Stone Sleeper as an avant-gard text Cover Image

Kameni spavač Maka Dizdara i ruska književna avangarda
Stone Sleeper as an avant-gard text

Author(s): Adijata Ibrišimović Šabić
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Comparative Study of Literature, Bosnian Literature, Russian Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Slavistički komitet BiH
Keywords: Mak Dizdar; Kameni spavač; Stone Sleeper; Russian avant-garde literature;
Summary/Abstract: This book, in a way, engages in a polemic with texts which interpret avantgarde exclusively in the context of a destructive and negatory attitude toward tradition as such. It aims to present Dizdar’s best collection of poems as an exceptional, unique example of an avant-garde text, and to discuss Stone Sleeper from a somewhat different angle.As is known, the main task the avant-garde movement took on was to create a kind of art which would correspond with the basic principle of life – the principle of perpetual renewal; the stress avant-garde laid on the written word was informed by a deeply-held conviction that poetry is able to revive lost or forgotten worlds, but also to remember and in this way save worlds from disappearance and death. Stone Sleeper is a magical, lyrical inscenation which fulfils this task by placing trust in, and paying particular attention to the written word. Dizdar’s focus on the word, as one of the fundamental principles of avant-garde, is motivated, of course, by the subject matter of Stone Sleeper,its inspirational basis. The stećak1 is Dizdar’s fundamental artistic reference.In an attempt aesthetically to express the weight, hardness and substantiality of the stone and the facture of the sepulchral word and letter, Dizdar revives the petrified word of the Bosnian epitaph, masterfully demonstrating how creative potential of poetic language, from which an entire forgotten world emerges, is awakened.Avant-garde is also characterised by the principle of innovation. At first glance, and first glance only, this principle does not fit into Dizdar’s aesthetics.For, as has been said in one of the manifestos of the Russian literary avant-garde, “(...) New subjects and objects of creation do not determine its true novelty, and a new light cast on an old world may bring about a most wondrous play.” Stone Sleeper is one such spiritual delving into the silent primordium of Dizdar’s native land and culture. Instead of progressive movement toward future, amid the roar of time, in Dizdar, just as in Russian acmeists and some futurists (Khlebnikov), we find innovation asa recreation of direct, vivid experience of the world through primordial meanings of the words whose sense had either been petrified by prolonged everyday use and is thus in need of de-petrification, or completely forgotten and needs to be resurrected. Such words in Dizdar’s poetry are invested with power, or, as K. Prohić says, with “naturalness of elementary truths and unmediated experience.”

  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-9958-648-02-1
  • Page Count: 107
  • Publication Year: 2010
  • Language: Bosnian