Uglješa Šajtinac est né en 1971 à Zrenjanin, mais c’est à Belgrade qu’il fait son éducation à la faculté d’arts dramatiques. C’est le département de dramaturgie qui lui décerne son diplôme en 1999. Son palmarès académique compte également le prix Josip Kulundžič remis au meilleur étudiant en dramaturgie, ainsi que le prix Slobodan Selenić attribué au meilleur texte choisi parmi ceux rédigés par les étudiants terminant leur cursus.
Entre 2003 et 2005, il travaille à Novi Sad en tant que dramaturge pour le théâtre national serbe. Durant cette période, il a édité un recueil de nouveaux textes dramatiques écrits par de jeunes auteurs, PROJEKAT 3, qui ont ensuite été présentés au festival du même nom, au Théâtre National Serbe, en mai 2005. Depuis, Uglješa Šajtinac enseigne la dramaturgie à l’académie des arts de Novi Sad.
Le prix littéraire Biljana Jovanović lui a été attribué, tout comme le prix Vital et trois prix récompensant ses scénarios (Novi Sad, Vrnjačka Banja et Varsovie). Sa pièce Hadersfild (Huddersfield) a remporté le prix Jovan Sterija Popović récompensant le meilleur texte dramatique contemporain, durant l’édition 2005 du festival Sterijino Pozorje. Enfin, il est membre depuis 2007 de l’Association Littéraire Serbe.
Translated by Professor Randall Mayor
Indeed, my sons, we would fail if we had not already.
My dear brother,
I'm somewhere on Broadway, further on down, and the rain is not just falling but is rather pelting me intermittently. Even so, in my wet earphones, I can still hear 'Three Easy Pieces' by John Cage. I’ve stopped under an awning and I’m trying to light a cigarette. An old woman turns after her umbrella which the wind has ripped from her hands. She’s laughing at herself. I’m laughing too. From the stream rushing down the street, over where her umbrella disappeared, a huge black dog on a leash now leaps out. That’s just how things are here, it seems. Things turn into beings, and beings turn into things. This actually isn’t just rain, it’s more like a tempest coming in from the ocean. I’m smoking and looking at my boots. The water has already covered them. Like every other foreigner, I imagine that there is someone standing next to me who understands the language I speak. I do have ghosts, yes, it’s only fair that I mention it to you. I inhale the rain and my Lucky Strike, as excited as when we were little and I heard Gordana’s voice and I see you gathering us like a flock of turkeys in front of the gate. Father is at work. Mother, too. Aunt Juliška is standing in the doorway and wiping her hands on a dishtowel. You herd us in and she grabs us and tells us, half in Hungarian, half in Serbian, not to leave the entranceway. Gordana pulls at my t-shirt soaked in water and laughs. Later, she grumbles when Aunt Juliška rubs our heads with a towel, and you stand at the threshold and look out into the yard. Then you ran off. I could never guess where to or why. You were older. You always had more of your own reasons than we, the younger ones, did. Even back then you had so many things which worried only you. Your bicycle, your rabbits, your inventions in the garden, like that wooden airplane-windmill, whose propeller spun on its shaft when the wind blew. How it would be rocking and spinning in this storm! If I ever don’t know what to do with myself more than now, because even now I don’t know, I'll start producing just such airplane-windmills because they don’t have them here. Not even Manhattan is perfect. There, the dog and its master have found each other. Now the man is kneeling in a puddle and petting his dog as if he is touching an important part of his own soul. You understand that. You used to have a weakness for the powerless.