The Relationship between Foreign Country and Homeland on Maruša Krese's Map
The paper presents Maruša Krese's (1947–2013) ruminations on the relationship between the foreign country and the homeland. The Slovenian writer and journalist spent the years during which Slovenia attained independence in Berlin. In addition to providing an analysis of her poetry, which reveals Krese's call to transcend notions of nationality, identity and related concepts, the article covers the reflections on Slovenian independence which Krese offered in a correspondence with three like-minded colleagues. The correspondence bears the title Briefe von Frauen über Krieg und Nationalismus and has hitherto been undiscussed. Finally, the paper addresses the critical response to this work and places Krese within the theoretical framework of emigrant literature.
KEYWORDS: Maruša Krese, Briefe von Frauen über Krieg und Nationalismus, Abschied von Slowenien, identity, homeland
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FOREIGN COUNTRY AND HOMELAND ON MARUŠA KRESE’S MAP
This article brings new aspects to understanding the writings of Slovenian author, journalist, activist and globetrotter Maruša Krese. First, the article discusses Krese's understanding of identity on the basis of various motifs found in her poetry. It shows that the author yearns for freedom to travel abroad and a nomadic lifestyle rather than yearning for her homeland, which is a typical motif in poems written by Slovenian emigrant women writers.
The fluid identity she presents in her works, independent of national and religious ties, connects Krese with other authors who found their identity “complicated” and spoke and wrote critically about the fall of Yugoslavia and the independence of Slovenia and Croatia. During these events, Maruša Krese was living in Berlin and working as a correspondent, and was exchanging letters on nationalism with Croatian philosopher Rada Iveković, Serbian poet Radmila Lazić and Serbian playwright Biljana Jovanović. Their letters were published as Briefe von Frauen über Krieg und Nationalismus by the distinguished German publishing house Suhrkamp. Krese also wrote an essay titled Abschied von Slowenien, which was published in the journal Die Zeit and discussed Slovenia’s independence. Finally, the contribution discusses critical reviews of Krese's work written by the well-known Slovenian emigrant author Lev Detela.