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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 82 | volume XV | January-February, 2012



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 82January-February, 2012

The Nomadism of the Diaspora

p. 1
Vesna Mojsova-Čepiševska

The novel Aquamarine by Tanya Urošević (Skopje: Magor, 2004) is a true example of Macedonian literature that encourages its readers to think about the subtle relationship with the Slavic and the complexity of the Slavic world that exists in the Macedonian cultural environment. The Slavic can be seen as a category that unifies two opposing tensions. On the one hand, it stimulates and encourages closeness and proximity, but on the other hand, it can be perceived as a cultural other. The image of the Slavic in Macedonian literature has ambivalent character. It is a picture about something unknown, and to some extent alien, but it is also a picture about oneself, about ones istok (meaning a “source” in Old Church Slavonic language), about one’s roots and about the one true and significant layer of one’s basic self-identity. For these reasons, the image of the Slavic in the Macedonian culture is a complex phenomenon that unifies the image inwards and out, to the others and oneself, an image towards the alien, but also towards the familiar (Sonja Stojmenska-Elzeser, 2005: 193). The presence of various studies, such as Imagining the Balkan by Maria Todorova (Skopje: Magor, 2001), Imagining India by Roland Inden (Oxford and Cambrige: Blackwell, 1990), Imagining the Middle East by Thierry Hentsch (Montreal and New York: Black rose, 1992) or Occidentalism: Images of the West by James G. Carrier (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), represent similar attempts that present the complexity of the slavic world. A small contribution to the aforementioned studies is the book Comparative Slavic Studies from the Macedonian author Sonja Stojmenska-Elzeser. According to her, the general perception of the Slavic seems to come from the image of Russians in Macedonian culture and literature. Within these frames is the emergence of several literary works that reflect the image of Russian immigrants, and some Ukrainians, among us. [1]
    Therein lies the initial impulse to write about these issues. However, the incentive can also be found in the fact that the author of Aquamarine, who is one of the most renowned translators of famous Russian works into Macedonian, reveals herself as a serious author with her first book. The author demonstrates a lot of conviction and creditability to the adventurous life of Russian immigrants, much of which comes from her own life experiences. In fact, the author herself is of Russian origin. Through her strong commitment in the field


1. Refers to the following novels The White Guardsman’s Wife (2001) by Serbo Ivanovski, Teeth of the Wind (2003) by Tome Arsovski and Aquamarine (2004) by Tania Urosevic.  According to Stojmenska-Elezeser  “We can talk about the image of the Russian man caught in the ideological trap of Stalinism, then the image of Russia – white guardsman, immigrant, refugee nobleman who found patronage in Macedonia[…]”. See Literary stereotypes:  Russian emigrant in the Macedonian prose (2005: 199-210).

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