Last night, on the plateau of the Museum of Herzegovina in Trebinje, the novel by Neda Gudelj, Staring at the Rock, was promoted. At the beginning of the promotion, director Ivana Grujić greeted the attendees and recalled Mother Teodora and her first meeting with her, way back in 1996, when students of archeology from the University of Belgrade, together with Professor Đorđe Janković, came to Herzegovina, at the invitation of Bishop Atanasi, to explore the Tvrdoš Monastery. They stayed with Mother Teodora, in the dormitory of the Duži Monastery. „After a whole day’s excavation and archaeological research, we would return to Duži, where Teodora’s mother would be waiting for us, eager to talk, but also full of ideas about what we could do, so in the evenings we made cakes,
read life stories, we already with his head drooping from fatigue, but still bravely staying with her until late after midnight. About Mother Theodora, everyone who met her has a novel written about her in his heart“.
„She is one of those people who marked Herzegovina, when it comes to the Serbian Orthodox Church, the return to religion, monasticism, that is, asceticism. Although many could not bear her harsh words, she was extremely sincere in her love for her vocation as a nun, in those troubled times when she came to the soil of Herzegovina. She said that she loved Herzegovina because her shoes didn’t get dirty with mud, because she liked to be tidy and she appreciated orderliness, punctuality and value in people…, recalled Grujić’s mother Teodora, whose life she describes in her novel Neda Gudelj.
In front of the publisher, the Book Society of Trebinje, the editor of Novica Telebak said that some original Herzegovinian words appear in the novel, which gives the novel a special value. Reviewer Archpriest Slobodan Lukić in his speech, among other things, said: …,,through the description of Abbess Teodora Neda shows his spiritual birth, growth and maturation within the Duži monastery and in the spiritual wing of Abbess Teodora. If by some
chance Neda decided to write her autobiography, exclusively a book about her life, I believe that the content of that book would be identical to the content of this book, precisely because of that deep attachment to Mother Teodora and the Duži Monastery“…
Prof. Koča Govedarica pointed out that this book is both a diary and a biography and a travelogue and a book about religion and spirituality, stressing that as a professor and an employee of the Ministry of Education, he believes that this book could be reading material in the teaching of religious studies, for students of older grades. The author, Neda Gudelj, thanked the participants of the promotion and the organizer, especially Mother Tekla, the abbess of the
Dobrićevo monastery and everyone present for their support. Her wish was to write a biography of Mother Teodora, the abbess of the Duži monastery at the time, after which everything turned into a novel, which she wrote for more than four years. The novel consists of three parts – the first refers to the period from 1979 – from my first arrival in the mansatir Duži until 1991. The second to my stay in Spain and the third part from 2001 until the death of mother Teodora“, said Neda Gudelj. The moderator of the promotion was Petar Milošević, curator of the Museum of Herzegovina in Trebinje, who read excerpts from the novel. The novel „Staring at the Rock“ was printed in a print run of 500 copies, and all proceeds from sales were allocated by Neda to the Monastery „Duži“.