new edition announcement

Slobodan Novak in English

place: Zagreb, Croatia
organiser: DHK
Slobodan Novak's novel 'Izvanbrodski dnevnik' has been translated in English entitled Three Journeys. The book was translated by Tamara Budimir and edited by Nikola Đuretić.

The book was supported by Croatian Ministry of Culture and Culture Department in the City Council of Zagreb.

Objavljena je uz financijsku potporu Ministarstva kulture i Ureda za obrazovanje, kulturu i sport Grada Zagreba, u sklopu ovogodišnjih 33. Zagrebačkih književnih razgovora (ZKR). Do sada su, počevši od 2009., u istom nizu objavljene u prijevodu na engleski jezik i knjige Mire Gavrana, Ivana Aralice i Siniše Glavaševića.

Novak started his career with tendentious and pathetic songs full of painful memories from the war. Verses were gathered in his work Glasnice u oluji (English: Vocal Cords in a Storm) (1950). Soon he started to write fiction: he published Krugovima (English: To Circles) and Republici (English: To Republic). He gained the attention of critics and public by publishing his autobiographical novel Izgubljeni zavičaj (English: Lost homeland) (1955) where he deals with his childhood on a lonely island.

The novel flows in sign of nostalgic evocation, images full of emotions, lyric and arcadian atmosphere, while the narrative rhythm closely follows the cyclical changes of the seasons. The narrator appears in two characters: in infantile “I” where he observes, registers and absorbs everything around him; and the second character as today’s “I” where he, with a sentimental and quiet dose of resignation recreates his memories and images from youth. This dualism, by which he achieves intimate dissection, is one of the main points in Novak's works.

The greatest aesthetic achievement was his novel Mirisi, zlato i tamjan (English: Frangrances, Gold and Frankincense) published in 1968. This is a story about retired middle-aged intellectual who lives with his wife on an isolated island; he lives his life and nurtures the very old Madona Markantunova, a former rich patrician woman and owner of half of the island.

The story takes place in the 1960s.
Novak follows the same thematic and poetic line in his short novel Izvanbrodski dnevnik (English: Outboard Diary) published in 1977. The work was realized as a narrative triptych: it consists of three separate novelistic units which are connected with narrator, characters, situations and motives. Novak described three travels on relation island-mainland-island. But again the reason for the trip is calculation of collective myths and their own illusions. Read more

(D.H., 04.12.2012)