Quite another world

Introduction to the Reading

A short novel about a shameful crime, one of the many similar episodes from the Bosnian war. The criminal is an ordinary man, a law student, who was brought by cruel war time circumstances into situation to first take part in a gang rape and then to try in vain to justify the crime by love and to reduce his victim to slave-like position. The victim is a ravishingly beautiful Muslim girl. By faking love she is fighting for her sheer life. Eight years later, guilt-ridden this anti-hero confesses himself to the reader at the scene of the crime. His admission of guilt is gradual and unwilling, and any new chapter in it brings a dramatic twist. This is a novel about the demons hidden in an ordinary, unstriking man waiting for his dooms day.

“The narrator of the new novel if fully hidden, he is completely blended with the character. Nowhere has Saša Obradović allowed himself to appear and to wink at the reader in this or that way – he is simply not present there. All that we discover is the voice of an unhappy, misfit, unlucky man turned criminal by the circumstances and as an ungratified lover. Such a narrative procedure doubles the effects: first of all, this is perfect mimicry. Obradović has even dropped his native dialect for the occasion so that his main character could speak as authentically and as convincingly as possible. Any detail of the physical world and mental perceptions we receive through the eyes and words of this character that we are forced to believe or not to believe as we please. The other kind of consequences concerns the relativity of the values that the reader finds and experiences in this book… In other words, when forced to critical and difficult perception by the form, or when we are forced to judge carefully, we find ourselves on the ground of morals, humanity, crime, responsibility and repentance.” (Ivan Radosavljević, “Stubovi Kulture”).