out those women, especially given that I had severalmajor healthproblems that I succeeded in overcoming with them. Those women protected and preservedme. I wouldn‘t be who I amnor would I have done what I‘ve donewithout them. I grew up alongsidemy grandmother until the age of ten, and she taught me basic values.” You‘ve dedicated the book to your wife, with whom you‘ve spent half a century. In these times of superficial relationships and divorces, that draws admiration and restores one‘s faith in love. Do you have a recipe for a successful marriage? “Friendship is themost important thing for marriage. My wife is my best friend, as I am hers. Our friendshipgrows ever greater, alongside responsibility, anobligation for tolerancebetween twopeopleunder the same roof. She persuaded me to finally gather together all the poems that she‘d archived in one volume of about threemetres containing various newspapers,magazines, manuscripts. I dedicated this book of poems to her as soon as I started it, and I revealed that to her once I‘d finished writing. She was pleasantly surprised. In the half-century of our marriage she‘s helped me a lot inmywork, andmyworkswouldn‘t have been what they are without her responsibility and precision.” People are increasingly turning back to the past, to their roots, to nature. And you are also on that quest. Do you think returning to the villages could save our souls? “My village had a primary school after World War II, and until a decade ago the population had halved, while now there isn‘t a single empty house. Many grandchildren returnedduring thepandemic, fleeing from the cities to freedom. As a child, I first lived in a country house, then in a house inŠabac, and when I moved to a flat in Belgrade I felt like I was in a cage. Now I live in a house that‘s almost on the outskirts of Belgrade, and I also visit the house where I was born in my hometown and friends who‘ve moved to less populated areas. In the last decade, and especially since the beginning of the pandemic, many have bought and adapted old, neglected rural houses in the area around Belgrade, for example on Kosmaj and Avala or in Vojvodina. They spendmost of the year there; they‘ve returned to nature.They have cleaner air, fields to walk in, their own crops of fruit and vegetables, animals in the yard, and they‘ve freed their children fromurban apartments.” Looking back on your fantastic life, during which you‘ve given a lot both to us and to those yet to come, what are your fondest memories? “In this book, as in most of my works, I‘ve collected many fragments of my biography like fragments of amirror ofmemories. And perhaps someone will put them together one day. I haven‘t considered who that couldbe so as to avoid jinxing it. Perhaps it will be someone who only recently started school. Maybemy grandchildren, andmaybe one of their peers. And in the works ofmy students andpostgraduates, as some non-existent collection, part ofmy biography is already contained. I‘ve observed the world fromonemountain top, while others have their own view. It‘s interesting to see all those differences.” Do you believe we‘ll one day also be able to laugh about these new misfortunes, like in the majority of your works? “Thatwill provide inspirationfor many books, series and films, because it is a worldwide tragedy that has so far takenalmost threemillion people. I believe that I‘ll alsodedicate somework to that topic, perhaps for a theatre play. I don‘t know when, but I‘m sure that, perhaps by next winter, we‘ll laugh about many absurd things, both beautiful and ugly. Thanks to the pandemic, many peoplehave aroused themselves and their brains, and that‘s good. I hope that 2021 will be better for us.” What else makes you truly happy every day? “My four grandchildren. Every time we get together I see how they are changing, progressing in all aspects of life and growing up into people every single day. We didn‘t see each other during one period, when the Coronavirus was spiking. We hope that we‘ll be able to get back to our old lives by vaccinating.” Do you like flying and what kinds of experiences have you had with Air Serbia? “I was aerophobic in my youth, but between the age of 30 and today I‘ve touredmost of theworld by plane. I choose Air Serbia because it suits me to arrive where I want on a direct flight, withoutmy suitcases getting lost along theway. I‘veflown with almost all airlines, but our pilots are exceptional professionals who make extremely soft landings, which is why they are highly valued all over the world. I most often read aboard planes, because I can‘t sleep, and among other things I regularly read Elevate. It has a good print quality, interesting travelogues, interviews. It‘s avaluablemagazinebecause it provides a lot of information about flights and destinations that are worth visiting.” Literature » Literatura | 29 Leteo samgotovo svim avio-kompanijama, ali piloti Er Srbije su izuzetni profesionalci i izuzetno mekano sleću, zato su na ceni u celom svetu / I‘ve flown with almost all airlines, but our pilots are exceptional professionals who make extremely soft landings, which is why they are highly valued all over the world