On “Dante’s Whisper” by Silvija Mitevska

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On “Dante’s Whisper” by Silvija Mitevska

However, these stories are also a new women’s writing in the Macedonian literature. Our contemporary (here I am trying to avoid this so often used term young) women writers born around the 1980es (and here besides Silvija I can also mention Rumena Bužarovska or Irena Jordanova, for example), write not only about female experience or female point of view, but they also write about them impudently, openly, without inhibitions, even rudely. In Silvija’s case, her stories are actually quite similar to her paragliding: she runs and flies towards the unknown, high above the mundane. “I write, but I don’t know where I will arrive, I want to shock the reader”, she told me in that discussion that we had about this book and women’s writing. This unexpectedness of the story, this deceptiveness of hers in which the reader easily loses the ground under his feet, is the second common trait of these stories which connects them in a complete, adrenaline-filled reading. It is through this unexpectedness of the narrating twists that we actually understand how big our bias as readers is when it comes to what should be in a book with such gentle, pastel covers, in a book that is called Dante’s Whisper (and Dante is not Alighieri, bur rather the little son of the author), and in the end, about how and about what such (let’s say the word since there is no other) young woman writer should write about. This unexpectedness is also referred to by Dragi Mihajlovski in his review of this book when he says that Silvija “leaves the frames of the everyday and powerfully builds upon it so that when she presents what she has written, she surprises us with an effective ending”.

If I revisit again the above mentioned reasons for my hesitation (oh, that so rooted fear from “women’s” label and a drive towards it), I would like to say that this book by Silvija also shows us another thing: the understanding of what is central and what is peripheral in the contemporary Macedonian literary discourse has (luckily!) been completely displaced and changed in the course of the last years. It is the gushing, fierce, at moments dramatic, of such writings as the we speak about today, that contributes that the Macedonian literature (refreshed, bold, uninhibited, prudent, rude, complex-free) goes beyond the narrow boundaries of the small (in terms of number of speakers) language in which it has originally been written and looks the worlds straight into its eyes. The women’s writing in this literature, with all of its manifestations (such as the grotesque or fantastic genre) which Silvija has collected in this small in size, but explosive book by all means has a big contribution for this breakthrough. This is the reason why we should rejoice books like this and wish them to fly freely, long and high.


translated into English: Elizabeta Bakovska

AuthorElizabeta Bakovska
2018-11-30T13:18:38+00:00 November 29th, 2018|Categories: Reviews, Literature, Blesok no. 122|Tags: |Comments Off on On “Dante’s Whisper” by Silvija Mitevska