Author: Erna

Erna Grcic is a writer, poet, teacher, and translator. She graduated summa cum laude and received two Golden Badges from the University of Sarajevo upon getting her MA in English Language and Literature. She synthesises her love of literature and teaching in her research in the field of literary theory and applied linguistics. She is currently working on a poetry collection titled Beneath the Surface and writing a novel inspired by ancient Slavic mythology under the working title The Hatching. A Word from the Author: ‘Literature is my work and my favourite pastime. My first literary experience had started almost thirty years ago, during a particularly bloody war, when in the basement of our heavily bombarded house, my mother read to me in the flickering light of a candle in order to pull me away from the roars and blasts that shook us every now and then and make me fall asleep. Since then, literature has become a safe haven, a source of peace and security in the midst of the everyday uproar.’ – Erna G.
Read More

Poe’s Ladies: Search for Perfection

1.0 Introduction

Throughout his work Edgar Allan Poe is guided by the idea explained in his “Philosophy of Composition” where he says that the best inspiration for the most poetical melancholy is found in “the death of a beautiful woman” and “equally it is beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.”[1] Poe’s famous ladies, Annabel Lee, Lenore, Eleonora, Berenice, Ligeia, Morella, Madeline, are the means for his presentation of this theme in his tales and poems where, in the words of Floyd Stowall, “through loneliness, mystery and terror we are led from the idea of beauty to the idea of death, the ultimate solace for pain. This association of death and beauty accounts for nearly all that is most characteristic in Poe’s poetry.”[2]

Read More

Today

Today has been one of those days.
The thermos opened in the bag somehow.
All the papers, the wallet, the phone,
the AC remote, drenched with coffee.
Stains everywhere.
Attempted to fix it but made it worse.
Coffee dripped all over the seats,
I tried to wipe them clean
while stuck in traffic, and then just gave up.
Running late, but not worried really,
Everything can wait.
It’s one of those days.

Read More

Sunset

Sunset comes with age, Senility coats it with oblivion, Separates it from the rigid reality. Thoughts wander through some vast valleys, And nobody can find you. “She’s crazy, gone”, they think While you enjoy the moments […]

A Tale of … Several Campuses

As Malcolm Bradbury put it in the first line of The History Man: “Now it is autumn again; the people are all coming back,” yet the beginning of the school year simply doesn’t feel right without the murmur of the rain, wet boots and coats, warm sweaters, and red-gilded trees. It’s November already, and I still did not get the proper autumnal kick. I’ve been waiting for three years now and I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that autumn simply does not visit the country where I currently reside. Hence, I’ve decided to live vicariously and feed on the autumn feeling from some of my favourite campus novels.

 

To be a teacher of any kind, it seems, one needs to be blessed with a certain dose of humour. You need to have the ability to grasp the paradoxical nature of your surroundings, digest it, laugh it off, and let go. This particular tincture of irony, mild sarcasm, and situational comedy seems to permeate the campus novel genre faithfully represented by Kingsley Amis, David Lodge, and Zadie Smith.

Read More

The Stitched-up Girl

I will start this new notebook with my all-times favourite author, the one whose books always stir something in me, summon a memory, and awaken a long-buried emotion: Angela Carter. She reminds me of my student days when I decided to analyse the Bakhtinian elements in her Nights at the Circus for my masters thesis and I had spent days at the university library poring over books and magazines, trying to scrap up enough material to complete my eighty-something page paper. Even though it was pretty hard toil, I enjoyed every moment of it. Carter’s works are imbued with lively, colourful, carnivalesque atmosphere and grotesque characters whom you cannot but embrace and learn to love. 

carter-pic-1