Polica Dubova

Slovensko / English

Mirto Azina Hronidi: Eksperiment - NAGRADA RADOJKE VRANČIČ

Mirto Azina Hronidi

Translated by Lara Unuk
144 pp.
Format: 129x198 mm
Published by KUD Police Dubove
Year of publication: 2020
Edition: Eho, 21
ISBN 978-961-7020-45-8
ISBN 978-961-7020-54-0 (epub)
Retail price: 19,90 €
Discount price: 15,90 €
Cena e-knjige: 6,99 €

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The Experiment (To Peirama) is an artful prose narrative, written in elaborate style, evading the boundaries of genre – an experiment in story-telling. It is a collection of short prose which could also be read as a novel since it consists of a set of lyrical tales, loosely connected by a frame story of a man and a woman jointly writing a literary work as a means of reaching the ideal »seventh stadium« of romantic love, in which they will attain an absolute unity of souls while temporarily renouncing the carnal aspect of love. This artistic and spiritual quest is, on the other hand, rooted in the relatable reality of a new house and the buying of furniture, of memories connected to things and of people and pets around them,  all of which presents the danger of diverting the protagonists from their mission. The reality of their situation and the fact that the woman and the man remain nameless all through the narrative makes them a referable representation of Everyman. 

Their book takes the form of a set of highly symbolistic and poetic short stories which all revolve around the reccurring topics of sexuality and abstinence from it, of gender roles, of life and death, of finding your way to live and to die, erotic love being the vehicle of it all. It is also a story of migration of the soul from one form of existence into another as reflected by the stages of love or growing up. The identities of the characters of singular stories are not clearly defined, there could be more of them or they could be all the embodiments and variations of one single (or every) couple, as the »authors« seem to suggest: their work speaks »about a woman searching to improve herself« and a man »who only knows that he knows nothing«. 

Besides the play with genre and the obvious reference to the One thousand and One Nights, the stories are intertwined with hidden hints at and direct literary quotes from oeuvres by literary classics, such as Albert Camus, Ezra Pound, Anton Tschechow, Bertold Brecht, or Sylvia Plath. Some other plots are built upon myth or folk-tales. In a very discreet manner, by referring to personal childhood memories, readers are presented with short flashes from the recent political history of Cyprus and the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974. Last but not least, The Experiment, which aims at greater understanding of endless questions posed by relation between reason and passion, or by human desire, can be seen as a modern interpretation of the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche.

Greek Cypriot writer Myrto Azina Chronides was born in 1961 in Nicosia, Cyprus. Since her early years, she has written many essays and poems, as well as won several literary prizes for poetry and prose at the Pancyprian Gymnasium. She published her first book, Hemerologion (1977), at the age of sixteen. She studied medicine, and after graduation, she specialized in general medicine at the academic hospital of the University of Bonn in Euskirchen. Since 2007, she has been working in Cyprus at the Department of Medical and Public Health Services. She published three books: Pathology (1987), Rachel (1997) and The Experiment (2009). Her short stories have featured in many literary magazines and in two national anthologies. In 2010, she won the EU Prize for Literature for The Experiment. Her writing style is metaphoric, influenced by psychoanalisys, rich in intertextual references and allusions. The Experiment has been translated into many foreign languages, among them Albanian, Bolgarian, Croatian, Czech, English, Lithuanian, Macedonian, German, Romanian, Serbian and Spanish.

Co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

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