Daša Drndić Quotes
“Memories die as soon as they are plucked from their surroundings, they burst, lose color, lose suppleness, stiffen like corpses. All that remains are shells with translucent edges. Half-erased brain platelets are a slippery terrain, deceptive. One’s mental archive is locked, it languishes in the dark. The past is riddled with holes, souvenirs can’t help here. Everything must be thrown away. Everything. And perhaps everyone as well.”
“...the intellectual is a person who nurtures, preserves and propagates independent judgment, a person loyal exclusively to truth, a courageous and wrathful individual for whom no force of this world is too great or too frightening not to be subjected to scrutiny and called to account.
... A true intellectual, a genuine one, is always an outsider, …he is a person who lives in self-imposed exile on the margins of society.”
“...wars are orgies of forgetfulness. The twentieth century has archived vast catacombs, tunnels of information in which researchers get lost and in the end abandon their research, catacombs that ever fewer people enter. Stored away---forgotten. The twentieth century, a century of great tidying that ends in cleansing; the twentieth century, a century of cleansing, a century of erasure. Language perhaps remains, but it too is crumbling.”
“The philosophy of the province is a philosophy of a closed circle that does not allow an apostasy, without which there is no creativity. The philosophy of the province is a normative and normalizing, suprapersonal and impersonal philosophy, it shuts out all aspects of life, education, sport, nutrition, nature, love, work, language, religion and death (which is far from being the death of an individual) replacing life with rigid forms of the normative which apply to all.”
“Vojny sú veľké hry. Rozmaznaní chlapci po pestrých mapách posúvajú olovených vojačikov. (...) Keď sa hra skončí, bojovníci oddychujú. Prichádzajú historici, ktorí kruté hry nenásytných bezuzdníkov premieňajú na lož. Píše sa nová minulosť; tú budú noví vojvodcovia zakresľovať do nových máp, aby sa hra nikdy neskončila.”
“Ovdje ljudi rijetko se grle kad se sretnu na ulici, rijetko jedan drugog stegnu zdušno. A i što bi se grlili, ionako se stalno sreću. Ništa novo ne dešava se mjesecima, godinama. Netko tu i tamo umre, netko se rodi, netko se doseli, a iseljavaju se oni koji mogu ili moraju. Ne znam znači li to da ovdje nitko nikome ne nedostaje, da ovdje ljudi pate od nedostatka čežnje, pojma nemam, možda ima onih koji za nekim ili nečim čeznu, vjerojatno ima i takvih, pa bilo bi skroz bolesno, skroz nenormalno da ovdje ni jedne takve osobe nema.”
“Andreas Ban would like to put several swifts on his chest to rest, to breathe with him like sleeping children.
Little black birds like cheerful death. Painless.
Little black birds with big eyes and a small beak, which peck noiselessly at his insides, see what is there and are silent.
Andreas Ban stretches his arms toward the sky, imagining that he is flying, imagining himself in a flock of swifts and lets out a stifled cry.
Small birds, they die when they are alone.
He, Andreas Ban, is alone.”
“In other words, melancholy would be a pathological form of mourning, a sick flight from reality, a flight from the outside world into a refuge, into the inner world of the psyche. What if reality is sick, what then? What if the inner world is destroyed, in ruins and robbed, where to then? So, in grief, the world becomes poor and empty, while in melancholy the ego is like some kind of abandoned archaeological discovery that has been dug up. Yes, the melancholic is a radical atheist who in his hollow discourse worships a dead god.”
“They talked about the way society is in fact controlled through the imposition of false needs, and how criticism of society is effectively and systematically suppressed by being infiltrated into institutions. They spoke of a closed technological society which creates a new totalitarianism, and in it there is no place for those outside the process of production. About the fact that the only way out of the comfortable, rationalized, undemocratic freedom offered by developed industrial civilization is through rebellion. About the fact that revolution is possible only through awareness but that awareness in itself demands revolution.”
“Sometimes it is as if Andreas Ban sees Lethe rise from its bed and splash the porous ramparts of memory. Flooding fields, cities and people. And when it decides to withdraw, it drags after it carpets of the past and the shaky present and buries them in its dense silt. And he hears Hypnos and Thanatos shading the world with the fluttering of their wings. Then he ought perhaps to reach for poets.”
“Old age and memory weave themselves into time and come increasingly to resemble braids; time is in fact a whirlpool in which past and present events circle, prehistory and posthistory, in an eternal embrace. And as the future collapses, as there is in fact no future, the time that is coming is wrapped in the past like a scroll becoming the underground world of the future, a world obsessed with everything old. And so empires collapse, the leaders of ages parade like statesmen, and under their equipment people become invisible. Therefore, no stories emerge from a disintegrated past, only lifeless images. There is no construction without stitches, everywhere there are fragments, because it is out of ruins, out of wrecks, out of discarded parts that new comes into being.”