Drazan Gunjaca - Love as punishment



Love as punishment
- book on-line
- introduction
- editor's note
- review

- Balkan Farewells
- The Balkan Roulette
- The Shade of Reason
- Love as punishment
- Half-way o heaven
- Good night my friends
- Dreams have no price
- We are all brothers
The Balkan aquarelle


This novel is the sequel to Balkan Farewells, which is again the sequel to Half-way to Heaven, so that this is basically the third part of the same story dealing with the lives of mostly the same characters in different periods of time in this region. As I have already said once before, the previous novel Balkan Farewells can work as a separate unit, so that it is not necessary to read the one written before, Half-way to Heaven, which was never even published till now. Since a relatively long period of time stands between these two novels, they can be treated as separate units. On the other hand, the novel Love as Punishment (in its working title Return to Peace) is the continuation of Balkan Farewells and it would be good to read it before.
With this novel, which describes the period from 1995 to the beginning of 1997, ends a part of our lives and with that also any writing about it; writing about our little, simple people whose lives have forcibly been affected by ugly but nevertheless historical events which happened and are still happening in this area, with a considerable amount of uncertainty regarding their final outcome.
This novel, as well as the previous one, simply deals with the destinies of the simple people. I've left the deep, pretentious, philosophical and other questions on the destinies of nations in this area to others who have, as it is by now obvious, already thought it out very "successfully", from certain domestic to numerous international extremely well "informed" thinkers whose ideas drag never ending bloody trails over mountains and valleys of the beautiful landscapes in the Balkans. Those trails shall resist for a long time until washed away by some new, cleaner and less acid rains than those so abundantly raining in the previous years. If such rains ever even start raining here! These last years they have now and then wet this thirsty soil but it is not enough, it only raises the dust but does not wash away the accumulated evil.
Hope dies last, and if the rest of the world can live by this saying, why couldn't I do it in the Balkans, it doesn't cost anything. Except another couple of lost nights which no one counts here any more. Since a long time ago.
I would also like to use this opportunity to answer again to those who ask me about the reasons for writing such a thing. Among other reasons, because a time comes when you must say what you have to say - to remain a man. This was not written for those who think that it is too soon to write about such events (it will always be too soon for them anyway), it was written for those who think that it is still not too late. And luckily, there are such people. How many? I don't know, we'll see when the wheel of history turns back on these areas again, and it will, sooner or later. I can only hope that I will also be among the lucky ones here who have only gone through this once.
In the end, I want to thank all those people who have inspired me in creating the characters for this novel. A special thanks goes to a wonderful woman, a friend, who shared her emotions with me and made he character of Tatjana in this novel alive.

Pula, January 2002.
The author