The winner of this year’s Kocic Award, writer Rajko Petrov Nogo, says that the Serbian language is facing threats from all sides but at the same time has an amazing power to defend itself.
“I do not fear for the Serbian language. It was jeopardised in the Turkish, Austro-Hungarian and Broz’s time, and it is in jeopardy now, the time I don’t know what to call,” Nogo told Srna.
The bigger the jeopardy, says Nogo, the language the sharper and literature more life-saving.
“The language is purified, cleared and improved by the Serbian literature. Just like language, literature possesses something extremely vital, which may be a feature of our race and nation,” emphasised Nogo.
It is an honour for every Serbian language writer to get the Kocic Award, he said, adding that awards are some kind of a consolation to writers today, drawing the public’s attention to someone’s work for one day at least.
According to the writer, literature, poetry in particular, is totally marginalised but that does not mean it is in a crisis.
“Kocic and I, in my opinion, have something in common, a raging temperament, so to speak. Something so highlander-like and mountain-like connects us two. So Kocic is like an uncle to me,” says Nogo.
He recalled that the Serbian Nobel Laureate Ivo Andric used to say that “Kocic is a profound writer, the land, language and people are what makes the core of his literature.”
Nogo will receive the prestigious award at a formal ceremony of the 53rd Kocic Assembly on August 26 in Banjaluka, reported the Association of Writers of Republika Srpska.
Apart from Nogo, writers Matija Beckovic and Ljubivoje Rsumovic made the short list too.
The jury was comprised of the writers Zoran Kostic, Sreten Vujkovic and Dusko M. Petrovic.