Erik Šimšík


Erik Šimšík (1987) studied sociology and lives in Bratislava. He is the author of two collections of poetry Mono cutlets and Stereo potatoes /Monorezeň & Stereozemiaky / (Vlna/DaS, 2013) and Čabajka and other sausages (Brak, 2017). In 2014, he published a collection of novels Hegemony /Hegemónia/ (Vlna/DaS, 2014) and was nominated for the Anasoft Litera Award. In 2020, he published the cyberpunk novel The Great Future /Veľká budúcnosť/ (Brak, 2020).

"Texts / like sausages / bacon / sausages // enumerations of strange shapes / and tastes // Texts so juicy / and insignificant". This is how the collection of Erik Šimšík’s Čabajka and other sausages begins. But what does that mean? Do you think it is not worth writing poetry that cannot be consumed because it has no recipient? Should poems be available in stores the same way as sausages are? Should they be hanged for verses by the hook?

The literary dive is deep here - a good performance of the author, especially, if we consider that, at first glance, the lyrics seem to be a non-binding game, or a nice nonsense at best. The author relies on the term of "nonsense", but the lack of sense is not a mental philosophy –  it is only a commentary on the ubiquitous nonsense of the present days. The world has somehow become a huge pasture for various Hinny Slavs /Koňoslavs/.

How did that happen? Where did we lost the meaning along the way? Look at the Colors of founded poems section - it contains reproductions of conceptual artworks that deal with the issue of semiotics, in other words, the sign designation of cutouts from our reality. Šimšík turns his works into the versions scattered under the magnifying glass. Did you notice? It is as if you put something under a microscope, you magnify it and try to discover the essence of it - until you see nothing. Even Rembrandt's Night Watch will not make sense to you if you stand only an inch away from the painting.

From an analogous point of view, the world is getting more and more complicated and we cannot stay updated – so we start making it simpler and more reduced. We choose cut-out pieces of reality, take it out of the context, and cut off all irregularities until we are left with something definite, clearly and precisely definable, and descriptive. Otherwise, one would go crazy – a person who relies on the language of logic and (incorrectly) assumes that the problems of the world are solvable as a mathematical equation and there is only one result (in the extreme case there are more) always with a precisely determinable value.

And so, only a kind of chatter comes out of our mouths, unable to describe a reality that is changing too fast. It is an automatic mode – we tell the computer to compose sentences, and they may look like grammatically correct after a few thousand of outputs made, but they still do not make sense: „I yoke the stars to my bacon“.

No matter how important this Čabajka is, you will enjoy its taste only if you inhale its content shallowly, but in this case it may happen that - like in Nietzsche's Abgrund (Abyss) - it can enjoy the taste of you more.
Matúš Mikšík