Interviews about the book
with Eugen ISTODOR, April 1, 2015, in Catavencii no. 13
E.I.: How do crime and war become poetry? M.V.: I don’t know how I would write about a war I would be directly involved in. I don’t even think I could it. I have the reflexes of a boarding school girl. I don’t really see myself wandering through conflict zones, hungry for death stories. I am brave, mostly at the writing table, not on the field. In Bosnia. Partaj I wrote about the war of others and this protected me. I didn’t think for a second that I could have any other role than translator. Anyone who retells stories from Bosnia becomes an additional machine gun for one of the sides. Going back to the question, war came into my poetry as a state. I am a conflictual person. I like to argue and contradict all the time, perhaps from a juvenile and malicious desire to uncover people and force them to give me their rawest opinions. My way of being fitted perfectly with the political atmosphere in Bosnia, where everything is about dispute, nerves, frustration, reproach, guilt, blood, injustice etc.
with Un Cristian , 19 decembrie 2014, in Observator cultural no. 753
This book is about an internal and faraway Bosnia, just as it is about an internal and faraway divorce. Having similar experiences in both reality and poetry only hides you the true meanings, instead of offering you a key to poetry. I agree that experiencing them firsthand means that you can mock those clichés more easily, as these themes are full of clichés. I am thinking of the subject of loneliness after divorce or even the crisis of the 30 years old woman, that lachrymose shock that follows betrayal or any other death of love. As in the case of war, only those who turn vulnerability into strength, instead of a noose, can survive.
with Elena VLADAREANU, November 24, 2014, in Suplimentul de cultura no. 461
Those poems are voices. The somehow narrative structure of the book also took into account this fact – that voices can move according to their own rhythm and can be different depending on their tonalities, not only on words. (…) The public is part of the book, if I may say so, there is something performative in there. I would not be surprised if this book would be adapted into a play. Perhaps this is why many feel there is a “manifest” within this book, something demonstrative which bothers some people. These voices try to convince, to engage the reader in a dialogue, to pull his collar. They have something reactive, intentional, as if they were begging for empathy. They force you to understand them, to sympathize with them, to make you feel just as guilty for what they went through. They always try to drag you one way or another. Maybe because this is how I felt all the confessions about the Balkans, that I have read or heard, and about Bosnia in particular, where there is no ethnic majority and everyone wants to be right. In there, all their voices have a more or less obvious pro domo and if you try to be “neutral” in front of them, it means you don’t understand why you’re there and you’re immediately rejected. For them, the role of commemorating is actually taking sides.
with Andrei Zbîrnea in “Semne bune”, 2014:
“There is clearly an identification with everything I’ve seen there, from a point on, you don’t know what is Miruna and what are the other characters. Everytime we write about others, we are writing about us. Or about us too, or mostly about us. It’s the same here. I don’t there’s any connection to the Bosnia we see on the map, it’s more of an internal, imagined and completely fictionalized Bosnia, based on some real facts. It’s a more Miruna-esque Bosnia, just as I am a more Bosnia-esque Miruna after I returned from Bosnia. I think the clash between my interests and what I found in Bosnia created an implosion.”
with Stelian Țurlea in “Ziarul Financiar”, 2014:
“I have a tense relationship with Bosnia, I feel both attraction and repulse. But it gave me the opportunity to make some important reevaluations, everything I knew about the major concepts of political science was shaken a bit, it somehow took me “to her breast”, offering me several friends whom I treasure a lot. The same it’s true for poetry.”
With Cătălina Miciu in “Blog Cărturesti”, 2015:
“There is a mechanism of violence, a fact which intrigued me and is still intriguing me about Bosnia, that Bosnia reflected in all its witnesses more than it can be reflected itself. Because I don’t think I’ve known Bosnia itself and probably I will never know it. But the Bosnia reflected in all of us, who are in touch with it, or we see it on TV, or during holidays, it is fascinating because it creates us a narcissism of pain.”
With Florina Pîrjol in “Adevărul”, 2016:
“But this partition of living things and very personal things happens in a formal framework, which doesn’t care about you anyway. You stay in the queue at the local court and at a certain point you’re allowed to speak and then you’re being read the law. The presence of law comes to norm, during separation, some very strong sentiments of love and hate. There is a healthy dose absurdity in there, this is precisely why it felt so hard to put into words and I felt the need to hang by the text of the law. So it can tell the absurdity of the situation, so it can evoke that Kafka-esque atmosphere, the insignificant bureaucracy.”