The Narcissism of Death :: Svetozar Savic

The Narcissism of Death

by Svetozar SAVIĆ

Translated from Montenegrin by Vuk TOŠIĆ

Arrested for the suspicious death of his mother, “Bernard Novak” explains himself, in court and in prison:

Spending the night by chance in a seedy hotel near a quiet cemetery, he hears the laughter and moans of a couple having sex in a nearby room. Unexpectedly excited by the event, he watches as they leave… and falls in love with the beautiful woman, whom he immediately names M (for Midnight).
He recalls that he has seen the man before: Joko, a minor functionary in the government.

But why her? And why apparently in secret at an unknown hotel?
Obsessed with her, he tries to uncover her secrets. He arranges to “bump into her” at the dime store where she works, and she introduces herself, amazingly, as M! He continues unobtrusively stalking her, expanding their interaction until finally she writes her Skype handle on a newspaper he buys. The long talk begins, stretched over weeks of careful online conversation, gradually winning her trust at a distance, only to have his hopes shattered by his old, sick mother, who constantly claims new illnesses to worry herself and him about.

Their budding relationship shrivels and in despair he reaches out to M once again, in truth. And M comes to his home for dinner…


  • Pages: 168
  • Trim size: 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
  • ISBN
    Softcover: 978-4-908793-43-1
    Ebook: 978-4-908793-48-6
  • List Price
    Softcover: US$13.00
    Ebook: US$5.99
  • Cover: Mike Dubisch

  • Available at

    About the author
    Svetozar Savić: I was born and lived briefly in Nikšić, Montenegro, in a pink apartment on Serdar Šćepana Street. A significant portion of my inspiration can be traced back to there, although I spent part of my youth in Novi Sad and Belgrade, Serbia, where I received a degree in biotechnology. I finally settled down in Bar and Podgorica, Montenegro. The South is for me; I’m a Mediterranean in both body and soul—the ambivalence of heat and storm.
    I believe that I can make a contribution to literature. I grew up with it and it doesn’t mind poverty. The Grape-Stomping Vat was my first novel, containing short stories in the form of a novel, shaped by Vin de liqueur in the Square of Arms in Kotor, thematically cyclic, with a symbolical title The Chronicles of a Grape-Stomping Vat. The Sculptor, my second novel, is about sculpting one’s own life and those of others. It was nominated as the Montenegrin candidate for the Meša Selimović Award in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    About the translator
    Vuk Tošić (1976–) was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, to American-Serbian parents and raised bilingual. After much meandering, he enrolled in engineering at the University of Belgrade, before finally entering the field of translation. His professional focuses are literary and drama texts, academic papers, socially engaged projects… and when that’s done—he takes his dog and camera on adventures. He is a member of the Association of Literary Translators of Serbia, but carries around the unconfessed aspiration to someday become a 21st century Renaissance man.

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