In a town in which books were burning in 1992, surrounded by violence and misanthropy, a 46-year old poet was writing poems. The town was Sarajevo, besieged by Bosnian Serbs, the poet was – the Serbian Stevan Tontić who stayed in Sarajevo. In the harshest conditions, Stevan Tontić set for himself the highest ethical and artistic standards: the poetry should preserve its truthfulness in midst of massive media propaganda, it should not lose humanity despite all the contempt for mankind, it should give hope where there is hopelessness, and it should be a bright aesthetic example in dark times. This selection of poetry from the most important of Tontić’s 12 volumes of poetry shows that his uncompromising attitude “poetry or nothing” or even better “poetry against nothing” was the only right thing to do.
The biligual book of poetry Der tägliche Weltuntergang [The Daily Doomsday] by Stevan Tontić has been published by Drava Verlag in Klagenfurt/Celovec. The selection was made by Dragoslav Dedović, while the translations from Serbian to German (excerpt) have been made by Sabine Fahl, Cornelia Marks, Richard Pietrass, Zvonko Plepelić, André Schinkel and Bärbel Schulte.