20 Female Aphorists from the Balkans

Ljupka Cvetanova, about whom I blogged back in 2012, sends news of a new book of aphorisms written by 20 female aphorists from the Balkans. Women from every country of the former Yugoslavia are included: Slovenia, Croatia, Republica Srpska, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia, and Macedonia. One of the aphorists, Dragana Pasic, is also a cartoonist, and she drew caricatures of all the authors for the cover.

cover of the book

Aleksandar Cotric (Geary’s Guide, p. 30, as well as here and here), a male aphorist from the Balkans, wrote the blurb on the back of the book. With thanks to Ljupka, here’s an aphorism from each of the 20 contributors, translated into English. With this book, the great aphoristic tradition of the Balkans, with its sharp satire and dark wit, just got a lot greater.

Whenever I swallow my pride, I get a stomachache. —Dragana Pasic (Republica Srpska)

I have to see an optician. I can’t see the bright side of anything. —Lence Stoimenova (Macedonia)

He who works, makes mistakes. My boss is infallible. —Biljana Kitic Cakar (Republica Srpska)

A blink of an eye is what separates you from reality. —Ljupka Cvetanova (Macedonia)

I don’t take my enemies by surprise. I count on them. —Sandra Petkovic (Serbia)

TV series are a serial killer of time. —Marina Raicevic (Serbia)

One becomes human by birth and inhuman by conviction. —Nada Karadic (Serbia)

Silence is gold no one pays for. —Divna Bjelic (Serbia)

You only live once. Life is expensive. —Natasa Curciska (Macedonia)

Beware of false friends and sincere enemies. —Maja David (Slovenia)

Some people eat out of dishes. Others eat out of boredom. —Zora Cabrilo (Bosna and Hercegovina)

The watch is a thief. Whenever I’m not looking, it steals a couple of minutes. —Sladzana Klacar (Bosna and Hercegovina)

An aphorism is hard for a woman. It shortens her tongue. —Jasmina Cekic (Serbia)

A verbal conflict is born out of excess of words and shortage of brains. —Mirjana Dzapo (Bosnia and Hercegovina)

Life used to write novels; now it can hardly tell a joke. —Gordana Vranjanin (Croatia)

Our country (Serbia) can only be moved on slippery ground. —Deana Sailovic (Serbia)

Not all chances are to be taken. Some should be dropped. —Danica Miletic (Austria)

If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes an official political statement. —Jelena Vukelic (Serbia)

I don’t care about other people’s opinions. I can hardly come up with my own. —Sladzana Kosic (Serbia)


Don’t ask how much a life is worth. Death doesn’t take bribes. —Branka Milicevic (Serbia)