Diversity and Identity


Diversity and personality embody two names of the silent urge towards genuineness. To inhabit the name of someone who dies is more a preservation of the diversity of the ones who live, rather than an existential impetus of tradition.

In “Elegy” Borges sailed across the single and solitary sea of the diverse names. We name our loved ones using different nicknames thus multiplying their typical traits; we multiply the endemic species on the back of the banknotes, between covers, through sculptures and miniature replicas, small enough to outstrip all security and border scans of diversity.

As a child I used to point out to the toys that were unknown to me; now I only touch the ones that I do know. Experience is knowledge of diversity whereas inexperience lets me live diversity even without the coordinated social instructions. The speeches of the unifiers are full of phrases on diversity’s continuity, but this time in different contexts, reminding of how religions assimilated the diverse ritual passions of miracles and spectacles.

According to Baudrillard, the difference, the waiting, the uncertainty and the asceticism constitute the sublime exaction of religion [1]. The verticals of understanding are being drawn throughout the motley coloring of the skies of hope. The Tower of Babel is a cliché of the linguistic stairway of discord, whereas the Translator is a bridge of the horizontal understanding among the mortals. Between both the Tower and the Translator, literature is a solitary sea of memory on which the universal words of diversity sail.

The wind remembers the ashes of the burned books; the dictator’s eyes guard the memory of the censored pages; the moisture in the museum books brings their vulnerability and diversity back. Archeology glues the pieces of similarity, but the present itself is an entireness of diversity.

The social aggressions aspiring towards a cultural or historic truth bring us back to silence – the tangible code of understanding. To be silent when everybody else shouts is presence, to shout when everybody else shouts is a revolutionary disappearance. It is not to be forgotten: mimicry is a way to survive whereas diversity is – to live.


Nikola Madzirov
Skopje, 21th May 2014

Translated by Kristina Trajanovska


This message was read on “Different Languages – Different Voices” Macedonian poetry night, organized by the Office of the Vice-President of PEN International and the Editorial Board of “Diversity” – Skopje (POETIKI).

Photgraphy by: Katica Kjulavkova

[1] “In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities”, Jean Baudrillard.

This post is also available in: Macedonian

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