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This Is the Content That Slovenian High Schoolers Have to Read for Their Matura Exam

“What is behind this choice is just politics, as certain politicians believe they need Vojnović in order to recruit and strengthen the electoral base among people whose mother tongue is not Slovenian. But that is a misconception, and besides, a text like this has no place at the Matura exam. It has as much to do with literature as a Petrol gas station does with a space rocket.” When asked what would be a more appropriate choice for the Matura exam this year, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of independence, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Dr Boštjan M. Turk, replied that just about anything else – including the telephone directory of Slovenia. He also said that the better question would be what would be more inappropriate than Goran Vojnović – as he would have a much harder time responding to that question.

“I have read two texts of this author, Čefurji raus (“Čefur fights” – čefur is a pejorative expression denoting the inhabitants of Slovenia that are of Serbian, Bosnian or Croatia ethnic origin) and Jugoslavija, moja dežela (Yugoslavia, my country); however, I have no intention of reading his latest piece of work, Figa (The Fig), as it is perfectly clear to me what the ideological and aesthetic scope of a man who has declared himself a stateless person is, who does not know where his homeland is, but persistently and intrusively continues to seek the promised land, which he sees in the failed state formation called Yugoslavia,” Slovenian poet, playwright and literary historian Denis Poniž said. He also pointed out that, as we have previously reported, in his columns, published in an obscure newspaper, Goran Vojnović bashes everything that even smells like Slovenia or Slovenian history, especially the modern part of it, in which our sovereign and independent state was created, which the representatives of the writer’s nation refused us.
Many readers who have at least some sense of the (Slovenian) language are also appalled by Vojnović’s writing. “You can just feel it, right, how your balls swell up in your pants. And it does not matter what it is that you’re screaming, as long as you’re screaming. /…/ all of that is the same shit to you in the north stand,” a Twitter user published an excerpt from Vojnović’s new book. Obviously, it does not even matter what you are writing, as long as you are writing – especially if it goes hand in hand with the leftist agenda and its Yugonostalgia.

You could say that that is all fine and dandy, as every book finds its audience, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, the logic fails when you learn that high school graduates are being forced to read this kind of literature. Namely, Vojnović’s novel Figa is the main literary work at this year’s Matura exam. This is all the more telling when we think of the fact that Slovenia is celebrating the 30th anniversary of independence this year. On this important anniversary, it would seem much more appropriate to choose a more relevant text for the Matura exam. However, we have already written about the fact that the novel in question was published in a circulation of six thousand copies for the needs of this year’s Matura exam, and it has already been sold out as well. Vojnović and the Beletrina publishing house thus earned 174 thousand euros without any effort.
“As far as the literary aspect is concerned, Vojnović’s writing would have some meaning in the context of the so-called absurdist humour. But considering that no one has come up with this yet and that everyone keeps promoting this as Slovenian literature, it seems that there is a fundamental mistake happening here, or a fundamental contradiction,” Dr Boštjan M. Turk, who received his doctorate at the Sorbonne in Paris said, explaining that this text has nothing to do with literature as such. “These are not even novels,” Turk also referred to the author’s debut book, Čefurji raus, and then went on, saying “nor does it have any message value – it serves the political promotion of the parties that are recruited on the far left, and also serves to strengthen the far left’s electoral base with the people whose mother tongue is not Slovenian or who are citizens of Slovenia, but do not identify as Slovenians.”

F**k, some people go to Facebook, others go to Marakana, and there, they get to f**k the fags’ mothers…

Vojnović’s attempts at scribbling on paper are counterproductive in every possible sense
Turk also pointed out that big mistakes are being made here as well. Vojnović’s writing – if it even has any sense at all – is in a kind of paradox, as it further strengthens the divide between those who are literate in the Slovenian language and those who are not. “This is very segregated writing, for example, put yourself in the shoes of someone who is “a character” in all of these stories – however, not as the literary hero, but as a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia who lives his life and perceives his linguistic difference as a burden. When he reads this, his burden is further intensified,” he pointed out, explaining that these are direct effects and that this is all very similar to a situation where a normal homosexual cannot identify with the pride parades and all of the masquerading that goes on at such events, as this tramples his dignity and social integration. “Vojnović’s attempts at scribbling on paper are counterproductive in every possible sense. They are counterproductive to Slovenian literature, as they are lowering its standard, and above all, they are counterproductive to all the people that appear as characters in his work,” Turk also said. Vojnović’s books portray them as idiots, morons, or as second-class citizens. So, the same effect is essentially created as at the pride parades.

Sara Bertoncelj

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