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Dubravka Ugrešić (1949–2023)

Teoksen Baba Yaga Laid an Egg tekijä

26+ teosta 2,229 jäsentä 63 arvostelua 6 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Dubravka Ugresic was born and raised in what used to be Yugoslavia. In 1993, she left Croatia for political reasons. She has taught in several American and European universities and been awarded many international prizes for her writing

Tekijän teokset

Baba Yaga Laid an Egg (2007) 424 kappaletta, 22 arvostelua
Kiputilahallitus (2005) 407 kappaletta, 9 arvostelua
The Museum of Unconditional Surrender (1996) 348 kappaletta, 10 arvostelua
Thank You for Not Reading: Essays on Literary Trivia (2001) 233 kappaletta, 5 arvostelua
Fox (2017) 128 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
Nobody's Home (2005) 106 kappaletta, 6 arvostelua
Fording the Stream of Consciousness (1988) 79 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
Karaoke Culture (2010) 78 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
In the Jaws of Life and Other Stories (1991) 71 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Europe in Sepia (2013) 69 kappaletta
American Fictionary (1993) 62 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Lend Me Your Character (2005) 59 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
The Age of Skin (2019) 41 kappaletta
Amsterdam, Amsterdam (2002) 6 kappaletta
Culture of Lies (1998) 5 kappaletta
A Muzzle for Witches (2024) 4 kappaletta
Poza za prozu (1989) 4 kappaletta
Raposa (2018) 3 kappaletta
Mali plamen 2 kappaletta
Brnjica za vještice (2021) 1 kappale
Adios 1999 1 kappale

Associated Works

The Wall in My Head: Words and Images from the Fall of the Iron Curtain (2009) — Avustaja — 53 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
Found in Translation (2018) — Avustaja, eräät painokset38 kappaletta
The Suitcase: Refugee Voices from Bosnia and Croatia (1997) — Jälkisanat — 30 kappaletta
Joegoslavië : verhalen van deze tijd van Ivo Andrić ... (1988) — Avustaja — 4 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla





This won the Tiptree Award in 2010, but is also of interest to me because I know Croatia a bit – we lived in Zagreb for several months in 1998, and I get back when I can.

It’s a novel in three parts. In the first, the (Croatian) narrator talks about her elderly (Bulgarian) mother in Zagreb, and visits Bulgaria; the second part, which occupies the middle two quarters of the book, is about three old Czech ladies at a spa, and the various people they interact with, including a Bosnian masseur; and a fictional anthropologist’s guide to the lore of Baba Yaga, the mythic Slavic crone who flies in various conveyances (often a mortar bowl) across the land.

The stories are engaging in themselves, and also very layered in folklore, with the last section explaining some of the roots of the first two. It’s very entertaining to see old themes reworked, and it works in part because the old folkoric themes are so powerful and tap us at a deep level, and in part because it is funny. The third section, an academic essay in form, ought not to work – I’ve seen other authors earnestly explaining the symbolism of their stories, usually very badly – but it does, I think because Ugrešić’s humour comes through as well.

I also found it interesting that Ugrešić has pulled together perspectives from several different Slavic traditions – Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech and Bosnian – and found threads unifying them. Certainly I had always thought of Baba Yaga purely in Russian terms, and it’s salient to be reminded that there are a lot of other places that share the old Slavic traditions in different ways.

It’s also quite short, another point in its favour.
… (lisätietoja)
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nwhyte | 21 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 1, 2023 |
Alerted to the death of notable Croatian author Dubravka Ugrešić (1949-2023) by a Tweet from Declan O'Driscoll, I remembered that her essay collection Nobody's Home was part of The First 25 book bundle that I bought from Open Letter Books, ages ago in 2014.

Born in Croatia in 1949 but eschewing nationalism, Dubravka Ugrešić was a writer, translator and literary scholar with a keen interest in Russian avant-garde culture. She began her award-winning writing career with screenplays and books for children, and translated forgotten and contemporary Russian writers into Croatian. She was best known in the former Yugoslavia for her fiction, novels and short stories, but in 1996 she went into exile in the Netherlands because she was anti-nationalism and anti-war. As her profile at Goodreads tells us:
In 1991, when the war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, Ugrešić took a firm anti-nationalistic stand and consequently an anti-war stand. She started to write critically about nationalism (both Croatian and Serbian), the stupidity and criminality of war, and soon became a target of the nationalistically charged media, officials, politicians, fellow writers and anonymous citizens. She was proclaimed a “traitor”, a “public enemy” and a “witch”, ostracized and exposed to harsh and persistent media harassment. She left Croatia in 1993.

In exile Ugrešić continued teaching and writing, including novels and books of essays of which Nobody's Home (Nikog nema doma) is one. Amongst other awards, she won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2016. Her books are widely translated and translation enthusiasts at Book Twitter are devastated by her early death in Amsterdam at the age of 73.

I haven't read the whole collection, because Nobody's Home is a book for dipping into, but I've enjoyed some of those with the most arresting titles. I particularly enjoyed 'What Is European about European Literature?' with its droll parallels in the Eurovision song contest, and also her self-mockery in 'The Stendhal Syndrome' where she has a panic attack on the famous Gaudi staircase in Barcelona's Sagrada Familia.
What possessed me to go up it in the first place? How many steps are there left to go? Will I ever get down—or will I be stuck in the bell tower—looking through the narrow little window at a scrap of sky—forever? Ah Gaudi! I waited in line from early morning yesterday for the famous Casa Mila, '"La Pedrera," to open. Gaudi's roof, with those astonishing chimneys (espantabruixes) as if it anticipated the future invasion of camera-clicking tourists: no one can escape being caught in someone's picture. (p.199)

(Yes, *blush*, you can see my enthusiastic camera-clicking at these sites in the slide-show at my travel blog.)

I could also relate to her wry lamentation about visits to cities that can be reduced to the things I haven't seen. Unlike Ugrešić, I have seen the Sistine Chapel, but my plans have likewise been foiled by renovations, strikes, airline stuffups, inexperience at being a tourist, and just not having enough time to see, for example, Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper and the Milan cathedral, St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Rodin's statue of Balzac in Paris, and anything in Greece because they were rioting when we were planning my Big Birthday trip in 2012 and so we went to Russia instead.

I am likewise glad that I did most of my travel not so much in the less democratic times when airfares were expensive and Ugrešić had the Louvre, Hermitage and Metropolitan to herself, but before the advent of the hordes ticking off their bucket lists with selfies to prove it and the monster cruise ships in Venice.
Because since then the cities, and with them the museums, have been occupied by consumers of cheap airfares: people resigned to every physical and mental humiliation; tourists with nerves of steel and astonishing physical endurance; human specimens outfitted for combat, armed with backpacks, cameras and bottled water; people waiting patiently in long lines, latter-day pilgrims who are paying penance for who knows what sins; hunters on the lookout for tourist relics and collectors amassing cheap souvenirs; people who have taken the metaphor of the world as a global village literally. (p.200-1)

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2023/03/18/nobodys-home-2005-by-dubravka-ugresic-transl...
… (lisätietoja)
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anzlitlovers | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 18, 2023 |
This starts out looking like a simple collection of essays about narrative, where stories come from and what writers do with them, with particular reference to the writers of the Russian avant-garde. But then we gradually seem to slip back into the world of fiction (where we have really been all the time), when Ugrešić starts telling us about writers we are sure we wouldn't find if we tried to Google them, and about incidents we can be pretty sure she wouldn't be telling us about if they had really happened that way.

The central image of the fox as a symbol of the creative writer's status in the world is taken from Boris Pilnyak (who did exist, of course, and several of whose books Ugrešić translated): Ugrešić looks, amongst other things, at the writer as someone who steals other people's lives to turn them into stories, at the writer as someone to blame for holding the wrong opinions — she draws on the deaths of many Soviet writers under Stalin and on her own experience of being hounded by the nationalist government in Croatia — at the writer as a cheap resource to be summoned to entertain students or conference delegates, and at the difficulty of coming up with stories that satisfy her young niece. Imagine the trauma of having an aunt who knows too many fairy-tales and is happy to switch cultures and tales in mid-stream...

Good mind-bending fun.
… (lisätietoja)
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thorold | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 18, 2022 |
Традиционна международна писателска среща в Загреб през 80-те години на миналия век, рой участници от Източна Европа и от Запада. От „шапката“ изскачат характерни образи, нижат се гротескни, сюрреалистични събития, абсурди, контрасти – нелепа смърт в хотелски басейн, премиера на книга в месокомбинат, пищен прием със сватбената торта на Ема Бовари, устроен от далечен роднина на Флобер, женско сексуално отмъщение на язвителен критик, бягство отвъд желязната завеса и небезизвестен чадър…

С присъщото си дръзко остроумие и изобретателност, с тънък хумор, ирония и на места пародия Дубравка Угрешич разгръща един многопластов, мултикултурен роман река за литературата и писателското поприще, постмодернистична картина на двата свята от близкото минало през погледа на онези, които ги претворяват в художествена фикция.
… (lisätietoja)
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ZornitsaBodakova | 1 muu arvostelu | Apr 23, 2022 |



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