IVAN NEGRIŠORAC ABOUT JOHN DOE, novel by Nikola Kitanovic

Nikola Kitanovic, page of his novels. Nikola Kitanovic have published five novels.

Ivan Negrišorac wrote about John Doe, novel by Nikola Kitanovic:


One day, it will probably become clear how Serbian literature at the end of the 20th century experienced a specific spiritual renewal that emerged in many different ways. The fact that those poetical processes have not been highlighted enough should not surprise anybody. If nothing else, the key obstacle can be the fact that today we have a few active critics of contemporary literature capable of recognizing that phenomena and to reason about it in a distinguished manner. When talking about traditional religious spirituality, we could find more than enough experts, but the situation seems quite different when talking about various forms of hermetic teachings and appropriate practice characteristic for so called New Age.

It is not difficult to show that Serbian readers have had this kind of needs. And that is not only because of obvious preferences for various kinds of fantasy books, but also because of clear traces of hermetic and mystic experiences, found in books written by Carlos Castaneda, Bella Hamwash., Paolo Coello, and other writers who experienced, we can say, great popularity by Serbian readers at the end of the 20th century. It is about a decisive attempt of the literature mind to, exactly in the century in which for the first time in history, atheism became even dominant way of seeing the world, and renewal of spirituality readily confronts the peculiarity of the existence of higher worlds and the necessity of spiritual development in order to reach those worlds using your mind. In that way this kind of literature defined itself firstly according to being interesting and stimulating the experience it testifies about, so that the kind reader would sometimes readily forgive the lack of aesthetic sophistication or poetic meaningful quality in such works.

Nikola Kitanovic is one of those Serbian writers in whose opus, which has been published since the end of the 70's, can be recognized traces of this kind of expressive potentials of language, as well as some of the language dilemmas that come from it. We are talking about the writer of extraordinary creative potential who did not infiltrate himself in the main streams of Serbian literature. If in the past poetic and novel opus of this author it could not completely be realized how much he belongs to that specific circle of spiritual restorers, then it should be highlighted that the novel NN person gives to it very obvious and interesting contribution. Two bibliographic notes could make the clearer perceiving of this kind of poetic facts. On the one hand, it should be known that Nikola Kitanovic is the author of several books on spiritual discipline called "The teaching of the fire", as well as of some books on graphology issues. Those books have been published under the pseudonym Raul Amon, the name known not only in spiritual disciplines but also in business life. On he other hand, the newest Kitanovic's novel NN person undoubtedly shows how previously mentioned interests, discreetly present in poetry and storytelling prose, and openly treated as a subject of discussions about spiritual experience, nowadays have firmly taken place in romanesque form. With his spiritual impulse, confirmed in various disciplines, Kitanovic has demonstrated some of the virtues of his prose writing, and in that way provided his work with a sort of curiosity note, which is not of pure, aesthetic kind. In spite of tendency of modern critics to overlook those values, they should never be neglected.


The short novel NN person, consistently narrated in the first person, as a form of personal confession, tells a story of a literature hero suffering from amnesia. He cannot remember his name, names of his mother, his fiancé, friends, he does not recognize basic historical, geographical, spatial or time relations, so forth, not having any clue about his own past and memory as a necessary condition of constituting a person, he feels and experiences himself as an unknown, NN person. He lives in a totally separated world to which, indirectly come voices about the events of the external reality, but with these events the literary hero NN person cannot make any real relations. This character has obviously had a nice past, but there is nothing in his memory. He cannot even recall being an excellent pupil and student, nor he can recall that he has been writing poetry or that he has had psychic abilities, he cannot remember people he loved, nor can he recall, naturally, what led to this kind of amnesia.

The hero of Kitanovic's prose communicates with his surrounding mainly by telephone or with the help of his mother. People he does not remember telephone him, he receives various messages and offers he does not understand, events he dose not recognize are described to him. With many doubts and dilemmas, then many suspicions because of his cold and formal relations towards the people who gave him attention, NN person, who could not recognize his own mother in the beginning, would later only with her help manage to, at least in some degree, keep in touch with the external world. In that way the story about the amnesia has gradually, step by step, moved to the point where NN person comes to the conclusion that that woman, full of care for him, knowing so much about his "habits, storytelling, behavior" has to be really his mother. NN person is forced to come to some essential insights automatically provided by memory, in a very round about and complicated way.

Another, narrative stream of Kitanovic's short novel is directly connected to some spiritual and mystic experiences. Through such kind of events the hero of this prose goes not with people from this visible, material world, but his guides will become his teachers, i.e. wise men from other-worldly, spiritual spheres. Two teachers will show up when needed: the first one of them will lead him through certain spiritual experiences, and when a necessary change in work is needed, another teacher, more precisely the first wise man's teacher, will care for the initiated follower. The whole project started when the romanesque hero found a book Traveling through space, which contained directions for the spiritual development. As that development continued, as the hero plunged deeper into himself, the miracles would occur, such as the ability of going thorough the wall, to make sad people happy with his touch, to call hidden spiritual beings and similar. In that manner he personally becomes certain in becoming somebody else and belonging to that other, spiritual reality by widening his experiences. That reality has been described by many hermetic teachings, which also nourished practical procedures for the development of conscience so that the higher worlds could be made sensually approachable. The more NN person spiritually developed himself, the more he would realize clearly his own repulsiveness towards the world as it is and his essential need to forget that world completely. This is how the psychological motivation for an amnesia introduced to the reader at the very beginning of the novel was provided. One of the culmination points, in which the difference between the conscious of an ordinary person and the conscious of a spiritual follower, i.e. adept, is clearly pointed out, is the moment when NN person asks his mother how the book he uses for his spiritual development seems to her. The hero holds the book in his hands, but his mother simply does not see it and cannot see it: she claims to see "only his hands joined together holding nothing".

The most convincing pages of this Kitanovic's short novel are found in the descriptions of the communication between the follower and his teacher, i.e. the wise man. In that communication forgetting appeared to be a necessary condition of spiritual development, and the forgetting itself was symbolically presented by walls separating different spiritual spheres. Taking a new path with the other teacher, Kitanovic's hero concludes that "he starts again from nothing, not knowing who I am, what I am". Even though he does not know nor he can be aware of the fact how many times he would have to live thorough such amnesias on his spiritual path, he definitely gained much in this one: he realized that there is "something" and that "it should be searched for " in spite of all the walls he has to go through. This knowledge, so precious, for anybody who wishes to go on these paths of spiritualization, bursts from many pages of this Kitanovic's novel, and considerably more than from his previous books. Perhaps this knowledge will not be enough for those readers who do not care at all about that kind of insights, but those who recognize what the novel is about, will find in it enough reasons for satisfaction. NN person does not find himself in this world and does not recall to his memory this, so transient and dilapidated world, but finds himself where the spiritual world shows that hidden and powerful "something". That is "something", which in a person awakens the feelings of fullness and richness of this-worldly life.

*) Novel "NN Lice" can be translated as "Nomen Nescio", "Unknown Person", "John Doe"…