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Snippets of Serbian literature 5

Updated: May 6, 2021

One is on their right path as long as you go in the direction their fear grows

Wretched and miserable are those who have held in high esteem the book they did not love and hated those they did

Houses are much like books: so many of them around you, yet one only looks at a few and visit or reside in ever fewer

And so, when I began reading the offered pages, I at one moment lost my train of thought in the text and drowned it in my own sentiments. In these moments of absence and self-oblivion, centuries passed with every read but the line that failed to be comprehended and fully grasped, and when, after a few moments, I came round and re-established close contact with the text, I knew that the reader who returns from the open seas of his feelings is no longer the same reader who embarked on that seafaring journey only a short while ago

While we read, it is not incumbent upon us to absorb all that is written. Our thoughts are full of envy, continually blanking out the thoughts of others, for there is not enough room in us for two whiffs at one time

Heart is spaceless, the soul is timeless

Dreams never age. They are eternal. They are the only eternal part of mankind.

Love is like a caged bird. If you don’t feed it every day, it dies.

Milorad Pavic, an erudite Serbian writer, a university professor, a literary historian, and member of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts (1991-2009), was born on 15 October 1929 in Belgrade and died. In his internet-based autobiographical sketch, Pavić himself declared that he was born on “the banks of one of the four rivers of Paradise, at 8:30 in the morning, under the sign of Libra (ascendant Scorpio), or, according to the Aztec horoscope, the Snake.” As a fiction writer, he was literally unknown until 1984 when Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words brought him an instant worldwide recognition. Even before, he has always entertained the idea of being “a writer for two hundred years now” because, as he said, “long ago, in 1766, an ancestor Pavić published a collection of poems in the city of Budim [Buda] and we have considered ourselves a family of writers ever since. ”Pavić received his degrees from the University of Belgrade and University of Zagreb, taught philosophy at the University of Novi Sad and at his former alma mater in Belgrade, he held classes at Sorbonne in Paris, at the University of Vienna and in Freiburg and Regensburg as well. Whilst writing extensively, he also translated works by Pushkin, Byron, Shelley, Villon and Molière and was nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature a number of times. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages and are now published all over the world.

adapted and submitted by Natasha from Angloland

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