I really really love Pavic, despite the controversies around his art work.
At first, in early period of his career, almost nobody was able to interpret Pavic’s novels, stories and poems. In his 50s, mainly after the masterpiece novel Dictionary of the Khazars, he became worldwide famous author, everywhere published and acclaimed in Serbia. But, after two decades, some voices appeared here, claiming that he is not actually a very valuable writer and saying that his metaphors are empty. Hm. But, that’s Serbia. In European measures, he kept the respectable position.
I will always like him. Pavic’s art is my thing.
He enjoyed experimenting in literary forms and shapes. Novel in a form of dictionary, crosswords, astrological guide, tarot cards etc. He didn’t want to be a new writer, but he wanted to find a new reader who would read in nonstandard manner.
Book Paper Theater is specific stories collection from 2007. Pavic puts himself in roles of various imaginary international writers, and writes stories under their names and from their points of view. Pavic is writer of paradoxes and surprises.
My favorite stories from this book are “How is the proper way to attend a theater play” (Latvian story) – on a stage actors are simulating religious ceremony in a form of theater play in time when practicing religion is forbidden; “The button on trouser leg” (Argentinian story) – philosophical story about time theory; “The shortest story about Prague” (Czech story) – typical for Pavic – surprising ending which throws the new light on the whole story; “Chun Hiang” (Korean story) – fun and bizarre story about strange illness which changes the sex of the character and colors the whole his life.
My favorite character in this one and others Pavic’s book is – the Satan.
“I asked about it my friend Radosevic, who knew everything under the sky, but he was dumb as always.”
“I am the famous painter and my wife is a witch.”
“Time always breaths like the cattle does, it was always inhaling people and their cities and exhaling the future.”
More quotations you may find on official page: http://www.khazars.com/en/
Quotations in Serbian:
“Vreme oduvek dise kao govece sto dise, oduvek je udisalo ljude i njihova naselja i izdisalo buducnost. Niko ne bi izdrzao na svojim plecima toliko vremena koliko pretice.”
“Te noci usnila je da ima klavir Jamaha stop o kisi ispusta miris ostrigane ovce. Kad je htela da udari u dirke, iz klavira se razletese ptice, odletese u tudje snove ostavljajuci za sobom u njenim snovima gluvilo i nekakve usirene dane u krdu zgrusanih noci…”