Fair(y)’s Regional Focus: Macedonia Reads
This year’s Book Fair(y) in Istria’s regional programme Macedonia Reads is a response to contemporary literature and the contemporary complexity of a country which is, from a Croatian point of view, coping with the multitude of its layers quietly and on its own: from plurilingualism, to ethnic diversity, to tricky neighbours. Regardless of all of AMacedonia’s issues, of which we might know something but certainly not enough, the local artists chose the European, even in some cases American domain as their scope of action instead of former Yugoslavia, on their own, without the help of any state or government authority.
This new, contemporary, internationally acknowledged Macedonia is thus arriving in Pula, not to get acquainted with Croatian culture and literature – since Macedonians know well, translate and read Croatian literature – but to acquaint us with what we might have missed, to remind us of what we have forgotten and to reveal a living, dynamic intellectual and artistic scene which boasts Rumena Bužarovska, Nikola Madžirov, Lidija Dimkovska, Robert Alagjozovski, Elizabeta Šeleva, Artan Sadiku, Vladimir Jankovski, Lulzim Haziri… And in particular an exceptional playwright like Goran Stefanovski, whose collection of plays – the first in Croatian language! – is to be published ahead of the tribute to Macedonia at Book Fair(y) in Istria.
“We read” in Macedonian is – čitame. To read Macedonia means to read oneself at the same time, not to call to memory the narcissisms of small differences, but rather the values of great similarities, to finally learn something about a country which, as newspapers here write, is a gourmet paradise of outstanding hospitality, which has 280 sunny days per year and where, which is not the subject of writing but to which Pula’s guests testify, passatist kitsch has not overshadowed great art.