BIZARRIUM consist of fifteen stories about the city of Osijek, on known and unknown people who have entered into their major attachment - life, work, residence, passing, fate or coincidence - living in others, with others, and among others. All of these characters bizarijskih bizarre and interesting story, Osijek's axis, as we ourselves are the axis of each other, and the like are all together, arranged in a series of imaginary vezničkom. Fate of which tells Bizarij (Emperor Constantius II., Isabella von Habsburg, John Korođ, A. Bernhard, Maximilian de Gosseau Heneff, Eugene of Savoy, Suleiman the Magnificent, Adela Dessaty, Nikola Zrinski, Ilija Lekic, a dancer Suleiman, Mary Pejačević ...) are very different, belonging to different historical times, falter, or simply unfold flow in different ways. 

“The novel Bizarij (2009) preserves a cultural memory of the town of Osijek, at the same time recycling faction through fiction just as the author did in her other novels (Az, Auron, Vilikon). The novel here is being seen as a post-OULIPO (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) narrative that shapes a conceptual Romanesque-like structure primarily as grammar code for subordinate conjunctions and their dependent and independent clauses in Croatian language. Apart from the grammar code for novel composition and its conceptualization, as well as its 15 chapters, the novel provides very important ties between the narrators and the characters and their elaborate distribution. A key figure is a phantasmagoric character of Isabella von Habsburg, functioning as the novel’s recurrent theme, but also a Jacques Lacan-like point de capiton. The conceptualization of Romanesque-like structure is also achieved by further elaboration of symmetry motive, used at several discourse layers in various ways. The symmetry exists in distribution of the narrators’ voices, as key order of narration. The novel has 15 different narrators and particular importance is given to interconnection between the characters and the narrators and their ties to socio-historic periods they belong to. It is the very order of the characters and/or narrators through different criteria – gender, historic period, profession, and their ethnicity – that gives the convincing and credible multi-layered cultural memory of the town of Osijek. At the same time, it deconstructs some established notions and prejudices, and yet builds some new, possible ways how to perceive the town or its history. A distinct, narrative set of methods that is characteristic for a scientific, lexicographical discourse type, additionally proves our ‘reading‘ of Osijek as a cultural mnemotope.” 

(Kos-Lajtman, Buljubašić: A Conceptual Mnemotope of Osijek in Jasna Horvat's Novel Bizarij)

© 2018 Željko Ronta

  • w-facebook