2 October 2010
The play “Totenbirt” by Ivo Prijatelj (“Totenbirt” means a pub near the churchyard, where people gather for a funeral reception in honour of the deceased. The same word is used for the proprietor of the pub; the word is dialect, it literally means a publican of the dead.) starts in medias res, in the middle of a craftsman’s regular day, in the pub near the church—a place where both business and existential questions are hashed out. Family relations and business go hand in hand in this community; the pub hosts generational conflicts, midlife crises and stories of friendship and love. Cruel materialism and the fight for survival don’t leave room for a poetic path through life. Nevertheless, the author offers an escape into a transcendent world where old traumas might finally be solved. The authentic, everyday spoken language of Slovene semi-urban life and a narrative based on folk wisdom and contemporary issues are complemented by a uniquely poetic approach which offers a bridge between realism and symbolism in this play.
41. Slovenian Drama Week, Kranj