B O O K S W O R T H B U R N I N G
Books by Marko Vignjevic
The Peacock Agenda
In the vein of Albert Camus’ great existential novels, The Plague and The Stranger, and JP. Sartre’s existential rite-of-passage, Nausea, M. Vignjevic’s The Peacock Agenda is the story of Ayda Ayduk, a man who is a sort of recluse, and who cannot accept that cannibalism is the dietary norm in his community while at the same time adhering, even enthusiastically so, to the practice himself. This odd man works during the day in the morgue as an assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner and a young man named Krot, all the while surreptitiously retrieving suicide victims for his own consumption from the city’s main river. This all changes when he gets a chance to leave his shell thanks to two new relationships that venture into his life, one with a Draga Lagrada and one more with a new friend whose life he saves and who happens to also work as a taxidermist.
In the vein of Goethe’s Der Zauberlehrling, Vignjevic’s Catalogue Diabolique is a fantastical tale of Mata Gradinar, a newly appointed Pedagogical Faculty post-doc whose well-received graduate paper throws him into a world of secrets revealed by his work.
This all starts when he goes to the bookbinders to pick up his finished work where instead he finds that – although the book has been bound – there is no text on the pages. At first confused to the point of not even protesting, Mata Gradinar discovers that he has more than empty pages in his hands, but rather a catalog of empty pages that allows him to discover all the wrongdoers in his society. Mata then embarks to uncover all with the help of his best friend Eroneous Petroneus.
At first Mata Gradinar is extremely careful what he writes in the book, since everything he writes within it reveals the deep history, and possible future of that subject. As the tale develops so does Mata’s curiosity with regard to his wanting to rid his society of all evil doing, primarily by exposing the vast corruption that surrounds him.
The story in the book has been carefully chosen by the author to emphasize the length to which corruption can spread in any given society, thereby diminishing the value that the same society puts on human life.
Young Drudgers is a novella set in an unnamed city that deals with the trials and tribulations of one, Marglay Gaus, and his friends, none of whom have or can hold on to a job of any kind, that is until an opportunity presents itself in the shape of the novella’s wealthy antagonist, a certain Mr. Belamorte.
Mr. Belamorte tasks Marglay and his friends to find the next link in the chain of human evolution, i.e. an individual who stands out from all others. Along the way of their search they run into various characters, including a homeless man by the name of Grapa Grog who drags a coffin with him wherever it goes, carrying with it deep symbolic meaning.
Part existential, part formless literature, Young Drudgers is about every person’s yen to find their way and their true purpose in the sometimes simple and mundane lives that we live.
As with a haiku,
Estrangement frames silences,
Dust swarms dinner plates.
David Mathew, Author of Nostalgia's Boat