ŠAPONJA’S WRITING MAKES YOU FEEL YOU WERE THERE
In your hands is a book of travelogues that you won’t be able to put down, even though it is unclear what came first—the stream of conscience travel journal or the commissioned public diary. This book is different, elusive; it incompressibly carries the reader like a torrential river.
While visiting completely different points of Earth’s mottle, Šaponja’s writing makes the reader feel like they were there. His purpose of travel becomes your purpose of reading. Following the mental trail of Crnjanski’s Embahada, he will lead you precisely to those unfamiliar places that are such even when they appear familiar, deja vu.
Masquerading as a publisher, our poet crisscrosses the world for the glory of literature and its sense, revealing to us that this world differs significantly from our prevailing stereotypes about it. With eyes open to the invisible, as well as to that which is visible and tangible to everyone, Šaponja shows us by example how in fact poets expand the space of this world.
“Nenad Šaponja, adamantly claiming (albeit so truthfully) that a travel journal is not a postcard, executes his journal as the other opinion, that Picassoesque other portrait of L’Arlésienne, as the opportunity for escaping the common tourist globetrotting haste. There is no prejudice, no prior assessments. With ears wide open, our esteemed thought poet not only allows, but also encourages difference in perception. The atlas of his experiences does not move, nor does it elude us, but rather it multiplies indefinitely.
“Like the mighty comma in Miloš Crnjanski’s eternity, the journalistic moments—which anyway so often expose and sometimes also betray us—are truly within reach of happiness, esoteric splendor, and the dimension that we are only just discovering.”
“But Brussels Can Easily Be Covered on Foot, in the form of a daily-travelogue prose, contains much more than this genre traditionally suggests. It is a specific narrative-novelist or ‘Romanesque’ texture through which the reader can easily navigate, like through a work of fiction, as opposed to through strictly faithful nonfictional material.”
“Nenad Šaponja creates connections between different realities, languages, polities and literary worlds, while bearing the costs. ‘Small gifts have great weight’ he says in one place. That is true and that is precisely what each of his accounts is like.”