Drinking to excess has been a striking problem for industrial and post-industrial societies – who is responsible when a ‘free’ individual opts for a slow suicide? The causes of such drinking have often been blamed on heredity, moral weakness, ‘disease’ (addiction), hedonism, and Romantic illusion. Yet there is another reason which may be more fundamental and which has been overlooked or dismissed, and it is that the drinker may act with sincere philosophical intent. The Existential Drinker looks at the convergence of a new kind of excessive, habitual drinking, beginning in the nineteenth century, and a new way of thinking about the self which in the twentieth century comes to be labelled ‘Existential’. A substantial introduction covers questions of self, will, consciousness, authenticity, and ethics in relation to drinking, while introducing aspects of Existential thought pertinent to the discussion. The Existential-drinker canon is anchored in Jack London’s ‘alcoholic memoir’ John Barleycorn (1913), where London claims he can get at the truth of existence only through the insights afforded by excessive and repeated alcohol use. The book then covers drinker-texts such as Jean Rhys’s interwar novels, Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend and John O’Brien’s Leaving Las Vegas, along with less well-known works such as Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, Venedikt Yerofeev’s Moscow–Petushki, and A. L. Kennedy’s Paradise. The book will appeal to anybody with an interest in drinking and literature, as well as those with more specialised concerns in drinking studies, Existentialism, twentieth-century literature, and medical humanities.
While finishing the book and writing these acknowledgements, I have felt both relieved and uneasy. The journey towards the completion of this book was long and colourful, and it has had its ups and downs. Now, at this stage, I am left wondering if I will be able to properly express my gratitude to everyone who walked alongside me through the different parts of this journey. Whilst I have that famous proverb ‘it takes a village’ echoing in my head, it seems to me that the journey with this book took me around the world: from that little place in rural north-east Slovenia where I grew up, all the way to New Zealand where I live now. On that journey I encountered many people who will forever be dear to me no matter how close or far away they are.
This book was very much shaped by the fact that I have spent a large proportion of my twenties in the Romani communities of Central and South East Europe, but especially in the Romani community of Kamenci in the region where I grew up. My time spent there has overwhelmingly shaped many of the perspectives I still hold today. I would particularly like to thank Ludvik and Nada Levačić as well as Adrijana Horvat from Kamenci, who I now consider to be family.
This book would not have seen the light of day if it were not for my Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship project, ‘Invisible edges of citizenship: readdressing the position of Romani minorities in Europe’ (acronym: InviCitRom), at the University of Leuven, led by Peter Vermeersch. I therefore gladly confirm that this book is part of a project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement (no. 705768). The book would also not have seen the light of day if it were not for the fantastic team behind the Theory for a Global Age series at Manchester University Press, especially the series editor, Gurminder Bhambra, as well as Caroline Wintersgill, Thomas Dark and Alun Richards.
It has indeed been a long and varied journey getting to the position of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in Leuven from my days spent in Kamenci. I started thinking about what the position of Romani minorities tells us about our society as a postgraduate. I finished my MA degree in Nationalism Studies at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. I would particularly like to thank my MA thesis supervisors, Júlia Szalai and Will Kymlicka, who guided the early development of my own academic voice and who continue to be supportive of my work. The CEU has also brought many friends who have remained with me way past our time spent in Budapest: Nora Wagner-Várady, Emin Eminagić, Alexander Karadjov, Eszter Weinberger, Anja Šter, Ivan Matić, Marina Vasić and, particularly, Karolis Butkevičius. I completed my PhD at the University of Ljubljana under the supervision of Ksenija Vidmar Horvat. During my PhD studies, which focused on how the position of Roma changed after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, I have particularly benefited from conversations and friendship with Miro Samardžija.
My specific interest in what the position of Romani minorities tells us about citizenship was ignited in my first academic position at the University of Edinburgh as a Research Fellow on the CITSEE research project (‘The Europeanization of Citizenship in the Successor States for the Former Yugoslavia’, funded by the European Research Council), led by Jo Shaw. Besides being an impressive academic, Jo has also been one of the most supportive mentors I have had on my scholarly path. She taught me how to take my first steps into international academia, and I am immensely grateful for that. I am also thankful for the exceptional team she put together when I was at CITSEE, many of whom have remained friends, especially Dejan Stjepanović, Gëzim Krasniqi, Ljubica Spaskovska, Lamin Khadar, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Katja Kahlina, Jared Philippi, Annie McGeechan and, of course, Igor Štiks (who was responsible for introducing me to Peter Vermeersch). And also I must not forget to thank Mr Alph Thomas for making the CITSEE days wittier.
The first concrete idea for this book on the invisible edges of citizenship as well as the proposal for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSC) project came about during my next academic post as a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI). I would like to especially thank my Max Weber mentor Rainer Bauböck for his comments on the earliest drafts of the invisible edges of citizenship idea, among other things. I have learned an incredible amount from him. I am also extremely grateful to Jelena Džankić, with whom I have been connected via both CITSEE and the EUI. She has been a great colleague and a friend. I have benefited from her insightful advice on many occasions, but in particular from her comments on my MSC proposal. I am also particularly indebted to Halit M. Tagma, Adriana Bunea, Eileen Keller and Alyson Price for their comments on my MSC proposal. I have been fortunate to have many collegial and friendly conversations with the Max Weber team (especially Richard Bellamy, who was the Max Weber Director, and Ognjen Aleksić, Coordinator at the Max Weber programme) and have created many friendships and further academic collaborations with other Max Weber fellows, in particular Julia McClure, Zsófia Lóránd, Katharina Lenner (and Cameron Thibos), Fran Meissner, Aitana Guia, Juliana Bidadanure, Sofiya Grachova, Magdalena Malecka, Michael Kozakowski, Peter Szigeti, Guy Aitchinson, Diane Fromage and Diana Georgescu. I have also benefited from conversations with Lilla Farkas at the EUI. One the most amazing things that happened at the EUI was that I met Trajche Panov, who has been my best friend ever since; again, I now consider him family, as he has been an incredible support through the many struggles I have had along the way.
Some of the ideas in this book were also developed during my visiting fellowship at the University of Rijeka, where I discussed some of the analyses (especially Chapter 5) with Sanja Bojanić, Aleksandra Djurasović, Giulia Carabelli, Piro Rexhepi and Jeremy Walton. I had moved away from the book when I started another project as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool, working in particular with Helen Stalford and Eleanor Drywood as my mentors. I would also like to thank the members of the EU Law Unit for their comments on earlier chapter drafts. In particular, Stephanie Khoury, Narzanin Massoumi and Nuno Ferreira provided useful discussions about the book and are now life-long friends.
The main body of this book was written with the outstanding support of Peter Vermeersch as my MSC supervisor at the University of Leuven. I also now consider him not only a mentor but a life-long friend. At KU Leuven, I would also like to thank Heleen Touquet, Anwesha Borthakur, Kolja Raube, Kristin Henrard, Ingrid De Wachter, Maaike Vandenhaute and the EU Research Coordination Office. I have received many helpful comments from colleagues and friends on the whole or parts of this book. I would like to thank Peter Vermeersch, Michael Winikoff and Keleigh Coldron for reading the entire developing manuscript. Keleigh has been a fantastic copy-editor for my book who has gone beyond expectations in editing and polishing the final manuscript. I would also like to thank the anonymous external reviewer instructed by Manchester University Press, whose comments have been very insightful and helpful. In addition, my sincere gratitude goes to Fiona Little for her meticulous and patient preparation of the manuscript for the MUP final proofs. I am also grateful to colleagues who have read individual chapters: Aidan McGarry, Stephanie Khoury, Diana Kudaibergenova, Kristin Blainpain, Catherine Baker, Julia McClure, Heleen Touquet, Nuno Ferreira, Rachel Humphris, Ethel Brooks and Gwendolyn Albert. I am extremely happy that I was able to talk about my research also in Kamenci, especially during the workshop co-organised with Julia McClure (who has also offered me enormous support for writing this book in general). I presented an earlier version of Chapter 4 during my short visiting fellowship at the McMullin Centre on Statelessness at the University of Melbourne, where I greatly appreciated comments from Michelle Foster, Christoph Sperfeldt, Timnah Baker and Deirdre Brennan. I presented earlier versions of this book at the 2018 Council of European Studies Convention in Chicago, where I benefited from the comments of Koen Slootmaeckers, Fran Meissner, Jean Beaman and Aitana Guia. I also presented ideas from this book at the 2019 International Studies Association Convention, where I received comments from Karlo Basta and Willem Maas and was introduced to the Yugoslawomen+ Collective (Dženeta Karabegović, Sljadjana Lazić, Vjosa Musliu, Elena Stavrevska and Jelena Obradović-Wochnik), who have been an incredible support while I was finishing the book. I have presented earlier versions of this book at the 2019 Association for the Study of Nationalities Convention (Columbia University), and I am thankful for the comments received there from my co-panellists Ethel Brooks, Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka and Lucie Fremlová. I also presented at the World Convention on Statelessness and the GlobalCit Annual Conference at the EUI, both in 2019. The book has benefited from discussions with many others such as Can Yildiz, Nicholas De Genova, Eric Fassin, Angéla Kóczé, Huub van Baar, Diana Popescu, Jan Grill, Márton Rövid, Tina Magazzini, Judit Durst, Katya Ivanova, Dominic O’Sullivan, Nick Cheesman and Nyi Nyi Kyaw. Special thanks to Senada Sali, Benjamin Ignac, Samanta Baranja, Sandi Horvat, Tina Friedreich, Aljoša Rudaš, Vinko Cener, Andrej Šarkezi, Bernard Levačić and Nino Nihad Pušija for their support during my fieldwork for the book. I finished the revisions of the book in my current post as Lecturer at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington, and want to acknowledge the support of my mentor Kate McMillan and line manager Xavier Marquez, among others, as well as my colleague and friend Matevž Rašković, who helped me organize the first presentation of the book in Wellington.
As I wrote the final part of this book, one of my closest family members became very sick. I am eternally grateful that they are better now and that all my closest family members are still here with me. I would like to thank my mama and ati (Agata and Dinko Sardelić), who have supported me from my first steps and to whom I dedicate this book with love. I am thankful to my sister Rosemarie and her family Kaja and Branko, and to my second childhood family, the Petkovićes, and Trajche, who is like a brother to me. Thanks also to Judy, Dragon and Dawn. Finally, though no less important for that, besides my parents, my deepest gratitude must go to my husband Michael Sardelić Winikoff, with whom I started sharing life with while this book was in the making. From the first time we met in Liverpool, through our 20,000 km long-distance relationship, to being finally together in Wellington, Michael has been the most supportive, kind and compassionate partner I could have wished for. I owe him more than words can say.