Short description of Cmok To You To , correspondence by Nina Živančević and Marc James Léger


CMOK was defined by its publisher Punctum press as a representative of krush fiction, ociscular- kiss fiction etc but in my view, as a correspondence and not pure genre in fiction — i think that Cmok is a genre-bender . It is not even a full representative of classical or “neo classical”(email)correspondence.. In terms that it denies
the exclusive purpose of a so called “correspondence”; classical
correspondence is there to “inform and communicate the facts between 2 people” , be it private, professinal or legal, commercial etc– which our Cmok denies, sort of.
It was “purposeless” in the pretentious nuance of that term denoting a specific aim or purpose, as it never had a specific writing theme or and time-limitation of the theme often indicated by purpose. But it sort of examined important philosophical or theoretical points which we came across or were thrust upon us- voila!
The scope , so called contents of that book is specific – as it really rarely covered profane events- and if it did it did in poetry, poetic manner, in terms that it did  not want to examine things such as “what did u have for lunch- hmm, donut yesterday” or “what’s the weather like in Paris today?”
If you will, the continuum of the said correspondence is more intimate- wd never use the word ‘trivial’, but The fact is that I wdn’t like to see the continuum in print.. like musing over my listening of the New Order album ‘substance’ etc etc– not for print. Also .DN_1 The first “folio” had certain innocence and intact beauty- i think that’s why it was appreciated, liked by the first Readers of it- themselves experts in autobiographical, first person intimate fiction who read it with the approval and surprise–Chris Kraus ,  Bart Plantenga. Kraus and Acker though could be the real founders of the so called krush fiction and correspondence as they started it a while ago also with or without certain pretentions
But perhaps what makes Cmok so unique is that , unlike the work of Acker or Kraus- it borders on the realm of the virtual science fiction
– and again here- i should underline that it’s not a novel,real fiction,  like in Kraus ( i love Dick) but Correspondence (impure, mixed fiction genre). And unlike in Acker/Wark correspondence in Cmok 2 Writers had never met which gives also their work a philosophical dimension and avoids the quotidien banality of the description of otherwise banal situations.
And as devoid of this dwelling in the real, daily living situation it finds its references in the common , lived-out experience of the theory, aesthetics and the ethos of the political sociology, the points these 2 writers shared and had in common.


Reading, promotion of the new book, Cmok to You To

Promtional reading from the book Cmok To You To, correspondence with Marc James Léger, to be published by Punctum Press, Brooklyn in summer 2016.

Festival IVY Writers Paris, Upstairs at Duroc and VERSAL / VERSO in Paris.



Venez feter la poésie et le début de l’éte avec nous! Lectures par VEGA (Vannina Maestri, Véronique Pittolo et Virgine Poitrasson), de Lily Hoang pour VERSAL Magazine (revue littéraire basée à Amsterdam), de Lily Robert-Foley et son receuil bilingue “M”, de Barbara Beck et de Jennifer K Dick pour une performance des textes extrait d’Upstairs at Duroc et de Versal Magazine (par les auteurs in absentia), de Nina Zivancevic et de Rufo Quintavalle pour leurs nouveaux publications, de David Barnes au nom de Spoken Word Paris, et bien d’autres!!!

This late Sunday afternoon event will include readings and performances in French and English.

29 mai 2016 à partir de 17h30

Mundolingua (musée de la langue à Paris), 10 rue Servandoni – 75006 Paris.

Entrée libre


CMOK to You to, cover for the new book

Correspondence between Nina Živančević and Marc James Léger, to come out soon by Punctum Press, New York

CMOK cover

With this forthcoming title, punctum is pleased to announce a new genre of so-called “academic” writing: OSCULAR STUDIES (from the Lat. oscula = kiss):

CMOK to YOu To presents the 2015 email correspondence of the Serbian-born poet, art critic and playwright Nina Zivancevic and Canadian cultural theorist Marc James Léger. In December of 2014 Léger invited Živančević to contribute a text to the second volume of the book he was editing, “The Idea of the Avant Garde – And What It Means Today.” Taken with each other’s idiosyncrasies, their correspondence gradually shifted from amiable professional exchanges and the eventual failure to organize a scholarly event to that of collaborating on some kind of writing project. Several titles were attempted for the eventual book – “Marshmallow Muse: The Exact and Irreverent Letters of MJL and NZ,” “The Orange Jelly Bean, or, I Already Am Eating from the Trash Can All the Time: The Name of This Trash Can Is Ideology,” “The Secreted Correspondence of Mme Chatelet and Voltaire,” and “I’m Taken: The E-Pistolary Poetry of Kit le Minx and Cad” – but none of these proved to be more telling than CMOK, the Serbian word for kiss, which sums up the authors’ quest for “harmony” in an altogether imperfect world and literary medium.


Hommage to Nina’s work in French Institute in Belgrade – 17. december

Nina plakatThe French Institute and the Cultural center in Belgrade presents Nina Zivancevic’s entire missionary work in Serbia and abroad.

Nada Popovic-Perisic and Jelena Novakovic will talk about various aspects of her literary legacy as seen in literature, criticism, theory and in theatre.

French Institute in Belgrade

Thursday, December 17 at 18:30.

Guest speakers: Nada Popovic-Perisic, educator, theorist, literary critic, former ambassador to UNESCO

Jelena Novakovic, educator, former chairman of Roman studies

at the University of Belgrade, theorist and translator.


Interview with Nina Zee, ‘Allen Ginsberg’s assistant’ for Theendofbeing online

ginzLast year Nina was invited by Marc James Léger to contribute to his anthology dealing with the idea of the New Avant Garde, part 2. A very lively correspondence has been established between these two writers, the editor Léger, a renowned critical theorist and Nina Zivancevic, scholarly poet in the critique mode. A segment of their dialogue was published in a form of an interview for the online magazine The End of Being.


‘Living On Air’ review in Politika newspaper, Serbia

A review of my novel ‘Living on Air’ has been published in Politika, Serbia’s the biggest and oldest newspaper. Below is an English translation from the Serbian original (click article scan to enlarge):

Nina Zivancevic Politika Review

Politika, /Culture, August 26, 2013, Belgrade, Serbia

Europeans in Search of Happiness

The British publisher, Barncott Press has published in their ebooks edition, a novel by a Belgrade poet, writer and translator who presently lives in Paris.

Just a few weeks ago, the British publisher “Barncott Press” has published a novel of a Belgrade poet, writer and a translator who has been teaching at La Sorbonne and living in Paris. Her novel “Living on Air” or rather “living off air” was originally written in English, but the shorter version of it, entitled “As I said before”, was published by Prosveta in Belgrade, 2004.

Nina Zivancevic is very happy that the novel has seen the light in it’s English, integral version. The author, who has entirely devoted her studies to Crnjanski’s work has underlined that it was lamentable that the original version of Crnjanski’s “Novel About London” (the Shoemakers) had been destroyed as “the translation can never reach the heights of an original literary work even if it had been conceived as the original version of a manuscript translated by the author himself”? That is, the translation never obtains all the nuances and the profundity of the original no matter what language it was written in. That’s why she thought that it was crucial for her novel to be published in English.

“Living on Air” is a non-formal, postmodern novel which explores it’s own possibilities within the genre as such. Written in an epistolary form, the novel follows the journey and the development of its heroine, a European woman who explores the possibilities of the brave New World, but at the same time it is a novel of self-exploration, of the picaresque wanderings as well as it is a search for “the holy grail” and the ultimate meaning of life.

It is a novel about Hollywood, as much as it is about New York, about the “more European take on the North America” as it often asks the questions such as : what had prompted the Europeans to explore the New World? Was it just their pioneers’ need for self-fulfilling existence and personal happiness, or was it simply their existential grind and greed that led them to conquer the land of the Indians?

Zivancevic’s fiction never accuses the actors for their actions, as it rather profoundly explores the essential reasons of human migrations. It also contemplates the wars and reasons for all (in)human conflicts which, according to the author inevitably lead to the manifestations of diseases, physical cum spiritual ones, as well as to the biological annulment of the population.

Somewhat like the contemporary literary critic Susan Sontag, Zivancevic sees disease as a metaphor. This meta-global novel explores in fact, many of the contemporary critical theories which the author has explored and has taught at the universities throughout the world.

Living On Air is available as an ebook from Barncott Press.