romanian literary monthly

Aurelia Satcau:Culture of Flames keeping ludic at bay :The transitional / transactional Balkans after 1990

This chapter draws partly on Dina Iordanova’s 2001 seminal work on Balkan culture, film and the media, “Cinema of Flames”. Her study, together with other similar attempts to cope with, as yet, unacknowledged, unrevealed facts of culture in this area of Europe, is a must today, in the ludicscape of contorted or just delayed truths, or only half-truths, in the grip of a genuinely post-emotional connoisseur, whose task remains that of ludicizing a world and letting in the bitter taste of apocalypticism. The account on Iordanova’s unique contribution to the understanding of the geopolitical perimeter we call the “Balkans’, translates smoothly in my recent work on the the notion of Ludic and a paradigmatic ludicscape as the apogee of a (Ludic) Postmodernism with its regime of excess, and whose expert managing of a certain jocularity was, no doubt, quite beneficial for those for whom, in Bakhtin’s own words, “the rhetorical dispute is a dispute where claiming victory against the opponent, rather than acknowledging the Truth becomes crucial”.

In my thesis on Ludic, I insisted on the mechanism by which a certain, indispensable today (as always) ideological construction of the real is obtained by managing, that which is distorting and eventually annihilating subjectivities destined, otherwise, to serve a genuine dynamic in history; so it is all to do with loss and false pretensions, with unnecessary cynicism, self-inflicted parody and self-denigration in good old Brunian fashion – see Giordano Bruno’s portrait of the Manipulator, required to have immersed and have indulged himself into the shallow waters of temptation, for then, and then only, is the Manipulator in perfect control of its victim. Ludic is, and will remain, the ultimate replacement, agent provocateur, and expert into self-deprivation and ‘stoic’ (sic) (pseudo)resistance. This paper will attempt at relating my theory on ‘Ludic’ with Dina Iordanova’s view on the Balkans..

Many signals have been sent from what Misha Glenny called “The Balkans”, one denomination used through several templates to define a disputed location: “the realm of ruins”.” maze of conspiracy”, “the empire of illusions”, “a house of wars”, “the city of the dead”, “prisons of history”. These are, of course, Glenny’s ironical positionings of the Balkans, suspended somewhere in the nowhere between Europe and Asia, in “the center of some sort of imaginative whirlpool” where “every known superstition in the world is gathered” (Glenny, xxi). This internalized image could be followed into a drastic, this time, although reluctant to

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