Croatia as Tragedy

Gregor Dotzauer in Taggesspiegel (translated over at signandsight):

When an angel first whispered in his ear that Central Europe would end in tragedy, it is impossible to say, after all the angels which have populated Delimir Resicki‘s poems. They feed him with clever and terrible words and if possible both at the same time. “If you have matches / then it its easy / to find a needle in a haystack,” they whisper to him for example, although the sinisterness of these lines is sapped by the daylight. At first glance, the Central European tragedy which Resicki is evoking here has something ghostlike about it. Perhaps it travels invisibly with the Bora, the Jugo or the Maestra, the three great winds which blow across Croatia. Or it hides behind the sun which floods the whole country from cave to coast, right down into the drowned valleys of the Adriatic. Beyond the showy Baroque that dazzles the visitor in Zagreb reigns the misery of the pre-fab high-rise, and beyond the elegant Roman ruins of Pula lurks a provincial narrowness you wouldn’t want to cross. But these things are not inescapable, as long as you can still find respite in Zagreb’s parks, or among a pile of books in a sofa of the art cafe Cvajner, once a bank of the Austro-Hungarian empire, with the intent not to rise again until next summer arrives.

So where is the tragedy? Is it heralded by the two German estate agents who in the queue at the airport shamelessly deliberate the most efficient way of coaxing the locals out of their houses while they forge plans to conquer Belarus and Ukraine because Croatia, as the mercenaries ensure one another, is the gateway to the entire East? Or does it manifest itself in the Russians who roll up with their coffers of cash to get their hands on private islands, as Tito did with Brioni, before EU regulations interfere? Or is it revealed in the skirmishes which border on bitter comedy, where politicians continue to slug it out as if, a decade after Franjo Tudjman‘s death, the leaden nationalism of the first post-Yugoslavian president was still alive, while all around the consumer world glitters in every capitalist brand and colour?