CANDLES IN THE DARKNESS

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Zdravko Luburić: »Molitva tmine« (Prayer of the Darkness)

Name of poet Zdravko Luburić is not much known in his homeland, but his homeland is very much known to him. He constantly goes back to it in his works. The Homeland War marked him deeply, although he did not directly participated. Nevertheless, he has opened a frontline of a sort in literature, in order to defend his country. One of such works of his is Molitva tmine (Prayer of the Darkness). For that work, he received the prestigious »A. B. Šimić« Award. Thus, his homeland honoured him in literary as in any other sense.

The very title of the book is deceiving and I believe it was not the best choice. The darkness can not pray, it kills. We may only pray in darkness, from darkness and so on. However, it was the poet’s wish, and one title can not diminish the value of the entire work. Here we may add the unequal stating of the number of the children killed (somewhere it is 28, in other places 29). Nevertheless, I believe that all this and similar may be attributed to the language editor and the proofreader. Luburić left his homeland a long time ago and certain expressions might sometimes »slip« him, while he tries to write in Croatian and in German.

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LIVE COALS UNDER THE ASHES

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Stjepan Krasić: Pape i hrvatski književni jezik u 17. stoljeću (The Popes and The Croatian Standard Language in the 17th Century)

In the biography of Dominican Stjepan Krasić we may read that he spent a long series of years in Rome as a scientist. He was mostly interested in subjects related to the Croatian history. This must have helped him to notice, while thumbing through the archives of the former Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Congregation de Propaganda Fide — today Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples or Society for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome) something that others have overlooked: in the 17th century, Croatian language was studied in all European ecclesiastical schools and universities, along with other five great languages. After he has published his discovery, history of development of the Croatian standard language will never be the same again.

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ANSWER TO QUESTION MARKS

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Nenad Valentin Borozan: »Čekanje blizine. Rukovet za Zlatku Frajzman« (Waiting for the Nearness. A Handful for Zlatka Frajzman)

Nenad Valentin Borozan went to the other world, where every man goes. Words are left behind him. Friends gathered them and made the book of them. True, he himself gave the title to the book, but not the form. If he had lived a bit longer, it would certainly appear differently. Now, we have his idea, and his friends trying to interpret his idea. Did they act well?

Borozan is a poet characterised by the hermetic style of writing. His verses are short, brief, filled with meanings. Not with some distorted meanings, but with the profound understanding of things that surround us, their warmth or nearness — to use Borozan’s vocabulary from this collection. Certain individuals, having nothing to say for themselves, look away his dignity with their meaningless prattle, their attempt to hide themselves. However, poetry in fact reveals us, draws the deepest thoughts from us and places them in front of another. Borozan knows and respects that. On the other hand, the others know that, so they respect his poetry.

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LANGUAGE ON THE WINDWARD SIDE

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They say that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a strange country. Some have even called it »a dark shire«. When observing it today, we may conclude that it is not far from such descriptions. One country, two entities, three constitutive nations... There is no such social system anywhere in the world. For those living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the only comfort is that they did not have the choice. They had to accept everything, regardless of the words used to describe it and regardless of the feelings such descriptions were causing. In such social system, the most cramped is the smallest constitutive nation. In this case, those are the Croats. Moreover, to make it more absurd, this was the same nation that was the most numerous in the former Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was the first nation to start standardising its language, thus firming their sense of affiliation. Jesuit Bartul Kašić wrote the first Croatian grammar already in the year 1604, in the shtokavian ikavica dialect, which was the most spread dialect in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Popes and the international community of those times have determined the area in which that language was spoken. That is what history says. And what about the present?

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