70th Festival | Geranium

Ivo Vojnović made his debut on the literary scene with the short story Geranium, a story which announced and anticipated the upcoming waves of Modernism and Symbolism in Croatian literature at the end of the 19th century. Embracing a female perspective, Geranium is a story about a woman named Mare who is said to have been born old, it is a story about solitude. In Geranium, as in all his great later works, Vojnović treats this solitude as a continuous, progressive state and as a space and time of identification of the protagonist’s state. Here, solitude is a matter of surrendering to fate, it is a testimony of entrapment by the place in which we were born. Mare consorts with solitude so others would not have to know it. In this play, Vojnović’s view of solitude is supplemented, but also counterposed, by Antun Šoljan’s Island, with the island offered as a place of escape and a place of rest where one can burrow into solitude which has a foreseeable end, unlike the one of Geranium, an end which for which we do not wish.

(c) Marko Ercegović