A strange family of newcomers arrives to a small town in Herzegovina. This time the setting in Trebinje, which, as it is often the case with Kovač, is stripped off all folkloristic and local markings. That same atmosphere of the Mediterranean, of Karst, of drought, thirst and heat, occasionally somnambular, somehow twisted, viewed from “askance”, bent out of shape, loaded with fluids that stir up passions and bare instincts, where almost nothing happens, yet something fatal and threatening has just happened or is about to happen.
A failed merchant, Josif Biriš, and his wife, a descendant of the Meštrević family, whom we know from before, and their four children, the offspring of orthodox-catholic family lines, sensual Elida and another sister Ruža, both given to sexual pleasures, their brothers Jakov, a rebel, and Goja, a retard, their uncle Donato Meštrević, who here plays a magnificent part of grave stone mason, we’d call him the master of death… Some strange creatures walk into the picture from somewhere on a side: such as a gendarme, priests of both religions, a jailor, a doctor and a pharmacist, the weird and spiritual doctor named Gustav Gaj and his devil’s apprentice, and finally the devil himself who has a whole chapter dedicated to him. And all of this is told by a narrator who is constantly involved with the flow and the source of the story, Anđul, some sort of a chronicler or witness…
If the statement that today’s fantasy is some sort of erudition is true, Kovač is truly one of the greatest erudites of what we could call fantastic or mythic realism.
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