Review, Nataša Mačukat, professor of German language and literature ‘Upon reading ‘The Adventures of Boris K.’ …


Review, Nataša Mačukat, professor of German language and literature
Upon reading ‘The Adventures of Boris K.’ my first impression was – a novel came out fit for its time of publication, in an ocean of new well-renowned works of fiction, completely anachronistic, more often than not imitating the romantic form and expression. A novel that discovered new in a completely natural manner, without the forced and assembly-line experimenting, in an age where ‘nobody believes in the virginal literatures anymore’, it simply materialized itself out of the spirit of the 21st century.
Other than alluding to Kafka in its very title, ‘The Adventures of Boris K.’ can remind the reader of E.T.A. Hoffmann , the German romantic author who was at least two centuries ahead of his time, with its elements of fantasy and the bizarre, or of Gustav Meyrink with its specific type of horror. In a broader thematic context the novel takes place in a setting where literature has long stopped being Arcadian due to being overladen with historicity and had also long and in the widest range possible started to deal with the relationship of the individual with society – in Central Europe.
The subject matter of the novel is Serbia in her transitional age, without mentioning this specifically, but can be understood in a far broader context. Obviously a work of satire, but avoiding that which satire has become today – institutionalized, watered down, overly present, and cynically and arrogantly used by those whom it should by definition be targeting, because they cannot be touched, and it creates the illusion of democracy.
Boris K. is represented best as a video game character – without much character he goes to different ‘missions.’ With his facelessness, one moment overly and nigh-drunkenly involved and another barely mildly so, adding the bizarre nature of the missions, he describes all of us people of today – forced to adapt to various roles with the purpose of maintaining an existence, most assuredly losing our way and accepting worthless roles and habits, we lose our essential self.

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