Madness and Balkan in Transition: Duљan Kovaиeviж’s “Roaring Tragedy“ and Hristo Boychev’s “The Colonel Bird”

Sava Stamenkovich


The paper analyzes the plays of two most famous Serbian and Bulgarian contemporary playwrights. Both of them thematise the situation of the mentally ill in the transitional period in our countries. Kovaèeviæ in his “Roaring Tragedy” (1991) let the mental patients on the streets of Belgrade, and Boytchev, in his “The Colonel Bird” (1997) sends them to Europe, the promised land. Why do doctors in these plays join schizophrenics, why everyone accepts the decisions of mentally ill colonels and why does, in this period of transition, a major reassessment of everything and chaos, only mental patients resemble normal and good people? Can they be taken as a metaphor for the situation in the Balkan transitional societies or as a metaphor for the relationship of Europe to the Balkans? This paper also analyzes the film adaptation of the Serbian play (“The Tragic Burlesque”, 1995), whose screenplay was also written by Dušan Kovačević.


madness, transition, the Balkans, play, Dušan Kovačević, Hristo Boytchev, Roaring Tragedy, The Tragic Burlesque, The Colonel Bird


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