Listen to my latest podcasts

There are two sites that feature my podcasts. People who support them on the Web - find my palavering real fun. I jibe at politicians and others - whenever they deserve it. The podcasts here are separated into those in Macedonian and the few in English. There is "About me" page too and some family pics. I plan to run conversational Macedonian chats, but need experience. This is on an OSX platform produced on a GarageBand and featured by iMac on iWeb. This is yet another, my all-Macedonian language podcasting facility put together and maintained by my friend George Zafirovski, an interface Merlin who builds (quickly) his reputation in London, UK. He is quite professional. So

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bejanovska-Levavasseur Translates Bogomil Gjuzel, Fires Flames of Painful Memories

She, my friend Marija Bejanovska-Levavsseur did not know what did she was doing when she hit enter and her e-mail clinked on my iMac. Rose a fury of memories and sentiments so nicely buried away. She wrote that one of these days a publisher in Belgium will promote her latest project, translation of a book of poetry titled "Under siege" with her introduction about the author, Bogomil Gjuzel (here left). She could have just as well hit me with a baseball bat.

We were 10 or 11. We sat in the same class of Goce Delcev elementary school. We were the best. My dad and mum were in two different communist goulags. His dad was hung by the communists when we were six. He was pensive. Who would not be. I think the kids knew. There was never a hint of a comment. We played, during recesses, Vinetou. He lead. Small. Large chick-bones. Huge deep-set eyes. He was the first who read Karl May and he assigned the roles for us. He was Old Shatterhand, the blood-brother of Vinetou. I was Fat Jim. Even then, 57 years ago. We jumped over the most dangerous construction blocks with rusted, murderous irons shooting at their edges. In retrospect, he might have had enough and wanted to die. Others fell, hurt themselves badly, even seriously and eventually that game was forbidden. It, thus, became a double challenge.

Then, when the whole school went on an excursion several miles away and when we were returning, during some crimson-clouded, half-dark sunset back to Skopje, the teacher moved us two aside and told us, as delicately as she could, that we, Bogomil and I, would not go with the class to congratulate the birthday of our Dear Marshal Tito as we were earlier told we would. This is not a try-out in literature to revive the conversation but eventually we understood that the class will go as scheduled but we two will not go as scheduled.

That was it. It was dark. I let tears roll down my cheecks. I think the teacher (Milka Sekulovska) also let one or two to swell in the corners of her eyes, but it was very late and I cannot swear on it. We, me and Milka, met latter, many - 40 to be exact - years latter. For the first time we were on a social occasion in Greece, where she was visiting her daughter, now a friend of mine, and it was impossible turning withered pages of memories. All this is pointless, I have struck it out of my mind. Bogomil is alive, he can describe his emotions.
But then, after an incident or two we were both involved in that school things changed. Once we sort of led a revolt or something, there was investigation, reprimands, and soon after he disappeared. His mother or sister moved elsewhere. He moved to a different school. So, I lost sight of Bogomil Dimitar Gjuzelov, my very early, very cherished schooll-friend. He graduated, strange, also English language, at the same college, in a different period. Destiny.

Some 14 years latter, one sunny autumn of 1964, with me just back after a year of studying phonetics and literature in London, there was the reminder of some of the most tormenting and most precious memories of my childhood. Bogomil Gjuzel, the proud author of a second book of poetry, the Alchemical Rose, responding to my invitation that we chat over old times and his new, very modern form of poetry in the journalists club of "Nova Makedonija" daily. I was hopelessly unprepared for his poetry. He was mad angry, if I remember correctly, and it took us some time to socialize again.
Our daughters (On the pic up) appear to go along quite well. His Irena is quite a story because she was, for a time, the spokeswoman of the European Union rep in Macedonia. I always wandered if she was ever going to burst out. She never did.
I believe that she turned every single available piece of paper about her grand father Dimitar Gjuzelov, here left, (the link takes you to a Bulgarian source and language account of his biography) and that she knows (and understands) way more about the most delicate subtleties of the Balkan reality than the people she interprets for.

But all this has little to do with the newest translation, now into French, of Bogomil Gjuzel's poetry. I do no know whether Marija knows much about Bogomil's personal life. I got so bewildered the other day with the scenes of Saddam's hanging, I could not gather my piece for days. And my very first thought flew to Boge (that's how we called him, and those of us who are around still do) and I asked myself, how does HE take these awful pictures. Where do the surface in his poems?
On the other hand what I wanted was to laudate both him and his translator Marija Bejanovska-Levavaseur without loosing from mind the publisher, Maison de la poesie D'Amay. Wanted to help promote his poetry. And I will, eventually. This is just a beginng, because I'll continue the text. Probably here. But you will definitely find out.

No comments: