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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Identity, home, and loss in Goran Vojnović’s Čefurji Raus! (Southern Scum go Home!) Grašič, Špela


“Identity, home, and loss in Goran Vojnović’s Čefurji raus!” examines how popular Slovene writer Goran Vojnović’s 2008 novel Čefurji Raus! (trans. 2012) reconceptualizes the self/other divide between the relatively homogeneous Slovene majority and diasporic Fužine community, which lives in Slovenia’s capital city Ljubljana and is comprised largely of immigrants from the former republics of the ex-Yugoslavia. More specifically, this work explores how the two communities exist in a continuum of apparatuses, for example discursive, institutional, and state apparatuses, that are themselves encompassed by an overarching trauma apparatus. Here, the paper discusses etymological and discursive references to past traumatic historical events as well as the narrator-protagonist’s Marko Đorđić direct references to the more recent Yugoslav Wars. The paper then goes on to address common Slovene responses to the novel. The paper concludes by suggesting that the novel is successful in helping individuals and communities work through stereotypes and xenophobia linked to trauma because, as a non-didactic or confrontational tool, the novel can serve to gently invite the reader into an experience of discomfort and uncertainty he or she may be unwilling or unable to engage with directly. In this way, the paper argues, Vojnović’s novel plays or can be used to play a key role in helping the Slovene communities work through, or perhaps more accurately, acknowledge and “sit with” their feelings of pain, discomfort, mistrust, and hate. Vojnović’s novel produces enough discomfort to cause reflection, but not enough to alienate or directly blame the reader. In doing so, Čefurji Raus! destabilizes the emotional response to the other constructed by our prejudices and ideology.

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