Although it could seem that the primary origin of this poetry is the world of words – the author recurrently affirms the experience of reading as something very much alive and inspiring – the contact with her own material environment is equally important for Lidija Dujić. And no matter how linguistically complex, surprising, metaphorical this poetry is, and how far it takes (ironic) distance from reality, it always remains tied to the real moment that triggered poetic imagination and caused poetic language to flow. Singling out some moments, turning flashes of reality into a thoughtful linguistic structure, the poet creates original and meditative images, with a clear awareness of poetry as non-ordinary speech.
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This study in literary history brings to light various characteristics of the Croatian female literary scene in the late 19th and early 20th century. Focusing on three key figures – Dragojla Jarnević, Jagoda Truhelka and Ivana Brlić Mažuranić – the author makes visible a complex tissue of influences, shared existential preoccupations, positions on writing and recurrent literary motifs. The fundamental question leading her research – what was it like to be a female writer in a period where writing was still largely attributed to a male intellect? – thus gets a rich answer that tries to restore justice to silenced female voices. As the area of Croatian female literature is still largely unexplored, Dujić’s study presents an almost pioneering work that brings the reader not only a historical analysis, but also excerpts from previously unpublished archive materials: letters, diaries and personal notes by the three great writers around whom this book revolves.
The third book of poetry by Lidija Dujić, Plastron, Pericardium, includes five cycles of poems: Growers of Ice, The Time of the Desert, A Plate of High Tide, Wagon Tracks and Crop Rotation and Bunker of Angels. It is a poetry full of daring images, unusual associative sequences, rich with references to various fields of human experience. Combining elements from different language levels, the (erudite) author shapes and produces her poetic reality, with its own optics and artistic logic.
Picture book based on seashore debris used to evoke a setting and to provoke a story: shells and rubble become seashore, stones and wire become fish, and a little pebble-island becomes a witness of a fair tale that suddenly happens in the shallow water. The writer and the illustrator create an interplay between elements (water, stone, wind), transforming the ordinary set of things into a fantastic movement of awakened life. Fairy Tale of Shallow Waters served as a basis for a number of art workshops for preschool children.
Exploring the feminine side of Croatian literature Lidija Dujić offers a concise and interesting overview of selected segment of the Croatian literary history. She gives biographial sketches of Croatian female writers, explores the reception of their work and cliche images of women writers from the times of Renaissance to the contemporary age. Analyzing and re-valuing some works, recognized under the label of “women’s literature”, the author challenges many commonplace notions – writing in first person singular. The book is based on her doctoral dissertation, but is intended for a wider audience.