Tadeja Krečič Scholten: Nikoli ni prepozno
Art Critics' Choice - a series of presentations by the Slovenian Association of Art Critics
Critic: Matej Bogataj
Stories Blending Seamlessly
The title of journalist and translator Krečič Scholten's debut novel, Nikoli ni prepozno (It’s Never Too Late), already alludes to the fact that the short story collection was written at a mature age. They were not penned all at once, the first story was written almost a decade ago, then gradually the stories that had won awards at various competitions attained everything necessary to jointly compile a collection. The stories’ titles mainly refer to popular sayings and proverbs, thereby creating a tension between common language usage and the astonishing suspense triggered by a story's twist. Krečič Scholten is an omniscient narrator, she has infinite knowledge about the lives of her protagonists, and then goes on to scrutinize, with psychological plausibility, their psyche, their innermost fears and hopes.
The writer portrays a wide range of characters, from people only just grappling with the world as one of life’s greatest mysteries, to those departing it more or less resignedly. She gives voice to different professions, education levels and genders. The world in Krečič Scholten's stories manifests itself as mysterious, replete with misunderstandings: a radio host, for example, catches a Pulitzer Prize winner's hand a few times during a studio interview, which she completely misinterprets; the host merely wants to silence the jangling of her bracelets. The author examines her subjects in detail – not just the radio culture she knows first-hand, inside and out –, and is able to identify with the various emotive worlds of her characters. Inner worlds tend to be quite complex sometimes, which of course allows for dizzying, but somehow logical twists; in these stories fantasy gives way to pragmatism and mundane reality that sometimes dumbfounds us, and other times burdens and bends us irreparably. In addition to a pervasive passion for storytelling, the stories reveal a highly articulate linguistic skill and a talent for proficiently depicting the human condition condensed into a few moments – and a few pages.