What I truly love about Samarrai’s writing is the brilliant dislodging of epochs and people, eruditional toying with the documented and the fictitious, the unpredictability, the lavish fancy and terrific dialogues. One should not be Tagore to enter the Garden of her worlds and labyrinths, where Mozart and Trier meet, Wagner and Bach, or rather Bachs. With Samarrai time and space are toys, an occasional means but never an end, rather a limbo where they, in fact, do not exist. In her necropolis living people dwell, , while the dead or undead roam the city streets, and those dislodgings seem quite convincing, realistic, even logical. This writing and Samarrai as the author both deserve a far bigger readership, for the fate of the poem-the verse-the tale is not to be silent nor is it the fate of great authors to be unmentioned.
“A Poem of a Crocodile”
Satire is a defense of the intelligent from the primitivism of the dumb. “Crodocile” is a poem which could be part of elementary school textbooks. It has a merry Ionian scale rhythm, I kept hearing the piano while reading it, occasionally trying to imagine it accompanied by sounds of acoustic guitars and, as a throwback to my childhood, the voice of Branko Kockica. Also, the poem, especially in its final verses, can of course be – though this is optional, of course – a reference to, as it is now popular and not all too politically correct to say, the influx of refugees, or rather migrants, into Europe. But this is not the end of it: “Crocodile” is also a poem of protest, engaged literature, a reflection of the author’s social consciousness and her view of society and the system, both here and in other parts of the globe. Still, she has a specific deal with the Crocodile, and she herself, as the verse puts it, is a Crocophile, meaning she knows all about the Crocodiles and other newcomers to Belgrade and Serbia, perhaps more than she is willing to share. Whether the Nile delta, Guatemala or tiny Serbia will be the house of crocodiles, whales and other magnificent creatures who truly sleep with their eyes beyond all evil, we might learn in the continuation of the poem or in the poetic cycle with this central topic, for the author, despite her minimal experience with rhyme [Paryse, Londyne…] feels at home with this style and with her lucidness and verse-laden engagement, the recommendation presents itself, meaning that, speaking in sports’ terms, the A-team stays the same.
Ljubodrag Stojanovic was born in Gnjilane on April 22nd, 1972, where he had lived until June 1999. He writes aphorisms, poems, rock lyrics, plays, short stories, and novels.
He is currently living in Nis.
Selected bibliography: ‘The Serbian Story’ (2002), collection of aphoristic prose ‘Both Insane and Confused’ (2009).
Ljubodrag Stojanović, author, http://www.alma.rs/autori/lj-stojanovic.html
A review of the short story ‘The Bitch’
THE POETRY Leila Samarrai is an exceptional poetess. Hence why the lyricism is so excellent in her works. Consciously or not, whatever the case might be, ultimately it is irrelevant, the verses flow from her sleeves, fingertips, quill, making up a powerful waterfall of verses which floods us readers, therefore we, occasionally, while disappearing into the colors and verses of Samarrai, get the impression that we are reading a poem, a poem that akin to sound (of whistling) gets stuck in one’s throat.
THE PLAYS I have had the honor of reading Samarrai’s plays. Perhaps some would call me subjective on this, but her plays are equally as good as her poetry. What’s more, Samarrai’s poetry and plays often are intertwined, making up an antique literary fatherland. Samarrai’s erudition mixed with imagination creates and destroys worlds and universes, leading us through epochs and vast spaces as if in a dream, or rather, in a moment. Is ‘The Bitch’ a type of play? Very much so. This story yearns for an adaptation, and it might happen if an open and ingenious enough person reads it and feels its bark or voice as an invitation for casting of a role of roles.
THE FARCE Speaking of playwrights, farce is the one thing that must not be avoided in Samarrai’s works. However you identify with her protagonists of either sex, with their realistic – and in a way our own, too – basic and easily recognizable problems, we are left with the other side of Janus’ face, partly smiling, partly grim. It is enjoyable to wander around the light and darkness of Leila Samarrai. Her humor can also be quite vocal, with many a hahaha within, and it can also, in the blink of an eye, turn itself into a very sharp and even shredding satire of human and less-so characters. Samarrai is what Branislav Nušić could have been had he ever wanted to dabble in horror.
THE ABSURDITY Mentioning Samarrai’s works, and glossing over the absurdist tinge of it, would religiously speaking be blasphemous. Even though it seems easy to write of absurdist literature or to write absurdist literature itself, I would disagree that everyone can do it with a little bit of imagination packed into the zeitgeist. Samarrai’s absurdist tendencies are not there for absurdity’s sake, nor does it adorn itself with it, spraying it all over the letters, nor amateurishly summon it like the Dodolas summon the rain. The absurdity is there, it materializes on its own, popping out of the situation, has a face and form of engaged literature, it is strong and loud, it chides and accuses, it awakens and sobers…
COURAGE Leila Samarrai is without a doubt a courageous person. I will not go into the minutiae nor explain why I think so. It will be enough for you to take one of her works, read it from start to finish, and it will all be clear. Without literary courage, there is no literary quality, or rather, it remains unfinished and silent, which in literature is a death worse than death.
METEMPSYCHOSES AND METAMORPHOSES IN ‘THE BITCH’ All of these characters might in a Borgesian, Alephian way, all be one. Peter is Ana and is Pipi and Fifi, and…The whole work itself. And not just him, but each of them separately. Dismantling, rearranging and transforming of characters is in particular a great treat of this all-encompassing work. For instance, Pipi is 2×3.14! An amazing solution out of which Pipi becomes Lazarus who is raised back from the dead. Also, the amazing ‘woof woof’ ending, with its greeting or saying goodbye, stultifies any character division to humans and animals, men and women, protagonists and antagonists. A top notch work of fiction alongside which you grow and learn.
LJUBODRAG STOJANOVIC WAS BORN IN GNJILANE ON APRIL 22ND, 1972, WHERE HE HAD LIVED UNTIL JUNE 1999. HE WRITES APHORISMS, POEMS, ROCK LYRICS, PLAYS, SHORT STORIES, AND NOVELS.
HE IS CURRENTLY LIVING IN NIS.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: ‘THE SERBIAN STORY’ (2002), COLLECTION OF APHORISTIC PROSE ‘BOTH INSANE AND CONFUSED’ (2009).
Regarding this poem, Indifference will be a feature of those who, in fact, have not read it. Others will praise or reviled it, the opportunists may growl a word or two turning the conversation to another topic. I think the poem is emotionally open, strong. Babylonian mix of languages is not an obstacle.
Jesus is presented beautifully, that primal Jesus, not through his alleged representatives on Earth, embodied in the make – money organization, as well as power and authority. Oedipal part, although in Father-Daughter relation is the most obvious
in King Richard part, where persistently repeat, like introduction to Ravel’s Bolero, echoes in head of the reader, insisting to be awakened by a Mother from nightmare in this shamelessly and father – less world.
There is a very strong part in conjunction with androgynous snake.
The snake is deeply connected with the Father’s part.
The absence of a King in her life has built a structure prone to resistance to the male part of the world. She identifies herself through the male power, so to speak, trapped in a woman’s body. Hence the emotional affinity
targeted at women.
The lack of a living father, coward without responsibility, on one hand, polarizes her personality since, on the other hand, there is a great dose of love for the aforementioned king, hence simultaneous hatred which initiates ambivalent emotions, hence the lyrics. Anger is directed towards the male gender, and rage against women is turned only to those primitive, deeply stupid and perverse women, ie, those that deserve it with that kind of personality
Jesus is the Father, a kind of father should be. Get up, girl! Jesus, as we know him from the New Testament. He encourages, forgives and does not judge. He prefers sinful children, prostitutes, revolutionaries, thieves, from bland people.
But she does not want protection from evil. She considers herself strong enough to stand up to evil, but rather only to refuse protection, she accepts evil as part of herself, what Njegoš would have said, to do evil, to defend yourself from evil, there is no atrocities in such things.
The choice of location is interesting, selected by Nightmare itself which is logical. If a dream-nightmare is ego and superego compromise, than the sequencing of the images is a universe in itself where there is no time and space.
Splendidly divided in thematic terms, your poem is a circle that folds and unfolds herself, she can exist independently, but as a whole she is rounded and as such she gets her real meaning.
Ljubodrag Stojanovic, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73i-fGeWBUo, Serbian writer and poet, he has published the drama Serbian Story (2002), a collection of aphorisms
I, crazy and confused (2009). He is represented in numerous printed and electronic anthologies of poetry and prose works.
What I exceptionally like in your writing, is the top dislocation of epochs and people, an erudite toying with the documentary and imaginative, unpredictable, magnificent imagination and brilliant dialogues. No need to be Tagore to enter the ruins of your worlds and mazes, where Mozart and Trier face, as well as Wagner and Bach or Bachs. You use time and space as toys, sometimes as means but not an end (goal), well before limbo in which, in fact, does not exist. In your necropolis living people live their lives, while dead or inanimate are walking the streets, and these dislocations seem quite convincing, realistic, and even logical. Such writing and you as the author, deserve much greater number of readers, because the fate of the poem-letters-the story is not to remain silent nor the fate of brilliant writers to be silenced.