WHO MIROSLAV ANTIC REALLY IS?
AN ANSWER TO AN UNASKED QUESTION
In Serbian literature of the second half of the XX-th century there
are two prominent poets whose destinies hear some features characteristic
of the legendary heroes.
One of them is Branko Miljkovic ( 1934-1961 ), as very young elevated
to the pedestal of prince poet who, burning his candle at bofh ends
ended his life by committing suicide.
The ofher is Miroslav Antic ( 1932-1986 ), a lyrical poet with his specific
vision of the old, flat panonian Serbian Vojvodina, a province where
he was born. It is bofh about his feelings for his native Vojvodina
and the spirit of love that in his poems he used to sing rhapsodically,
at the top ol his voice. He-was best at it and most convincing at his
His book THE BLUE LOCK (1965) had more editions and was published more
copies than the most important works of classic Serbian literature.
In Strange coincidence. It is by living turbulently, like many great
lyrical poet of Serbian and European Romanticism, that MILJKOVIC and
ANTIC have completely disrupted the established patterns of life and
art. They bofh died prematurely, which proves that their life flame
was burning too fast, with ominous intensity and power steering the
course of their lives and the streams of their poetry.
ANTIC was a great admirer and avid reader of the Russian poets from
the beginning of this century: MAYAKOVSKI, YESENJIN and BLOK. MILOS
CRNJANSKI (189 VI977) geographically his neighbour, was the first poet
from his national tradition with whom he discovered spiritual kinship.
That classic poet of modern Serbian literature was his lifelong load
star. The phenomenon of migrations, that constant doom of wandering,
bofh for CRNJANSKI and ANTIC epitomised a kind of a North star foretelling
our future and showing us the right road to follow.
Exuberantly temperamental as he was ANTIC' also used to impressively
retire his poetry to the interested public gathered in numerous centres
of European and universal spiritual and cultural heritage. In Paris
he was Prevert's friend. On the ofher hand, he was also attracted by
the magic of the East and the unfathomable mysteries of the past.
This is the reason behind his obsessive search for his own roots we
reveal in his NOTES FROM MESOPTAMIA and NOTES FROM THE FOOT ICE MOUNT
Born in a tlar parr of the country he very early realised that all observatories
in ancient ami modern times were located either in the plains or on
the platens. From Haldea to Nevada.
An avid reader, from among the symbols of the modern world he loved
best the trains, the last romantic itineraries, the stars and the birds.
Like PAOLO UCCELLO, in his vivid imagination ANTIC used to dream freely
and unrestrainedly about the birds, about the power of knowledge beaming
from the SUN, about oranges and about the lanterns in the night.
Second to none and probably the last famous bohemian in Serbian literature,
living the way he did, ANTIC- selflessly wasted his unique poetic talent
for lyrical descriptions of dramatic Panonian nights and lavish girts
for painting, reporting and Him making, revealing and spraying in all
sorts of local inns.
As tar as I know even 13 years after his death Antic is still the hero
of most legends, stories and anecdofes than-any ofher poet.
I was lucky enough to have him work with me on his imaginary biography
entitled: THE INVISIBLE EMBELLISHED (198}). Writing this book we bofh
greatly enjoyed in daydreaming its content.
At one of the ends of his imaginary biography ANTIC says:
All over the world fairy tales begin with the words:
Once upon a time there was.....
Trying to convince us that what follows is true,
that it really happened.
All over the world, except in CAUCASIA.
In CAUCASIA they begin their fairy tales by saying:
Once upon a time may be there was, and may be not ....
Up to you to believe, or not
This is how everything about me should end:
In CAUCASIAN style: Once, there was an ANTIC, or may be not...."
It is obvious that he emerges from the fairy land of the famous Danish
writer ANDERSEN, hut it is also evident that ANTIC has enriched that
fairy land with fresh blood and exceptional poetic imagination.
The book he liked best:
THE SEA GULL JONATHAN LIVINGSTON by Richard Rah. The capital city of
A small inn filled with smoke open round the clock, next to a small
His beloved saint:
Our Lidy with a cofton clofh halo - his mofher Melanie.
His lavourite trips:
To the North, for the sake of travelling, out of sheer pleasure.
The rivers clear to his heart:
The extinct ones, including Aranka (Zlatica) that used to tlow through
his native village Mokrin.
His wandering gaze:
When talking to someone he used to look straight at his forehead, as
it trying to confuse him. Not once did his interlocutor use his handkerchief
to wipe out the non-existent, say red dot from his forehead.
His date of birth:
As it, according to the Tibetan theory of cycles, ANTIC, decided to
be horn in 1952, exactly a century after DURA JAK8IC (1852-1878). This
outstanding Serbian poet and painter was also horn in the Panonian province
of Ranat, in Srpska Crnja, a village about 20 km from Mokrin, ANTlC's
place of birth.
May be rhat some events, or some legends re-occur a century later.
All people born in flat regions dream about the South, and the higher
A water well, a church bell tower, human voice resounding far in the
distance, an ear of grain.
In our rather gloomy literature of the fifties a naughty big boy by
the name of ANTIC', in a somewhat frantic manner, introduced the charm
of smartness and surprise accompanied with a certain smile.
Like all great romantics in European art ANTIC- enjoyed listening to
May be that, like PUSHKIN, he preferred to wander by following the clouds
high up in the sky.
His MYTH Of The BIRD is actually an unhealed wound, a unique poem devofed
to our unfulfilled dreams about life and what it oflers to us.
ANTIC was different from the great European metaphysical writers who
preferred the isolation of a hofel room because he used to turn the
big geographic maps of the world into his own, luxurious, lyrical working
By travelling a lof he achieved a lof instead of us, for our sake.
Actually, MIROSLAV ANTIC is our most unusual and universal alibi: for
our failures, our limirations and all sorts of personal shortcomings.