The Fortress (an excerpt)

The Fortress (an excerpt)

By Meša Selimović

Experience has taught me that what you cannot explain to yourself should be told to some other person. You can deceive yourself by some part of an image that imposes itself, by a feeling difficult to express because it eludes the effort of comprehension and slides into a mist, into elation that seeks no sense. Some other person needs an exact word, that is why you look for it, you feel that it lies somewhere deep inside of you and you pursue it, it or its shadow, you recognize it on somebody else’s face, in the look of another person as he begins to grasp. The listener is a midwife during a heavy labour of words. Or something more important. If the other person wishes to understand. It is only three of us, only three of us in the entire world: my fingers, her body and its even beat. Trapped by an inexorable flow of blood. It is not important what is happening in the world, it is not important what will happen tomorrow, what’s important is this moment of bliss devoid of thoughts…Somebody’s one thousand happy moments will be like this one, but this one will not repeat itself ever again…Somebody else’s one thousand loves will be like this one, but this one will not repeat itself ever again. Not ever: the only finality. For the first time I know what happiness is, I can feel it, I can see it, I can smell it. The entire world and the whole of the universe, the three of us. There is no one else but us. And there is happiness. Will I be able to keep it?

Translation by: Ljiljana Parović

Tvrdjava (odlomak)

Iskustvo me naučilo da ono što se ne može objasniti samome sebi, treba govoriti drugome. Sebe možeš obmanuti nekim dijelom slike koji se nametne, teško izrecivim osjećanjem, jer se skriva pred mukom saznavanja i bježi u omaglicu, u opijenost koja ne traži smisao. Drugome je neophodna tačna riječ, zato je i tražiš, osjećaš da je negdje u tebi, i loviš je, nju ili njenu sjenku, prepoznaješ je na tuđem licu, u tuđem pogledu, kad počinje da shvata. Slušalac je babica u teškom porođaju riječi. Ili nešto još važnije. Ako taj drugi želi da razumije. Troje nas je, u cijelom svijetu samo troje: moji prsti, njeno tijelo i njegov ujednačen damar. Uhvaćeni nezaustavnim kolanjem krvotoka. Nije važno šta se dešava u svijetu, nije važno šta će biti sutra, važan je ovaj čas blaženstva bez misli… Hiljadu nečijih srećnih časaka biće kao ovaj, ali ovaj nikada više. Hiljadu tuđih ljubavi biće kao ova, ali ova nikada više. Nikada: jedina konačnost. Prvi put znam šta je sreća, osjećam je, vidim, mirišem. Cio svijet i cijela vasiona, nas troje. Nikog drugog osim nas nema. I ima sreća. Da li je mogu zadržati?

Kalemegdan-fortress-Belgrade-Serbia-1

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