The relationship between literature and nationality has always been a symbiotic one, but the power of personal style would appear to be the most prevalent, the significant element that makes a writer be gifted and witty. On the occasion of Emir Kusturica, his stories Étranger dans le mariage, (2014)-translated into Greek by Alexis Emmanouil and edited by the publishing house Utopia in 2016-are reflective of the attempt to understand just how much the global and international relations’ environment has affected Balkan identity and manners throughout the years.
The literature of Emir Kusturica aims to incite us to sympathize with people in trouble by elucidating how active and real they are. This happens partly because it may make us realize what is going on better, as we have already known the key story, the rhythm of our life, too. So, whereas we are all viewers of uncontrolled things and live in times of both conflict and terror, the only thing with which we have been so familiar is the human behavior. Kusturica has studied it even as a filmmaker to such an extent that his writing becomes a mirror of noise, paradox, irony and introspection in order to explore our private anxieties.
Take for example the life of Aleksa, the young character that is going to be evolved and become mature after having taken life incidents into further consideration. In the beginning he is worried about reading books but in the end he has realized their value in the daily life. Although he is in between difficulties, he overcomes the obstacles by possessing something extra; this is the critical eye, the witty humor, the performance. Hence, Aleksa represents the need to abolish the language of the society and its clichés; the congealed language does not encourage introspection, therefore Kusturica has invested both innocence and cleverness on this character so as to create another communicable reality in terms of writing.
The door to subjectivism also enhances the objective idea of common beliefs in the stories of Emir Kusturica. In them, Kusturica tackles the real issue behind the controversy. The noise as an outcome of the pursuit of the experience tends to be necessary in the narrative of the Balkan background. In this sense, the noise element could be connected with even deeper truths and circumstances; it could appear as the war shadow, the conflict face, the key that opens the door of Balkan adaptability into life. In other words, a Balkan story cannot be convincing enough without any noise existence.
As regards the paradox issue in Emir Kusturica stories, the family life portrays it exactly in order to question the social framework and show the delicate points. The family members play their roles but this does not happen by chance. The important thing for the readers is to localize the problem and the character’s addictiveness. There the humor starts, when the bad point has been diagnosed. However, Kusturica is more closely concerned with reality than moral realism. This is the reason why he does not make any statements about the bad habits. He is just interested in the paradox ‘‘movie’’ as a real filmmaker who writes his snapshots.
In the framework of irony, all the stories depict a clear tendency to focus on the importance of the accidental as if it happened for good. For instance, the character Kosta was saved by a snake’s hug. Also, the parents of Aleksa suffered from mishaps that happened accidentally. Even more, the habit of Brako-the father of Aleksa-to hide the money is a gesture that recalls the accidental literature reality in order to provoke irony and noise, as being part of a game. In relation to the latter, all the stories’ characters seem to belong to a sequel of interactivity that arouses strange incidents.
On the other hand, the introspection process takes place in a strong alliance with nature. Not by chance does Kusturica recall nature and mention natural names. The tragicomic picture of life is connected with natural snapshots from Sarajevo, the city of complex realities and disconcerting occasions. More specifically, here the nature seems to fill the gap of communication as an objective world of information and interpretation. As to introspection, this enables the writer to bring the hidden content into the open so that the readers can view it and feel sympathy for the characters by recognizing partially traits of their own behavior.
In conclusion, although we live in a world that has lost every metaphysical connotation, the stories of Emir Kusturica make the readers rediscover the essence of life. In terms of writing and reading, we can explore the power to be alive by keeping a valuable distance from the thing itself. The experiences that build a character and strengthen life consciousness can be examined through a new perspective in order to learn through the various mirror effects. The events that surround the characters of Kusturica and especially his leading one, Aleksa, represent all understandable sides of a conflict in order not only to report the problem but elucidate our oblivion about its roots. The short but prompt dialogues help a lot towards this direction, whereas the natural landscapes from story to story contribute to the realistic narrative by introducing objective universal notions of the world.