The Subject with Macedonian Women Prose Writers

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The Subject with Macedonian Women Prose Writers

The authoritativeness and persuasiveness of this subject, in combination with the skilful building of the (transfer of) emotions to the reader, quite convinces us that her feelings (which, by their nature, as always, are exceptionally subjective) are actually an objective reflection of the reality in which she is. This, the subject, imperceptibly for the reader, places herself in an absolutist position – in the story there is no other voice but hers, no other reality, not a single sentence that would juxtapose the story of the humiliated wife about the sad leftovers of her marriage. The Bakhtin-like polyphony is absent from this prose, and it remains to function solely at the level of a monologue of a single voice.
The marriage is the chronotope in which Jadranka Vladova also places the action of her story “Mischievous Amor”. It seems that her subject is also in a bad marriage, similar to the one of Olivera Nikolova, and that is easily seen in several comments, such as: “It’s very difficult to guess my wife’s taste… She is cold and very quickly reveals how her screams of delight when she was given a gift were a pretence, a station…” or “…the time when I believed that words can help our communication has long passed…” However, unlike Olivera Nikolova, Jadranka Vladova writes a light, playful prose. True to postmodernism, the author presents a different subject, one that is defined by theorists of the postmodernism as “always plural, fragmented [one that] has no origin and no centre, because the process of signifying is endless.” (Robert Alagjozovski, Accused of Postmodernism).
The author distances herself from her subject and her prose, minimising her presence and authority in her prose, which at moments seems to be functioning quite independently from her. The distancing appears in the author-narrator relation, since the latter is a male voice, who tells his story in an indefinite time. Even more, what appears paradoxical at first glance, the male subject shows almost misogynic feelings – he cherishes honestly hostile feelings for his wife. However, this feature of his does not influence the dynamic, moving element of the text, since it is filled with an atmosphere different than “Saturday Evening”, an atmosphere typical of postmodernism – playful, dynamic, unexpected, surreal, an atmosphere that relativises the story, where the views and messages of the subject are only in function of exuberance rather than rooting down of his positions.
With an ironic humour, which lacks with the dark atmosphere of “Saturday Evening”, instead of withdrawing and closing within himself, the subject of “Mischievous Amor” introduces a gift in his marriage – a small Amor, a marble child. This is the start of the plot of the story, which is at the same time the unravelling of the bad marriage. Rather than via opposites, this subject builds his plural identity via a transfer – the marble Amor, the object in the story, actually functions at another level, as an alter-ego of the subject himself. The Amor expresses all the feelings that the subject has for his wife – protest, spite and anger. He is at the same time the essential question and the answer to the problems of the narrator, imposing himself as the main character in the story, taking upon himself its course and its outcome.
Jadranka Vladova’s text offers different readings each time – its meanings, unlike the firm, unquestionable messages of the realist prose of Olivera Nikolova, are at the margins of the text. They function more like questions and rebuses rather than like answers. The problem with Olivera Nikolova is clearly located – the man is the problem, he and his character are responsible for the unhappiness of the narrator (author). With Jadranka Vladova, on the other hand, the problem is the child, or the absence of a child, or the desire for a child, or maybe the disagreement of the spouses to have or not to have a child…
The comparison of the two subjects, the one of Olivera Nikolova and the one of Jadranka Vladova, in the end inevitably leads me to Jacques Lacan, who says that we become a complete subject (i.e. the one who has obtained awareness of his own identity) only by entering the language. In this sense, both authors, each true to her style, arachologically skilfully tell their stories via their subjects. The story of Olivera Nikolova is clear, open and unambiguous, and quite revolutionary for the time when it was written (seventies of the twentieth century) – her subject is a woman, who has to stay who she is, persistent in her monologue, open about her emotions, to persuade us in the credibility of her woman’s story. In this way, she positions herself as a subject rare for that time (and I could say, even for now) in the Macedonian prose – a woman who has put away her illusions. The specific approach of Jadranka Vladova, on the other hand, is new in a quite different way. By doing something that is seemingly taking over the identity of the other gender, she actually relativises the importance of the gender of the author or the narrator when shaping the subject. Even more than this, she also relativises the need for the subject to fulfils himself by entering the language, and her real subject is a statue – the Amor, the one who in the story does not use language at all in the process of his positioning towards other characters.

Translated by the author

2018-08-21T17:23:04+00:00 February 25th, 2008|Categories: Literature, Essays, Blesok no. 58|0 Comments