BLANK MAP: A ROAD SONNET

MARKO POGAČAR

Fraktura, 2016, 240 pages

An eclectic blend of travelogue, essay, diary, biography and prose which enables a metaleptic play of literary functions in which the author calls us to enter the “blank map” together with him, and while entering, to fill in the blanks presented to us.

Josip Luković | H-Alter

Translation rights sold: Serbia (Kontrast)

One of the best Croatian poets of his generation explores identity, cosmopolitanism and homeland.
Travelling with Marko Pogačar means being able to see the world as a blank map, reading a journey as if it were a road sonnet.

However, the blankness of the map here breeds an even more replete traveller’s sight; the awareness that, apart from the state borders of the countries he visits, maps contain nothing, they yet need to be written, infused with a smuggled content/self. Although he writes about transfers, Pogačar in fact cares very little about the borders, which is why, perhaps, Blank Map seems like a dishevelled bastard child of literature and cartography, an unkempt cross-breed between a travelogue, an essay, a diary, a biography, prose and auto-fiction.
More than to provide useful information, five continents in Blank Map serve to ask questions. What is today, in the times of Google Maps and Wikipedia, the travel genre after all? What is and what defines the concept we call identity? Is cosmopolitism possible and what political delineations might make it possible? What is homeland and can it be picked, adopted or rejected along the road, at one’s will?