Az in english: https://www.andizet.hr/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/JH-2016-AZ-in-english.pdf

 

 

Pilot of the novel takes place in the 9th century, at the time the brothers Constantine (Cyril) and Methodius. The central figure of the novel is the Constantine the Philosopher, the creator of a new Glagolitic alphabet in which the characters are stored not only the letter but also numeric and symbolic value. Constantine has found the inspiration for Glagolitic letters in the game of Nine Men\\\'s Morris, or mill, the game that is played everywhere since childhood... As construction of the rosette and its various plot, which was performed Glagolitic letters, Constantine confirms the importance of combinations, as well as novel as a whole, a structure composed by numeric values of Glagolitic letters, where each chapter opens a letter, confirming the importance of play as such.Plot of the novel takes place in Istanbul, Kerson, Moravia, Dalmatia, Venice and Rome. Life story of Constantine Cyril, from different angles and in different ways, illustrate four narrators (Methodius, Empress Theodora, Anastasius the Librarian and the Croatian prince Mutimir). 
“The novel Az by Jasna Horvat, with Glagolitic alphabet in the core of its thematic, structural, conceptual and ludic concept, is characterized by creative play and creation at all discourse levels. An important place in such an approach belongs to numeric symbolism, which is used in multiple ways at different textual levels and in all parts of the novel. By combining numeric, alphabetic and symbolic coding of Glagolitic alphabet with the complex structure of the novel, the fragmentary quality of each part, but also the mosaic quality within chapters, the author is building numeric and symbolic combinations corresponding to the semantic code of the Glagolitic script. Numeric and symbolic permutations include the semantic level of each chapter, but also the particular recurring motifs, into a coded network in which a certain chapter, character or situation has a designated place, defined by the symbolism of Glagolitic numerology. 
The complex structure of the novel (four parts and four narrators, and the fifth who is outside the story, but the most important one for unveiling the numeric and symbolic potency of the text) can be expressed through a mathematical formula 4+1, where number four may be viewed through traditional symbolism of arrangement in the world, through Christian symbolism of four Gospels, through the concept of a quadrant planning field, which, according to some hypotheses, was used for the construction of Glagolitic characters, as well as through the symbolism of a rosette/mandala based on the geometry of a square and circle, the relationship of quaternity and trinity, the human and divine. By means of the concept of a game called the Mill, which plays an important part in the novel, the numeric structure becomes crucial - through the model of transforming a trigonal game into a tetragonal, through nine intersections and nine “mill” stones corresponding to nine chapters in the first three parts of the novel, with nine ones, tenths and hundreds, and, on the symbolic level, to the number of Glagolitic characters expressing the basic message of the Glagolitic script, and to the century when it originated.”

(Kos-Lajtman: Glagolitic-coded numeric and symbolic combinations in the novel Az by Jasna Horvat)

© 2018 Željko Ronta

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