Dejan Aleksić

Serbia

Dejan Aleksić, born in 1972, is a poet, play writer and an author of chidlren literature books. He finished his elementary and secondary school in Kraljevo. He graduated from the University of Philosophy, the Department for Serbian Literature and Language, in Novi Sad.

He published nine poetry books and over fifteen books for children.

With his first book, published in 1999, he had already acquired recognitions of reading public and literature critics. In the following years he had become one of the leading representatives of his generation and since then he has taken an important place on the poetry scene. For his literary works he was awarded with the most significant rewards and recognitions in Serbia and abroad. Along with the poetry he creates literature for children, bringing new poetics, ideas and sensitivity into this literary field. Literary critics claim he is the descended of the writers who settled the highest achievements in Serbian literature for children. Some of his literary works for children and the young are in obligatory reading books for elementary schools. He works as the Editor in Chief of the Publishing Office `Povelja`, in the Public Library `Stefan Prvovencani` in Kraljevo. At present, `Povelja` represents the most significant publisher of poetry books in Serbia.


The poetry of Dejan Aleksić is most often regarded as neosymbolistic, even though this depiction is too crude to fully encompass the specificity of his work. The author himself in fact does regard symbolistic poets, such as Jovan Dučić, Milan Rakić, Ivan Lalić and Branko Miljković, as the main influencers of his work, but the themes and style of his poems commonly surpasses the frames of symbolism and neosymbolism. Very often the poet uses classical forms to connect with his interest in the relationship between form and content, which echoes in his need to write in a tight, traditional verse - which, of course, is not characteristic of poets of a younger generation. Traditional verse is therefore one of basic features of Aleksić’s poetry, albeit the author uses tradition within a different, completely contemporary structural frame; he tends to design or invents new words, which, in turn, makes reading of his poetry a very immersive task. The specifics of Aleksić’s expression can also be boiled down to the richdom of his erudition, and the subtlety of his numerous symbols and metaphors. In terms of content and theme, the poet most commonly touches upon metaphysical dimensions, expressed through everyday situations, through oppositions of small/big, banal/ transcendent.

In the epilogue of Working hours of paradise, the literary critic Dragan Bošković wrote that “with his words and his terminology, Aleksić ‘supersedes’ time, signs and space, thus existing in other realm of words – in symbols. Juicy lexis, lexis of small things and objects, sets up a culturological network that increases the range and depth of poetry. Just as he sacrifices meaning of words to their materialization and presence of other words in a single one, Aleksić sacrifices ‘plot’ to language, the presentational to poetical aspect. All the while, the list of Aleksić’s poetic luggage and verse items creates a lexicon that he spins, similar to tossing a coin, and ‘magically’ compels us to stay in his poems.« Similarly, Saša Radojčić continues, »Dejan Aleksić’s themes deal with the experience of transiency, as well as moments of everyday experience that promise him eternity; his theme is the speech of poem itself, and what a poem can do; his theme are the excerpts of personal and family-related experience; important and difficult issue regarding body and physical experience«.

The critic Katarina Pantović, who discussed Aleksić's At Good Time , finally listed some reasons why Aleksić is so highly appreciated amongst modern Serbian poets: »The object of focus can be an internal of external stimulus, at times it can be contemplation that, by analogy and evocation, opens new layers of experience that lead a poem in associative direction. These result in breathtaking comparisons, extraordinary metaphors and powerful visuals.«