Dorta Jagić

A month away from the whims of urban living. A month in Pazin, like a whole light year. Sounds like a good beginning of a story and a great beginning of a year. This 2012 started exceptionally well for me. I got a sunny February in Pazin while the rest of the country was covered with snow. And far enough not to disturb the donated solitude.

To be alone for a longer period of time is an extraordinary privilege for a writer. Yet, solitude in The House of Writers is no ordinary solitude but an aristocratic delicacy. This luxurious solitude of mine was from time to time enriched on coffee breaks and public readings by the good spirit and queen of the Public Library Iva Ciceran, my beautiful fellow poet Branko Vasiljević and a living encyclopedia Davor Šišović. Their stories and life trifles cheered me up as much as did several encounters with unusual adventurers like Pazin Indians on horses that I met on the field above the Cave, or burly rubber boat riders from the Sava river to the Black sea, and professor Majda who spends her summer vacations volunteering in a Tanzanian orphanage.

In The House it’s only me and a computer, several books and a beautiful view from the balcony. Dramatic beauty of the Pazin Cave greets me every morning with excited birds flying low above the chasm. On top of the cliff to the right an ancient serene Kaštel from which Jules Verne’s Mathias Sandorf fled provides extra incentive to the spirit. Next to it a ruin of the palace reminds of the one from Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”.

I’ll remember Pazin after an amazing contrast – days soft as spring and Siberian cold nights. The wind howls during night, whistles through dark empty streets. Luckily, in The House of Writers it’s warm and quiet, homelike. No one else is there and the phone is not ringing. I start the computer. All is set for an adventure.