prose

Damir Karakaš: Excerpt from Remembering Forest

Karakaš’s vivid descriptions will jolt you into the world he grew up in- a remote, conservative community in Croatia’s mountainous region of Lika. He was always different and the simple, traditional values of his small village struggled to contain his vast imagination. When his first grade teacher called him a thoughtful boy, his mother considered it an insult or at the very least, a cause for concern. (Karakaš, Damir. Interviewed by Mirjana Dugandžija, Jutarnji List, 29.1.2017).

Read an excerpt from Karakaš’s semi-autobiographical novel, Remembering Forest below. Translation by Tomislav Kuzmanović.

prose

Andrea Pisac: Excerpt from Hacked Kiti

Andrea Pisac was born in Kutina in 1975. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Croatian Language and Literature and English Language and Literature from the University of Zagreb. She spent twelve years in the UK, where she earned her master’s degree from the University of London and completed her PhD in Anthropology at Goldsmiths College. Her latest novel, Hakirana Kiti (2013) (Hacked Kiti) was short-listed for the prestigious t-Portal award for the best book of prose in Croatia. She has also written several collections of short stories, Dok nas smrt ne rastavi ili te prije toga ne ubijem (2007) (Till Death Do Us Part If I Don’t Kill You Before Then) and Odsuće (2001), as well as numerous scientific papers. Her award-winning blog, Zagreb Honestly, has been delighting foreign visitors with quirky, insider tips on what to do in Zagreb as well as cultural insights for several years now.

Read an excerpt from Pisac’s novel, Hacked Kiti, below. Translation by the author.

prose

Želimir Periš: Excerpt from Mima and Squaring the Debt

"A writer enters into the lives and personalities of his characters, their living situations as well as their emotional ones. That’s the immeasurable richness writing offers." (Periš, Želimir. Interviewed by Melita Vrsaljko, ziher.hr, 23.11.2013).

Read an excerpt from Periš's novel, Mima and Squaring the Debt, below. Translation by Paula Jurišić.

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Joško Marušić: Fisheye (a short animated film)

The Zagreb School of Animation was opened in 1956 and quickly gained international acclaim when the short film, Surogat, by Dušan Vukotić won an Oscar. (Wikipedia).

Read an article about Joško Marušić, an animator from the Zagreb school, in The Paris Review, and watch his short film, Riblje oko (Fisheye) from 1980 in the link below.

prose

Tea Tulić: Merman

J.A. Hopkins on Tulić’s writing in her novel, Hair Everywhere: “As the fragments gleam with images and insights, Tulić guarantees her story the vitality of fiction rather than allowing the prose to dwindle into maudlin memoir. Indeed, cumulatively, these short, tender sentences deliver something of a benediction, a gentle laying on of hands, to remind us all we’re human.” https://tinyurl.com/J-A-Hopkins-EuroLitNetwork

Read Tulić's short story, Merman, below. Translation by Mirza Purić.

prose

Ivana Rogar: Newcomers

Ivana Rogar was born in Zagreb in 1978. Her first collection of short stories, Tamno ogledalo (2014) (Dark Mirror) was awarded as one of the best Croatian books of fiction that year by the Croatian Ministry of Culture. Her next collection of short stories, Tumačenje snova (2016) (Interpretation of Dreams), received the prestigious Jankov Polić Kamov award for the best literary work published that year. Rogar earned her bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and English from the University of Zagreb. She is an editor for the publishing house Durieux as well as for the reputable literary magazines Quorum and Libra Libera. Rogar’s work has appeared in a number of Croatian and regional magazines including the Croatian Film Chronicles, 15 Days and Zarez among others. She has translated seven books from English to Croatian, including the Man Booker prize winner The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai. Several poems she translated from Serbian to English were published in The Café Review alongside one of her own poems.

prose

Ana Brnardić: Various poems

Ana Brnardić (1980) is a Zagreb native. She holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature and the Croatian Language and Literature from the University of Zagreb, as well as a Master’s degree in Music (violin) from the Music Academy in Zagreb. She has published four collections of poems. Her debut collection of poems, Some Sage’s Pen (1998), garnered her critical acclaim and two prestigious awards: the Goran Award for Young Poets and the Slavic Award from the Croatian Writer’s Association for the best debut poetry collection. Her collection of poems, Waltzing Snakes (2005), received the Kvirin Award for Young Poets. Her other poetry collections are Genesis of Birds (2009) and Uphill (2015). Selected poems from Brnardić were translated into Romanian in the book Hotel cu muzenici in 2009. And Genesis of Birds was translated into Swedish in 2016. Aside from writing poetry and prose, Brnardić also works with with Adrian Oproiu to translate contemporary Romanian literature into Croatian. She also serves as the General Secretary for the Croatian Writers’ Society (h,d,p,).

prose

Zoran Ferić: Excerpt from Maya Calendar

In addition to being a high school literature teacher, Zoran Ferić is also one of Croatia’s most accomplished and awarded authors. Ferić’s expansive 600 page novel, Maya Calendar (2011), has been described as his most mature work to date as well as “an exceptional novel which in every sense far transcends what is today considered to be the standard for Croatian prose.” (Pogačnik, Jagna. Vrijedilo je čekati šest godina. Ferić ima sjajan novi roman. Jutarnji List, 30.12.2011).
In the amusing selected passage from the novel below, the protagonist spots a woman who he thinks he recognizes from his younger years passing by while he is drinking his morning coffee in a downtown café. Ferić turns this nostalgic scene into a Woody Allen-esque neurotic contemplation on his position in his own life in that moment and how all other characters in his life, whether major or minor, view him as a nuisance.

Excerpt from Maya Calendar by Zoran Ferić.
Translation by Tomislav Kuzmanović.

prose

Marko Gregur: Booze Mirinda

Marko Gregur (1982) hails from Koprivnica. He has authored a book of poetry, Lirska grafomanija (2011), two collections of short stories Peglica u prosincu (2012), and Divan dan za Drinkopoly (2014) (A Fine Day for Drinkopoloy) and a novel, Kak je zgorel presvetli Trombetassicz (2017). His short stories and poetry have appeared in many Croatian and international literary magazines as well as the anthology of prose by young Croatian writers, Bez vrata, bez kucanja (2012) (No Doors, No Knocking). Gregur has received multiple awards for his writing, including the Ulaznica award as well as the Prozak award for the best prose by anyone in Croatia under the age of 35.

prose

Korana Serdarević: Birdcage

Korana Serdarević was born in 1982 in Zadar. Several of her prize winning stories are included in her first published book, a collection of short stories, Nema se što učiniti (2015) (Nothing Can Be Done). She received her degree in Croatian Language and Literature and Comparative Literature from The University of Zagreb. She previously worked as a reporter for the culture section of the national daily newspaper, Večernji list, and for the weekly paper, Forum, as well as writing for online publications. Currently she is a high school teacher and also does freelance translating from English into Croatian. She lives in Zagreb with her family.

report

Lit Link: Despite Brexit. By: Rosie Goldsmith

From the 2017 LITLINK FESTIVAL in CROATIA

The success of the three-day-LitLinking of Europeans, sharing our literatures and languages, proves beyond measure that the sun still shines and the stars still twinkle ‘Despite Brexit’.

panorama

Croatian popular music

Ivo Robić was one of the first acclaimed popular music artists in Croatia during the existence of the former Yugoslavia. He emerged in the late 1940s and later launched a very successful international career as well, closely cooperating with the famous composer and Polydor producer Bert Kaempfert, whom he convinced to produce the then upcoming act The Beatles after seeing them performing in the Top Ten Club in Hamburg. Robić is the author of the famous schlager that was later popularized by Frank Sinatra as Strangers in the Night.

Croatia is known for its specific Dalmatian folk music sound which mixed with various forms of popular music is represented at the festivals held on the Adriatic coast, such as the Split Festival and formerly the Opatija Festival. This style of music is similar to the Italian Canzone and the Sanremo Music Festival and some of its most notable act are Oliver Dragojević and Mišo Kovač.

prose

Igor Rajki: Carnal Parasite

LIT LINK FESTIVAL 2017

Igor Rajki (1965, Zagreb) is a prolific author with a unique style leaning towards unconventional expression, experimentation, linguistic interplay and a peculiar sense of humor. He has published five novels, six short story collections, youth fiction, radio plays and dramas and his works have been performed on stage as well. Two of his novels, Truth Detector (2012) and Carnal Parasite (2014) were shortlisted for the most prominent Croatian award for novels, the T-Portal Award.

Below is an excerpt from Rajki's novel, Carnal Parasite

panorama

Jonathan Bousfield: Welcome to Hofbauerland

The publication of comic-strip collection Mister Morgen confirms Igor Hofbauer’s status as the unrivalled master of Croatian grotesque.
While Hofbauer’s poster designs represent a playful exercise in trash horror, his narrative strips are a much darker affair, featuring tales of obsession, anguish, and impending apocalypse.

essay

Dubravka Ugrešić: The Spirit of the Kakanian Province

"While I was leafing through a few Croatian Kakanian novels (which I'd last cracked in high school), I felt I was working not with literary texts but genes. It was like discovering something we have always known but failed to attend to, like discovering a birthmark exactly where it was on our parents, children, grandchildren. At the same time, the literary critic in me grumbled while reading the ongoing episodes of these provincial literary soap operas, which have been going on for a century."

panorama

Jonathan Bousfield: Rijeka Rock City

It was the port city of Rijeka that led the way when it came to Croatia’s relationship with the electric guitar, and it is Rijeka that preserves most in terms of rock and roll heritage today. Label boss Goran Lisica Fox famously described Rijeka as a ‘musical Galapagos’, a self-contained city that always stood apart from the main landmass of popular culture. Indeed the city’s position in Croatia can be compared to that of Manchester in the UK: a place whose mixture of provincial isolation and self-reliance paradoxically puts it at the centre of national creativity.

panorama

Map world literature - Croatia

As could be expected given the upheaval in this part of the world throughout much of the 20th and 21st century, social issues and questions of identity figure strongly with many Croatian writers. Older and more conservative/right-wing writers are sometimes preoccupied with national identity, whereas younger authors tend to have a more diversified approach, looking at subcultural themes, gender/sexuality, social problems, economic migration, etc. There is a lot of sensitive, experimental and generally eye-opening literature to be discovered.

CM extensions

Croatia's Once Mighty Shoe Firm Finds its Feet

Vogue’s recognition of its Startas sneakers is only the latest sign that the humbled economic giant in Vukovar is on the way back up.

review

Krleža seen by French critics

Six of Krleža's books have been translated into French: The Burial at Theresienburg (short stories, Editions de Minuit, translated by Antun Polanšćak, preface by Leon-Pierre Quint, Paris, 1956.), The Return of Philip Latinovicz (novel, edited by Calman-Lévy, translated by Mila Đorđević and Ciara Malraux, Paris, 1957.], The Banquet in Blithuania (novel, edited by Calman-Lévy, translated by Mauricette Beguitch, Paris, 1964.), I’m not Playing Anymore (novel, Edition de Seuil, translated by Janine Matillon, Paris, 1969.], Mars, Croatian God (short stories, Edition Calman-Lévy, translated by Janine Matillon and Antun Polanšćak, Paris, 1971.), The Ballads of Petritsa Kerempuh (Edition: Presses orientales de France, translated by Janine Matillon). All these books were well received. We give here some extracts from criticisms (Maurice Nadeau, Léon Pierre Quint, Claude Roy, Marcel Schneider, Robert Bréchon, Jean Bloch-Michel and others) who provide various insights into Krleža`s work.

The article was originally published in Most/The Bridge literary review (number 3-4, 1979).

review

Socialism and Modernity: A Hidden History

Rick Poynor tries to correct the injustice: not so many designers in English-speaking countries know about the growth of graphic design and visual culture in central and eastern Europe after the Second World War.

poetry

Irena Delonga Nešić: A note to yourself

Irena Delonga Nešić (Sinj, 1984) is a Croatian poet and former editor of the The Split Mind magazine. In 2010 she published a poetry volume ''Riječi kupuju zločine koje ćeš počiniti" and was awarded Goran prize for young poets. She lives in Split, where she hosts literary events.

report

LitLink. The Editor's View. By: Anna Kelly

As far as I know, LitLink festival is unique. Each year it takes a group of writers and publishers to three Croatian cities – Pula, Rijeka, and Zagreb – for a series of evening readings. Along the way there are coach journeys on winding roads, stunning vistas of deep green fields and icy mountains, excellent Croatian wine and food, sea swimming, plenty of book chat...

report

A very rough guide to LitLink. The Author's View. By: Joanna Kavenna

Each night there is a bilingual Croatian-English event. Translations are projected behind the writers as they read. It becomes apparent that many contemporary Croatian writers are high ironists, forging dark comedy from aspects of life that most disturb them – war, corruption, the riotous hypocrisy of those who claim to govern us.
The tour runs from Zagreb to Pula to Rijeka...

review

Olja Savičević Ivančević: Singer in the Night review

Read a review of the much acclaimed contemporary Croatian writer, Olja Savičević Ivančević’s book, Pjevač u noći (2016) (Singer in the Night).

panorama

New wave in Yugoslavia

As its counterparts, the British and the US new wave, from which the main influences came, the Yugoslav scene was also closely related to punk rock, ska, reggae, 2 Tone, power pop and mod revival.
Important artists were: Azra, Šarlo Akrobata, Idoli (famous for their song "Maljčiki" and its respective video in which they ridiculed the soviet soc-realism), Pankrti (first Yugoslav punk band), Prljavo kazalište (started as a punk unit; the title of their second album Crno-bijeli svijet which means "black and white world" holds a reference to the 2 Tone movement), Električni Orgazam (punk at the beginning, they moved towards post-punk and psychedelia later and were described as "The Punk Doors"), Slađana Milošević, Haustor (mostly reggae, ska and similar influences, but with a more poetic and intellectual approach compared to some danceable bands), Buldožer, Laboratorija Zvuka, Film (one of the first new wave groups), Lačni Franz and many others.
New wave was especially advocated by the magazines Polet from Zagreb and Džuboks from Belgrade.

review

How Are You? by Barbara Matejčić, a review

LIT LINK FESTIVAL 2017

"From time to time, a literary work would appear that would succeed in giving a voice to the voiceless ones. How Are You?, an excellent collection of short stories by a Croatian journalist and writer Barbara Matejčić, is one of these literary works.
The author has spent a period of her life with her characters, being with them, helping them and listening to their stories, and her method is hence intrinsically one typical of investigative journalism."
Saša Ilić, eurolitnetwork.com

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Film festivals in Croatia

The Croatian Audiovisual Centre currently co-finances 59 film festivals and other audiovisual events. These serve various functions: they are particularly important for promoting Croatian audiovisual creation and serve as a platform for screening artistic content and non-commercial film forms, which makes them relevant on a local, regional, national and, in some cases, international level.

report

The Little Black Egg: a punk excursion to Croatia

"It’s called Rijecki Novi Val. (Novi Val is Croatian for New Wave.) This is one of the best collections of anything I ever acquired. Punk and New Wave were huge in the Balkans. I said it once, and I’ll say it again: the ex-YU countries are responsible for the some of the best punk music made anywhere."

interview

An interview with Zdenko Franjić

Starting out in 1987, Croatian record label Slusaj Najglasnije! (or Listen Loudest!) documented many of Croatia’s greatest bands, including Majke, Hali Gali Halid, Satan Panonski, Bambi Molestors, and many others. Over time, Listen Loudest! evolved, and today releases music from artists the world around. The mastermind behind Listen Loudest, Zdenko Franjic, has been kept his label/life mission together for over thirty years without a break.

panorama

Croatian Sites on UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

A little know fact is that Croatia, together with Spain, have the most cultural and historical heritage under the protection of UNESCO, and Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO intangible goods of any European country.

panorama

Dancing under socialism: rare electronic music from Yugoslavia

In the last couple of years, various collections of electronic music from former Yugoslavia popped up, ranging from numerous downloadable CDR mixtapes to official compilation albums. Yet there are several more waiting in line to be pressed and, as you will see, these are most definitely worth waiting for.

panorama

Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb

The National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, is one of those things which always finds its way to every visitor’s busy schedule.

panorama

Zagreb Festivals and Cultural Events

Numerous festivals, shows and exhibitions are held annually in Zagreb. Search our what's on guide to arts & entertainment.

panorama

20 Essential Films for an Introduction to Yugoslavian Cinema

Once upon a time there was a country, and that country made films. The films produced in the former Yugoslavia remain fascinating for anyone interested in the country or in films. This list is by no means definitive, for Yugoslav cinema is too rich and varied for that. It is rather, a primer for those unfamiliar with the region, the best bits from each era and each generation.

panorama

A History of Eastern European Matchboxes

Although they were produced under strict state-controlled production processes; that were aimed at exploiting them as a means of publicizing political initiatives, promoting public health and safety, and selling the communist ideal both at home and abroad, the artists used them as a vehicle to experiment with various imaginative ideas and artistic techniques, achieving truly stunning results.

Authors' pages

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