Peripheral as a Choice in the Novel “Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh” Written by Slobodan Novak Cover Image

Periferno kao izbor u romanu „Mirisi, zlato i tamjan” Slobodana Novaka
Peripheral as a Choice in the Novel “Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh” Written by Slobodan Novak

Author(s): Andrijana Nikolić
Subject(s): Croatian Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: Slobodan Novak; Mali; Madona; irony; peripheral; single; symbol; alienation
Summary/Abstract: In this paper we will analyze the personal choice of individuals, who chose peripheral life on the island which is their prison and their freedom at the same time. Though eager to do so, the protagonists of the novel, Mali and Draga, do not escape from the island. They are essentially prisoners of their own choice, from which they apparently try to escape, not escaping only from responsibilities and obligations that tie them to the island, that is, to nurturing a handicapped old women Madonna. In self-deprivation and oppression satisfying Madonna’s wishes, Mali voluntarily fulfills her desires, aware of the nonsense in which he dives, conscious of alienation, which he cannot resist. Although, at one point, Mali will pronounce all of his own disappointment, the reader will not accept it as the main hero’s awareness about the failure of life but she/he will rather “involve” in a postmodernist way in author’s thinking and his attitude towards the main character. The essence of the psychological lies not in the fact that the writer played with the possibility of rejecting the protagonist, but, on the contrary, enabled him to choose his path, which led him to the island, on which he remains. The bareness of life was reduced by the literary process to the final outcome of the earthly existence. Without coercion or request, just by rough realistic method, the writer points to the masculinity of the main character, who is firm, does not give up on his ideals, but at the same time remains a prisoner of his habits. With the abundance of biblical motifs and symbols, Slobodan Novak created the hero of the novel who grows out of the narrative events and who is not uniform, but in the given situations he changes, resisting, retreating or adjusting. In the atmosphere of the stagnant island an ironic and scathing prose was made, whose main protagonists accepted peripherality as a habit.

  • Page Range: 286-299
  • Page Count: 14
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Language: Croatian