Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide" by Branimir Anzulovic [9]


Fear Transformed into a Spider: Poisonous Best-Sellers

The line "fear transformed into a spider" comes from a mediocre poem by perhaps the most infamous mediocre poet of the former Yugoslavia, Radovan Karadzic. This lengthy section examines the blood-soaked, revenge-obsessed, violent works of fiction and poetry by a large segment of Serbia's contemporary men of letters.

Besides Karadzic, Vuk Draskovic makes an appearance, as does Dobrica Cosic, and Vojislav Lubarda; not to mention the large number of writers and academics (notably Nikola Koljevic) whose work may not have been noted for the same nationalist fervor and near-pornographic addiction to violence, but who nevertheless played an important role in the nationalist movement of the 1980s and 1990s.

Also discussed: the odd, and rather creepy, near-fetish fixation on knives, and not just Draskovic's book "Noz" ("The Knife"). It is not enough, apparently, to focus on graphic descriptions of brutal violence, and to dwell on biased versions of the most horrible episodes in history; one must also write multi-page odes to one of the most intimate implements of killing mankind has ever created.

This section is rather lengthy, and well worth reading.

The Highlanders as Scapegoats

In this section, Anzuolovic makes short work of the frequent excuse made by some Serbs that the fighting in Yugoslavia was a product of the violent highlander culture and that the rest of the former Yugoslavia simply got sucked into their barbaric orgy of blood-lust.

Needless to say, Anzulovic shows that this simply isn't so; indeed, he makes it clear that the genocide of the 1990s was not a "bottom-up" expression of primitive tribal rage but a carefully cultivated campaign orchestrated by the political, military, intellectual, and religious elites of Serbia, who dragged the rest of their country--including the new haiduks, the turbo-folk loving urban gangsters--into a nightmare of their own creation.


This concludes my review of this chapter. I will look at the final chapter in my next post.

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