|About the Book|
Among the stories published between the wars there are several characters who dominate the tales in which they appear and seem similarly to stand for a whole category of human experience. An example is the heroine of the of the story “Anikas Times“MoreAmong the stories published between the wars there are several characters who dominate the tales in which they appear and seem similarly to stand for a whole category of human experience. An example is the heroine of the of the story “Anikas Times“(1931). Anika is a woman who wreaks havoc in Višegrad through the unpredictable distribution of her favours. The impact she made is still spoken of when the story opens, several generations later. Anika is a self-willed creature whose defiance of convention – flouted initially out of pique with a particular young man – predictably brings her no happiness to the extent that she welcomes the prospect of the inevitable retribution her as a relief for herself and others: “It would be an act of charity of someone would kill me”, she repeats several times before her death. In this way Anika herself is not entirely in control of her destiny, but is the vehicle of an overwhelming power over men.The story of Anika is given an additional dimension in the form of an explanatory introduction the exact meaning of which is perhaps not immediately clear, but emerges from the account of “Anika’s Times”. This introduction describes the growing schizophrenia of the parish priest of a village outside Višegrad and his obsessive, furtive watching of women. As long as the villagers speak of him they tend to be reminded also of Anika. There is only a tenuous connection between her and father Vujadin, so that the association of the two stories in the villagers’ minds seems to suggest a more profound link. Vujadin’s madness is not directly attributable to his experience of women- he has become cut off from his fellow-men by a variety of factors. But as he steadily loses touch with society, women seem to loom ever larger in his consciousness. In this aspect of his madness that seems to disturb the villagers and urge them to give it form in their recollection of the legend of Anika.Within the framework of the story “Anikas Times“, this introduction appears as a kind of meditation on mans perennial need to control and account for his powerful response to woman, the need which led to the creation of the legend of Adam and Eve.