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Circling: 1978-1987 [Kindle Edition]

Dejan Stojanovic

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Book Description

In a colorful landscape of contemporary Serbian poetry, a careful reader can recognize that one of its branches, with a decidedly reflective experience of the poetic tradition and heritage, corresponds with a Serbian medieval age, opens up for its Byzantine chords and, in the context of contemporary poetry, is closest to Modern Classicism. In the first wave of Serbian post-World War II poetry, this stream was at the very foundation of a revival, which is almost suppressed today.

It seems that precisely today, in the atmosphere of almost complete saturation by the practice of ever changing poetic trends, Serbian poetry is returning to its basics. This picture of a slow rebound, a long awaited reorientation on the Serbian poetic scene, is already happening, by all accounts, and is being sensed in the actual literary production.

Reading the book Circling triggers the associations of this kind of a wave, which is not underground anymore, but has transformed itself into an actual poetic phenomenon. Dejan Stojanović, obviously, is not influenced by any contemporary poetic school or fashionable poetic trend, and is not trapped by some sensibility as a “follower.” Stojanović, as a reflective poet of mature thought and discourse, revives the atmosphere of the ancient (antic) times even in the first layers of his poems. It is easy to notice what specifically marks Stojanović in Serbian contemporary poetry: In weaving his poems and building his lines, a poet has returned to the antic form of utterance, to the difficult and slow movement of the poetic matter, to the dignified and solemn tone, and that kind of wisdom which was nourished in ancient times.

Far from experiments, from challenges of hazards and poetic adventures, Stojanović’s poems exude the dignity of ancient forms. Similar to the techniques of painters, Stojanović condenses his utterances into short, harmonious poems, most often colored with Mediterranean colors, surprisingly successfully. His poems, almost by a rule, are condensed forms made of short utterances. In the second part of the book, poetic palette becomes darker with an introduction of fantastic and hallucinogenic elements and even apocalyptic tones. Nevertheless, the principle of condensation and consistency of form is never questioned. Apocalyptic scenes and images of evil are expressed in huge blocks that give the impression of a work of an architect or a sculptor. Such are the poems “Vision,” The Chess Board,” “Arrival of Darkness,” and “River of Death,” which all appear as compositions. There is a feeling that Stojanović wrote his poems along with visual compositions; to that extent, visual-imaginative effects are impressive.

Specific, surprisingly original, outside the collectively nurtured sensibilities and fashionable trends, Stojanović is an extraordinary example of creative individualism in a generation that nourished such individualism the least. For that reason, the book Circling is not only an example of an extraordinary poetic achievement, which represents a strong encouragement to the important branch of Serbian poetry, but is also an announcement of a moral and spiritual project – a project that belongs to the tradition of Serbian poetry and thought in the best sense of the word.

-Alek Vukadinović
Afterward to the first Serbian edition (1993)

Dejan Stojanovic’s poems are astute and spiritual tangents of a circle that comprises the phenomena hidden beyond the direct naming of the world and things in poetic transposition. With his poems, he seeks the borderlines between the content and its metaphysical expression, pure thought about the world and its essence. Passion and complete and easy flowing devotion to poetry and to the power of words, poetically and semantically, above all, shape his original poetic output.

-Petar V. Arbutina

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dejan Stojanović (Serbian: Дејан Стојановић; born 11 March 1959) is a Serbian-American poet, writer, essayist, philosopher, businessman, and former journalist. His poetry is characterized by a recognizable system of thought and poetic devices, bordering on philosophy, and, overall, it has a highly reflective tone. According to the critic Petar V. Arbutina, "Stojanović belongs to the small and autochthonous circle of poets who have been the main creative and artistic force of the Serbian poetry in the last several decades."


Stojanović's poetry collections are characterized by sequences of compact, dense poems, simple yet complex in carefully organized overall structure, and that is why some more visibly than others appear as long poems. This is especially characteristic of the books, The Sign and its Children, The Shape, and The Creator (Znak I njegova deca, Oblik, Tvoritelj), in which, with a relatively small number of words repeated in different contexts, Stojanović built his own poetic cosmogony. For that reason, writer and critic, David Kecman, described him as a cosmosophist.

In his poems, he covers the smallest and the largest topics with equal attention, often juxtaposing them to the level of paradox and absurdity, gradually building new perspectives and meanings that are not only poetic either in origin or in purpose. Some themes and preoccupations, be they stones or galaxies, are present in all of his books, and it can be said that his poetry books are, in themselves, long poems and that all of them serve as ingredients of a hyper-poetry book that is still in the making. "If elegance is represented by simplicity, then these are some of the most elegant verses imaginable," Branko Mikasinovich stated.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 187 KB
  • Print Length: 74 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: New Avenue Books; 1 edition (May 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089VHNCA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,625 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dejan Stojanović was born in Peć, Kosovo (the former Yugoslavia), in 1959. Although a lawyer by education, he has never practiced law and instead became a journalist. He is a poet, essayist, philosopher, businessman, and former journalist and published six critically acclaimed books of poetry in Serbia: Circling, The Sun Watches the Sun, The Sign and Its Children, The Shape, The Creator, and Dance of Time.

In 1986, as a young writer, he was recognized among 200 writers at the Bor (former Yugoslavia) Literary Festival. He also received the prestigious Rastko Petrović Award from the Society of Serbian Writers for his book of interviews with major European and American artists and writers.

In addition to poetry and prose, he has worked as a correspondent for the Serbian weekly magazine Pogledi (Views). His book of interviews from 1990 to 1992 in Europe and America, entitled Conversations, included interviews with several major American writers, including Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow, Charles Simic, and Steve Tesich.

He has been living in Chicago since 1990.


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