By Ranko Marinkovic, Ellen Elias-Bursac, Vlada Stojiljkovic

In his semiautobiographical novel, Cyclops, Croatian author Ranko Marinkovic recounts the adventures of younger theater critic Melkior Tresic, an archetypal antihero who makes a decision to starve himself to prevent scuffling with within the entrance strains of worldwide warfare II. As he wanders the streets of Zagreb in a near-hallucinatory kingdom of paranoia and malnourishment, Melkior encounters a colourful circus of characters—fortune-tellers, shamans, actors, prostitutes, bohemians, and café intellectuals—all residing in a delicate dream of a society approximately to be replaced forever.

A seminal paintings of postwar jap eu literature, Cyclops reveals a little-known standpoint on global struggle II from in the former Yugoslavia, one who hasn't ever earlier than been on hand to an English-speaking viewers. Vlada Stojiljkovic's capable translation, superior through Ellen Elias-Bursac's insightful enhancing, preserves the awesome brilliance of this riotously humorous and densely allusive textual content. alongside Melkior’s trip Cyclops satirizes either the delusions of the righteous army officers who feed the nationwide bloodlust in addition to the wayward intellectuals who think themselves to be above the disagreeable realities of overseas clash. via Stojiljkovic's clear-eyed translation, Melkior’s peregrinations show how historical past occurs and the way the person attention is swept up within the tide of political occasions, and this is often entire in a method that might resonate with readers of Charles Simic, Aleksandr Hemon, and Kundera

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Example text

Ranko Marinković was not a poet, so he was not competing directly with Ujević’s looming influence, but this dynamic is also worth keeping in mind when parsing his portrait of Ujević in the character of Maestro. Marinković is frequently hailed for his irony and the psychological and social analysis he brings to his stories, novels, and plays, but, as several recent critics have remarked, there is room for more scholarship on his work. As one scholar comments, “CYCLOPS, the novel by Ranko Marinković published in 1965, is regularly accorded a distinguished place in critical and historical surveys of Croatian literary modernism, but this claim is supported by a somewhat tautological argumentation.

The doctor said, ‘We must have it out’—Four Eyes made a sharp gesture as if slicing his own side with his thumb—and I said, ‘Not so fast, doc! I’m not having my kidney pickled in alcohol,’ I said. And so, my dear Distressić, I lost a nice little job with First Croatian. I went to see the Old Man this morning. ’ ‘The usual? ’ “Short and sweet. Goodbye—Goodbye. While I was in hospital, the wife pawned all we had. If only I had something to pawn! … but there’s nothing left. No job—no credit. I needn’t tell you, do I, you know well enough what our damned Scrooges are like.

The man’s dying on my machine, as it were, before my eyes, and I have to keep a record of it day in and day out. ” The invalid was not lying, he genuinely felt for Dom Kuzma. “I give him anything up to sixty grams of an evening, to set him up nicely for bed, but come morning I bring him down by a hundred and twenty. He hangs his head, there are tears in his eyes, he doesn’t believe me; you’re lying, he says, how could I have possibly lost so much overnight? Your machine’s out of whack, he says, get it fixed!

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