Ljubodrag Stojanović, author, http://www.alma.rs/autori/lj-stojanovic.html
A review of the short story ‘The Bitch’
THE POETRY Leila Samarrai is an exceptional poetess. Hence why the lyricism is so excellent in her works. Consciously or not, whatever the case might be, ultimately it is irrelevant, the verses flow from her sleeves, fingertips, quill, making up a powerful waterfall of verses which floods us readers, therefore we, occasionally, while disappearing into the colors and verses of Samarrai, get the impression that we are reading a poem, a poem that akin to sound (of whistling) gets stuck in one’s throat.
THE PLAYS I have had the honor of reading Samarrai’s plays. Perhaps some would call me subjective on this, but her plays are equally as good as her poetry. What’s more, Samarrai’s poetry and plays often are intertwined, making up an antique literary fatherland. Samarrai’s erudition mixed with imagination creates and destroys worlds and universes, leading us through epochs and vast spaces as if in a dream, or rather, in a moment. Is ‘The Bitch’ a type of play? Very much so. This story yearns for an adaptation, and it might happen if an open and ingenious enough person reads it and feels its bark or voice as an invitation for casting of a role of roles.
THE FARCE Speaking of playwrights, farce is the one thing that must not be avoided in Samarrai’s works. However you identify with her protagonists of either sex, with their realistic – and in a way our own, too – basic and easily recognizable problems, we are left with the other side of Janus’ face, partly smiling, partly grim. It is enjoyable to wander around the light and darkness of Leila Samarrai. Her humor can also be quite vocal, with many a hahaha within, and it can also, in the blink of an eye, turn itself into a very sharp and even shredding satire of human and less-so characters. Samarrai is what Branislav Nušić could have been had he ever wanted to dabble in horror.
THE ABSURDITY Mentioning Samarrai’s works, and glossing over the absurdist tinge of it, would religiously speaking be blasphemous. Even though it seems easy to write of absurdist literature or to write absurdist literature itself, I would disagree that everyone can do it with a little bit of imagination packed into the zeitgeist. Samarrai’s absurdist tendencies are not there for absurdity’s sake, nor does it adorn itself with it, spraying it all over the letters, nor amateurishly summon it like the Dodolas summon the rain. The absurdity is there, it materializes on its own, popping out of the situation, has a face and form of engaged literature, it is strong and loud, it chides and accuses, it awakens and sobers…
COURAGE Leila Samarrai is without a doubt a courageous person. I will not go into the minutiae nor explain why I think so. It will be enough for you to take one of her works, read it from start to finish, and it will all be clear. Without literary courage, there is no literary quality, or rather, it remains unfinished and silent, which in literature is a death worse than death.
METEMPSYCHOSES AND METAMORPHOSES IN ‘THE BITCH’ All of these characters might in a Borgesian, Alephian way, all be one. Peter is Ana and is Pipi and Fifi, and…The whole work itself. And not just him, but each of them separately. Dismantling, rearranging and transforming of characters is in particular a great treat of this all-encompassing work. For instance, Pipi is 2×3.14! An amazing solution out of which Pipi becomes Lazarus who is raised back from the dead. Also, the amazing ‘woof woof’ ending, with its greeting or saying goodbye, stultifies any character division to humans and animals, men and women, protagonists and antagonists. A top notch work of fiction alongside which you grow and learn.
LJUBODRAG STOJANOVIC WAS BORN IN GNJILANE ON APRIL 22ND, 1972, WHERE HE HAD LIVED UNTIL JUNE 1999. HE WRITES APHORISMS, POEMS, ROCK LYRICS, PLAYS, SHORT STORIES, AND NOVELS.
HE IS CURRENTLY LIVING IN NIS.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: ‘THE SERBIAN STORY’ (2002), COLLECTION OF APHORISTIC PROSE ‘BOTH INSANE AND CONFUSED’ (2009).