First Edition issued on October 22nd 2007.  St. Stephan's Brankovic Day
The fifteenth legal edition in sale


ABOUT THE BOOK

     OBSERVATION OF  THE SOUL is a novel about the last Serbian female ruler and saint.
About a noblewoman, that people called her “a Mother”. Novel about the way of the soul after the  uprise from the body.  About the afterlife.

     OBSERVATION OF  THE  SOUL is a dramatic confession of a remarkable woman. Honorable and brave. Dedicated and wise. She lived in the second half of the fifteenth century. In the five European countries in eight cities. She lived on else's mercy, but in the spiritual domination. She knew that the burden does not matter, but the strength of those who bear the burden, matters. Her power was derived from love and faith. From goodness. She was a wife and mother of Serbian governing rulers and saints. In the songs and inside the heart of the people, she was remembered as a Mother Angelina.

     OBSERVATION OF  THE SOUL is the story of her earthly life. About sin and repentance. About the struggle against the rulers of this world and theirs servants, which continues even in afterlife.

     But OBSERVATION OF  THE OF SOUL is a testimony about the journey that is inevitably ahead of all of us. About the temptations of the soul, within the  first forty days - after it removes from the  material world and world of senses, to the spiritual world. What is the death? What happens to the soul when the body is thrown away as an old and worn dress? What the Guardian Angel is doing? What the Encounter Angel is doing? Whom the soul is to  meet on  its way through the under heaven? What is the soul facing with? What is afraid of? What is the soul looking for? What is trying to escape from? How it fights and  defense itself?  What, in fact, is the hell? What is the  heaven? How the meeting of souls, with those who long ago left their bodies, look like? And how the encounter  with the saints look  like? What happens when the soul meets the face of the Lord? What is the right touch of souls?

     The record  about all of that is in the novel OBSERVATION OF THE SOUL


PREVIOUS EDITIONS

Запис душе
GLOBOSINO
ALEKSANDRIJA

2007

GLOBOSINO
ALEKSANDRIJА

2011


FOREIGN EDITIONS

Russia
ПАЛОМНИК
2011
Macedonia
NAŠA KULTURA

2012
Italy
SECOP Edizioni
2012

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

    Golden Hit liber, recognition by  Radio Television of Serbia, for one of the ten most wanted book in 2008.

REVIEW - ABSTRACTS

     Through this book, written with love towards the heroine of fellow characters,  and with literary skills, from the darkness of centuries  emerges the ever living character of this Serbian governing ruler, Christian's  mother and humbly nun. With her, the scarce time drama in which she lived appears, together with a numerous characters of her relatives and contemporaries, as well. And all of this presented  in a way often forgotten in our time:  in a way showing the interaction of  earthly and celestial events in human life.

(His Eminence Amfilohije, Metropolitan of  Montenegro and Littoral)

     Simply, this is a book that offers a lot even to the most demanding readers, the book of wisdom from which source, anyone can drink. Layers and complexity of the novel, the variety of association and strong vividness, the high and disciplined narrative skills as well as deep knowledge of the historical basis on which the novel is built -  all of these are the reasons that new novel of our most popular author is hailed as a true cultural event in Serbia.

(Katarina Brajovic)

     For knitting of such a story, an experienced novelist, as undoubtedly is Ljiljana Habjanovic Djurovic, shall never rely on a pure literary imagination and intuition. It is necessary, of course, to consult the extensive historical records. The author has performed this delicate work wit success. All the data and details are there, the spirit of that  time is accurately described, and in this novel  none of it sticks out abusively. That is to say that the whole material  is, in a functional and  harmonious way, woven into the novels course and the narrative itself is developed with full persuasiveness, causing  the reader's full enjoyment and identification.

(Srba Ignjatovic)

     The whole novel is like a monumental fresco in which the narration itself has all what is needed, from an epic dignity, style compliance of a mature classical and realistic description,  to a  proper structure correlation, consisting of suggestive backgrounds of medieval times, where the psychological streams and  human destinies, between angels and demons,  belong not only to that time but also to eternity. Where the novel “Observation of the Soul” also belongs, written by the soul, casted in tender love, by mother's  care and human dignity. Written by the sense of proud while in poverty and sense of self restrain while in plenty.  Written with a sublime honesty, with a  patriotism in the heart and  God in the soul.

(Ljubisa Djidic)

QUOTE FROM THE BOOK

     Everything was just exactly as the the holy fathers were saying.
     I was laying  in the cell, in the wretched  bed. Beside my of my pillow, sticked in the sand filled in the clay cup, burned the candle.
     Irina and Serafin, my sisters in Christ and my co-victims throughout long decades, were kneeling near the wall and, quietly pronouncing  the prayer to the separation of the soul from the body. "Look from above at me, Mother of God, and graciously listen to me now, and visit me, that I seeing you, come out from the body rejoice. Let some of my many sins do not suppress your abundant mercy, O Lady, but let me be surrounded by  thy grace of yours  and let cover all the iniquities of my "I prayed with them. I prayed fervently. Voiceless. With shivering  heart. A tear slowly ran down over my cheeks full of  wrinkles. Then I saw them. Indeed, they were like the young men of indescribable beauty. And all of them sparkled: face, white garments, belts are crossed on their chest in the shape of the cross. As the sky light was spilled out. They watched me quietly. Fixedly. Their glances had been filled with unearthly love. That love has allured me. "Guardian Angel and Encounter Angel. Indeed, they came for me, just as it was said "
     I thought. Filled with sweet  impassion. And my soul! It's been all trembling. By one powerfully movement, as wrenched out, it jumped out from the plait of  brittle bones and  week tissue. It rushed  into their embrace. Two angels took  the trembling soul, as the groomsman at Serbian weddings takes a  bride's  hand,  and ascended it up. I turned out and looked at my abandoned body,  lying motionlessly . Rejected as short and tight dress. Insensitive. Dead. At the same time, I felt that I was still alive. And that I'm the same as before death. Conscious. Filled with hope and fear, joy and sadness. I knew it, for the first two days of  the separation from the body, the soul is allowed to wander freely. To visit the places and people she loved, by its own will. Saying  good buy to them,   to depart  the temporary life that precedes the eternal life. "All dear to me are dead. All that I loved. Whom do I look for? Where to go? "I asked myself. My Guardian Angel knew. He, the only one, who was with me at any moment of my life. Reliable and merciful witness of all that I was. What I felt. He remembered  the everlasting longing and  insidious pain, that would always occur in my heart,  whenever I think about my mother. About my father and sisters. About the Skenderbeg. Angels brought away the wisp body of  my soul. Me. They spread me through the crumbling wall of the Lodgings, made of mud and straw. And over the church. Across a stream that branches just below George's  Krusedol, bounding the courtyard of my monastery from two sides. They carried me away, above the s of Srem. Through the July mild twilight dusk. Through the intoxicating aroma of grapes and vineyard peaches. Neither the heat or the smell I felt. With the body, senses died too. But I  knew that July has come to an end, and that in July, during the dry days, the eve is  lukewarm,  the vineyards smell. And that awareness is somewhat resemble to an experience. "It must be that Stephen have looked  this way. Remembering. " I thought,  glad that I experienced something else important about my husband and master. My soul flew. Me, as a  birds. As a white pigeon. On the wings of angels. Across the estate I ruled out. To a land where I was born. I saw Obed,  Kupinik, Smederevo, Krusevac,  Kosovo Field,  Prizren and Ohrid. I saw Shin Jone, Lyesh, Croia, Belgrade, Moussakia,  Kanin and   Avlona.  Almost nothing I recognized. The cities and regions have changed and their new, strange, look has just a bit of a resemblance to the pictures that I kept from Stephen's stories and my memories. We stopped over Horse field. It is the mythical land,  from the ancient  time called  as the navel of the Albanian country. The fertile valley in the middle of an inapproachable mountain region, surrounded by huge mountains and steep gorges of Kandava. There, the by river of Shkumba, which speak  the best songs of my childhood about,  was located through the centuries the city of  Konjuh. I remembered  it as a fortified town, safe, upper class city. Comfortable to live in. Suitable for defense. I found the ruins. Havoc. Spangled walls overgrown with thick grass and thorns. The shelter for some wild dog. And for  adders. Within the arrow range  from that site of  disaster and grief, raised a new, solid, four-cornered city. The city of Elbasan.
     A mark of power and wealth of  Sultan Muhammad II, celebrated as “Father of the conquests” by the Turks. "Elbasan, fortified Palace of the tyrant. Omen to my father's debacle" cried my soul, I cried.
     I went through the ruins of Konjuh.  To find traces of that long past time, when I thought about the future without fear and with hope. When my days were filled with joyous imagination and dream of happiness seemed to me feasible and a safe,  as mother's promise.

     My father was George Arianit Komnenos, by the grace of God, lord of Konjuh, Avlona and Kanin. The son from a noble and powerful family, to the  reputation of ancestors, he added his. He married in his youth and spent his entire life with one woman. She brought to him an old nobility, alliances and friendship of her  father, Andrew III,  and  city of  Moussakia. When my sister Andronica was picked out by Skenderbeg, to be his wife and deliver him a sons, once again a  power was graft to a  power. He led the first uprising against the Turks, long before my birth, and since then, there was neither military campaign without the banner with our logo waving and glaring of father's sword, nor a gathering of the gentry, that his words of wisdom and experience  had not been heard  and listened to. A long military campaigns and hurried counseling were everyday routine to all  people from the Bosporus to the Danube, ever since that night, when the Turks secretly crossed the sea and from Asia set foot in Europe. The years have passed, merged in a decades,lasting for almost two centuries. The rulers have been replacing, the Christian and Muslim. The  Popes and the Patriarchs have been dieing. Leading a great battles. From Pope's states the Crusaders are charging  to help Christians, and for their benefit. The havoc multiplied behind the traces of armies. The destroyed cities remained behind. Burned fields and forests. Slavery. Each side had its own truth. Every nation has its own heroes, remembered throughout history, and their accomplishments  in the songs extolled. But its plight too. Cripples, widows and orphans. Sisters with no brothers and mothers with no children.  Losses have been alternated with wins, the war situation with a cease-fire. Allies changed with an enemies. Betrays have continued in the lies. The cities are lost, and again regained, the same or another ones. Children of royal and gentry origin were given in marriage to the unloved, as a pledge to military alliances. The princes were a slave at a foreign palaces as a hostage and a guarantee of obedience. But,  the ultimate outcome of these turmoils was a defeat. Christians and Mohammedans grabbed away from the people settled in the Balkan. The Turks were constantly spreading to the north, deeper and deeper into areas of Christian countries. The chroniclers were measured  the times of war and peace. In their testimonies, there were no true peace. Campaigns lasted long, but a tricky and  uneasy truce short,  filled with preparations for another war. My father, by his noble duties, was with the army. And yet, at the time of the frequent absences, his presence in our home, and in our everyday life, it was constant and active. Because my mother wanted it so. Her name was Mary of Moussakia. She was beautiful, noble, and pervaded with those special calmness,   recognizable to a women being aware that they are beloved. She wore an elegant black dresses,   long braid of hair, bended on the nape, and a ring with the image of Holy Mary. Her stature was straight, and walking safe. She gave a birth to eight daughters and three sons. Once, while I was going next to my parents chamber, I heard father's soft whisper: "You gave me the right to be pride, and hope to old ages of mine" he said. I stopped and peeped into a chamber through gap of the doors left ajar.
     Father was standing in front of a mother, looking into her eyes. Then, not turning his look  aside, he took  her hands, slowly bringing  them to his lips, and kissed her palms. One, and then other.
     "This is love" I thought. I was ten years of ages. Later, when I began to aspire for, to wait and ask for it, I often thought  about that moment. I wondered what I , in fact, saw then. What I felt. What I grasped. Then came Stephen. And suddenly,  I understood everything. Love was the mother's stronghold. Loving, she learned to wait patiently. To comfort with a hope. To strengthen with a faith. Every insignificant event, incidentally spoken word, the smell of mountain grass, the song of our maids, laughing of  the people gathered around the street entertainers, taste of a favorite food, look at the earrings or a dress, just everything of that, was a cause to remember her husband and master . All of that was a reason to speak about him. Whatever she worked, her thoughts were constantly  hovered around him. No matter to whom she was, she was with him.
     She plunked through her memories. She followed his traces. She dreamed about returning of the army, expecting messengers. News. She repeatably read his letters. Old one, until she got a  new one. And then, all the letters received since he left. When she wanted to tell us something important, usually she started  with: "Your father thinks, your father would like, he would say, he would not allow that, he  would be sad if ..." And we all have tried to do everything to make him pleased. To accommodate him. To cheer him up when he returns.
     And he brought back tired. Equally crushed by a defeat or a victory. He brought with him, in his clothing, hair and skin,  the stink of all  human dirts. Trembling smile on his lips and in his eyes. He returned  embarrassed that he stayed alive, with all the limbs, from the midst of  such a peril and destruction. At the same time, he was grateful to God,  for that grace. While I was in the parental home, my brothers, Tom, Constantine and Arianit, matured for a spear and sword. And, one after another, they joined his father. In the military campaigns. And in the mother's stories.
     How big was her grief!  How horrible she suffered, while the longing  was grounding over another longing,  while the fear was attaching  to another  fear? That ever lasting mother's anguish I recognized many years later, when I escorted  my sons into the war for the first time.

     Then, I already knew,  that the fear is a measure of  strength. And, the pain is a  measures of faith.