutional and public desecration and massacre of beautiful and wise – because of one’s own impotence. This is another name for power, political games, quasi-ideological moralizing, spiritual travesty, intellectual prostitution, ideological homosexuality and hypocrisy. This erosion of morality leads to irrevocable sliding of axiologies and final disastrous earthquake of axiologies!
This massive, acted hysteric exorcism – is pure artism or alleged exorcism of devils. This abused demonopathology – or obsession with the devil, as an eternal demonomanty through the centuries is only being travestied, re-masked, re-packed, re-advertised. Not only between sexes, but also among each sex of: good versus evil, beautiful versus ugly, free versus closed, love / hate, passion / impotence, freedom / frustration, etc.
For all of this there “secret documentation”, records, laws, reports, were fiction is “desecrated” and abused as a pseudo-fact. But, in this world of documentation, archives, courts – one does not only search for the most important and most secret document possible. It is this document that one of the authors searches for.
Is there a more secret and more undecifred document than – man?
The search for it, as a precious secret testimony of centuries and universes is done – via the stories of this book.
This is how the world of inquisition is opened. The horrifying testimonies of the genocide of so-called “witches” are most convincing in the shaky “horror documentariness”. “For it is blood that writes, not the ink”1F, says the narrative voice. The morbid fact recording of torture devices with detailed descriptions of inquisition orgies are the place of horrible “three dots” where the “reader finished the story with his tears!” according to the narrator. Our “manuscript” of tears for these horrors is – a replica to the blood that “drips” from the massive tragedy.
However, the dangerous world of “invisible”, ”spiritual”, “personal” inquisitions also breaks open via the public ones. This “inner” inquisition or auto-inquisition also happens to us. Every day, invisibly, secretly – when it is us that are “the persecutors of the (imagined) witches” in us, as “authorized (self)executors” of the beautiful and free – inside us. This is the Witch that we ourselves invisibly torch and put on the stake. “The inner” inquisition is conducted on behalf of the provincial “judiciary”, in the name of our local provincial, neighborhood inquisition, which is a shadow of the global, medieval or new century one.
This inquisition is a ruler of our self-made “life-long dungeons”2F. These “dungeaons”, according to the narrator, are most of today’s marriages, as well as our professional, social and status roles. We are the architects, and the new “quasi-religion” is her majesty – acting. ”And fear is defeated by lie,” says the narrator.
In the modern inquisitions there are also invisible “spiritual” instruments for (self)torture and torture of others.
But for such a horror world of the book Veštica – the most gentle and most loving stories possible in this book are being born.
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The novel is a home to several stories. There is no longer a single story and there is no longer one voice telling it. We no longer read it or finish it in only one way. This polyphonic reader’s hermeneutics is a creative part of the creative process which is done publicly and collectively, in front of us.
The stories are a “golden echo” to each other. The stories-echo, stories-shadows. The characters are also but shadows to each other. The plots are children-off springs of the ancestors. Dramas, tragedies are relatives that later recognize themselves. This all goes through the centuries, times, pre-spaces…
This polyphonic, polysemic, “reading” of life is done via copying of stories, emotions, intimate lives. Via reading the “book-reality”. Thus, the stories grow – in lives, unlived until then. In this way, life becomes – more life. Since “souls are read” and not only the paper. We read “invisible” letters, we read “man-letter”, “girl-letter”, “woman-letter”, “face-letter”. Life is read, and stories and lived. In this way the shaky story of witches comes to life, in this way the medieval Johana and the contemporary “read haired” beauty also come alive, since they are no longer convicted to “paper life” only.
And this happens when our life becomes more and more a “paper-life”, “monitor-life”, “shop window-life” – in the voyeur era!
The stories are deciphered among themselves, not only for the needs of the higher purposes of the book, but also in the name of bigger demystifications of massive civilization phenomena, as in the example of the video-perversions of XXI century, which are revealed as off-springs of the pre-frustrations – medieval orgies, visually documented as early as XVII century.
1. Paraphrase of a quotation from the book Veštica: “It is so because the writer writes the story in blood, and the reader finishes it with his tears!” (125).
2. “(…) life-long dungeon if they survive. What are most of the marriages today if not this life-long dungeon, a peace made between men and women, a pact for no attacks and peaceful raising of children? In this way, both sides benefit: fear is defeated by a the lie.”(112).