The enigma of authenticity

After the collection of stories “Maneuver Music” (also published by Gramatika) and the drama “Who Keeps a Diary” (Literary Cooperative of the Serbian National Council), “Shooting in the Green” is the third book that Ranko Rajkovic noticeably promoted as a prose writer. For his opus of three titles, if it were expressed by a quantitative determinant, we could not say that it is extensive. But the value parameters that identify it and the messages through which it radiates are far more present and important than any statistical leveling.
“Burst in the green” is prose that has shown that he is the author of a built style, original ideas and with a sense for detecting unusual, threatened life moments. Although the author by his profession (graduated from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics – Department of Meteorology), to which he was faithful until the end of his working life, was not directly in the register of literary events, his erudition and penchant for psychological observation of people and their destinies for the postulates and changes of social circumstances and civilization facts have resulted in a contemporary literary story. For each of the eight stories in the collection, the author provided a clear narrative strategy at the beginning, according to which the events took place in a very precise logical sequence, creating a cathartic sense of unblocking from previous dramatic traumas and ambiguities. This is, without a doubt, the first poetic rule without which the persuasiveness of what is written could not be achieved. And persuasiveness is the very source of every true, lively narrative which, in the reader, as the ultimate reach of its reflection, receives an inviolable realization. What is the world that Rajković discovers and very successfully transposes into a literary story, into a new, even more striking reality? It is a modern social milieu, with slight symbolic indications that allude to our immediate surroundings, to Montenegrin soil, and which could be equally connected with the regional, ie universal. If we start from the content – obsession with nature and the world of birds, the problem of motherhood and in vitro fertilization, harmonization of local regulations with world standards, dismantling the one-party system and painstakingly reaching ideological pluralism, obsession with environmental issues, etc. which, as a society, still follow us and whose echo we will not get rid of so easily or quickly. Whatever life is, whether in (a) moral pressure, arbitrariness, full credibility or deprived integrity, it never obeys one-dimensional interpretation or pre-given rules. He is always in a state of surprise and in the freshness of his authentic indestructible power, in a state of disobedience and inexhaustible originality. As such, he constantly challenges us with his enigma and drives us to look deeper into everything that surrounds and touches us. Rajković’s prose also strives in this direction. As a kind of reminder of our everyday, ordinary, transient duration, these stories re-actualize the question of our consciousness, ability and willingness to embark on the new, the unknown, the impossible. To re-examine our own experience and thus establish a complementary parallel with our own life, but also the life of the Other. Because, it often happens that with the help of that Other, as if through the target point of our questioning, we remove the veils from our own Self. In short, life is, as much as possibility, as much as disbelief, real even when it is unreal. In the kaleidoscope of Rajković’s characters, both sides have an equal chance. Thus, Sasa Saliks, from the story “In a God-given place”, will redirect his love for nature and birds, due to unfortunate circumstances, to a techno-computer area which, as we find out in the end, will be, what ironies! salvation from the chaos that human malice, conceit and shallowness of spirit, pliability and manipulation know how to produce. In the story “Candidate for the Deceased”, Rajković goes even deeper in exposing the manipulative side of the state apparatus, causally invisible, and consequently deadly ideological guidelines, embodied in caricature-ironic portraits of individuals. Similar to this, the story “Shooting in the Green” builds its plot on the cross between fiction and reality, which through a skillfully guided compositional sequence of events will eventually grow into an open collision with a tragic ending – the death of the main protagonists. Through our social natures, whose profile was gradually modeled by the transitional java of the 90s of the last century, slightly lighter life stories were occasionally offered. However, their ease was just one of the many ups and downs in the world business trends, software design, financial operations, design solutions, fashion trends… (“Season of harmonization”). Similar camouflage sections of life will appear in the story “Chronology of one bite”, but with a slightly stronger humorous intonation, from whose concluding variants a spark of optimism radiates. Finding a possible way out, although not the final solution, is offered by the story “As if they will have a drink”. Her realistic subtext, stronger than in the others, in the final motive sum of Rajković’s prose, reveals another side of the author’s literary engagement: a deep scan of the accelerating pace of today’s life in which there is less and less room for gradualness, concentration, complete psychological vitality and emotional fulfillment. Moreover, sensitivity and attachment take on the character of astral virtuality, which already greatly legitimizes even the most subtle connections between two beings. Deviation from this “new” reality is present in the stories “Flowers from another age” and “Woman on the balcony”. In the first, the manners of the individual remain above the scheme by which the new profiteering class outlines our destiny and thus reaffirms the duality of our lives, present in us from birth. The coincidence of historical memory and its populist interpretation, which, despite our consciousness and will, seduces us much more often than expected, took on the characteristics of a convincing testimony in the story “Woman on the Balcony”, leading the reader to follow it more carefully. and its artistic context. The book of stories “Crack in the Green”, with its ideological and thematic breakthrough and imaginative achievements in revealing the increasingly intricate points of civilization of our current moment, placed emphasis on the human side of our existence. In the whirlwind of diabolical alliances, mythomaniac alienations, populist festivities, globalist threats, political idolatry – man’s lebens raun is getting closer, and man’s more lonely and lonely. All this is presented in the language of strong metaphors, complex artistic signatures and precise, nurtured dramaturgical narrative. In any case, the book deserves full readers’ attention.