Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Verboden te lezen” as Want to Read:
Verboden te lezen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Verboden te lezen

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  219 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Wat is er met de boekenmarkt aan de hand? De ene hype is nog niet uitgeraasd of er dient zich alweer een volgende aan. Een serieus debat over de inhoud staat steeds meer onder druk. Dubravka Ugrešić neemt in een belangrijk deel van haar essays krachtig stelling tegen wat zij ziet als het dreigende einde van de boekencultuur. In andere essays signaleert ze vlijmscherp hoe d ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published 2001 by De Geus
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Verboden te lezen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Verboden te lezen

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 599)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Hadrian
What can we expect from a collection of essays that quotes Eeyore and Joseph Brodsky in its epigrams? A great deal. Dubravka Ugrešić is an observant author, from a smaller country often marginalized in the global media, and a witness to political, social, economic turmoil.

Many of these essays center around a vague impersonal 'Market' and the state of modern reading. She talks about mass-production and best-sellers. Reducing authorship to products, and reducing literature to only the material cu
...more
Oriana
Wow. This is a hell of a book. Dubravka is really damn smart, sometimes too smart for me, in fact. These essays really range in scope, although the first section is all about publishing: how sex appeal counts for more than skill, how 'the market' is a blind, dumb animal, how agents are totally full of shit, how everything has become ruled by spectacle and silliness, etc.

I actually got this book because I saw her read with Bragi Ólafsson. During the reading, she said that this book got her basic
...more
MJ Nicholls
These be charming and hilarious attacks on the publishing world, writers and their tics, and the laughable state of Croatian culture. These also be serious academic essays on East European writers, with ‘The Writer in Exile’ as its centrepiece: a lacerating display of egghead invective laced with personal sorrow and frustration.

Ugrešić has suffered the indifference of her chauvinist peers, the turned backs of a fiercely nationalist state, and the folly of trying to sell East European issues in
...more
Janet
This wonderful, maddening, frustrating, brilliant book. Short essays of literary/cultural criticism that have the confidence of a Sontag, a Svetlana Boym, with all the subway-razor-slasher pessimism of a Nabokov. Yet I wavered between four and five stars because Ugresic never really takes her criticism all the way, as Boym does--she stops at quickly slashing the jacket of one's naive Western optimism and populism without ever telling us what she really does believe, what would be more correct or ...more
Mary
Thank god for translations. This is a fascinating group of essays that looks at the current downslide of good writing in the United States and Europe. Her essays are not dogmatic--they are hilarious, often tongue-in-cheek, and yet critical. She articulates so much of what the publishing industry does to destroy good and great writers from reaching their audience. And she should know--as a Croatian writer, she is relegated to a part of the world that doesn't matter in corporate views of what sell ...more
Djinnjer
Jul 24, 2007 Djinnjer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers
Shelves: nonfiction
A unique blend of essays and short fictions, with neither fiction nor nonfiction marked. The author makes interesting insights into the effects of market forces on literature and the aftereffects of communism and its fall in Eastern Europe.

"The Book Proposal" and "Eco among the Nudists" are among my favorites, but "Long Live Socialist Realism" - which compares the Oprah bestseller phenomenon to the Socialist realism movement of Yugoslavia's communist past - is the hook I'm using to get friends r
...more
Allyssa
Grumpy Eastern-European intellectuals are awesome. Americans usually think they are "conservatives". They don't get it.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
My two-word review for this book would likely be, 'Oh, snap!' because Ugresic pretty much rips on everyone in the literary/publishing world: readers, writers, publishers, agents, advertisers -- everyone but book sellers (sort of, more on that later).

Ugrešić's writing style is wonderful: poetic, biting, passionate, and fiery, and there's nothing in the publishing world she won't attack. From grocery stores selling books to the passion for Umberto Eco among vacationers in Greece, Ugrešić critique
...more
Rob
(8/10) A scathing and frequently brilliant attack on the publishing industry and the literary world at large. Recently there have been a lot of people flocking to defend traditional publishers against big bad Amazon, but Ugresic's book acts as a good demonstration that the Big Six are as much an enemy to good literature as any online clearing-house. She does this mainly through bitter wit, outlandish humour, and a well-measured sprinkling of personal anecdotes. The best parts are the ones about ...more
Karina
Any reader or writer will love these cynical and sometimes touching essays about how the current publishing world has changed our roles as readers and writers. Ugresic's observations are spot on, and even though these essays were written twelve to fifteen years ago, they are perhaps even more relevant today. I especially enjoyed "Women, Smoking, and Literature," "Little Red Dot," and "Long Live Socialist Realism!" The latter points out the ironic fact that the sort of book which sells well in to ...more
Ellyddan
This is a book replete with honed wit and satirical wisdom pointedly aimed at the publishing industry. The author really excels at delivering a great deal of thoughtful and thought-provoking insight into choices readers and publishers make in very short incisive essays. You will laugh out loud as you read about book proposals and find yourself astonished by the marked similarities between mainstream, marketed books and Soviet Social Realism.
Paul
"essays on literary trivia" is NOT a subtitle to this book, at least not on my copy.
that's really misleading.
this collection gathers just over two dozen mini-essays on book culture in the marketplace. perfect for public transport commutes, waiting-rooms, and nightstands.
SmarterLilac
A scathing look at one of the most endangered professions.
Armin Hennig
Mit zahlreichen Bonmots gespickte Sammlung von scharfzüngigen Glossen, die in der Summe jedoch weniger überzeugend wirken als jedes boshafte bis wehleidige Kapitel für sich. Auf jeden Fall die gelungene Bestandsaufnahme der von der Diktatur der Partei unter die Räder des Marktes geratenen Literaten.
Erik
Fascinating collection of essays. Particularly interesting was the dilemma of the writer in exile from a country which no longer exists (Yugoslavia), and then much reminiscence of that place, both good and bad. Essay topics are also concerned with the writing industry itself, and there is a lot of wit used in incriminating the ugly anti-writing nature of national literature regulated and managed by state government. The target of Ugresic's attention is often stupidity, but the attack has a tone ...more
Elizabeth
This was simply terrible. Take all of the hyperbole that speckles the work of Sven Birkerts and combine it with many of the opinions of Matthew Arnold (without either the class-based intrigue or the erudition), and you come close to characterizing this work. I'm happy to engage with (if not inclined to entirely agree with) the topics this essay collection raises: the cheapening of contemporary culture, the death of a literary class, the decay of society in the face of commercialism. But Ugresic ...more
Balkan
Edebiyat dünyası, iyi kitap - kötü kitap, yazmak, düşünmek, üretmek ve tüketmek üzerine düşündürücü bir eser. Aynı zamanda, doğduğun ülkedeki insanlar ile aynı düşünmüyorsun diye sana yaşam hakkının tanınmaması, doğup büyüdüğün toprakları terk etmek zorunda kalmak ama gittiğin yerde aynı kimliğinle tanınmak vb. Edebiyat ile ilgilenenlerin okumadan geçmemesi gereken bir eser.
Ardo
I read this book for my Creative Writing class as part of presentation and thought it was fabulous. It's essentially a critique of the book industry through an Eastern European type character that Ugresic embodies. There's a lot of the Eastern European humour that enjoy and some that flew over my head but that's fine because her underlying message still got to me. Definitely a book to pick up if you're a writer, love to read or are in the book industry.
Heba
So far, so good. Witty and pokes fun at mass-consumer culture, the 'loss of the literate audience' and the appetite for celebrity-induced/Oprah-approved 'spoon-fed' reads.
Ugresic writes from the point of view of an East European Woman writer/critic, which is interesting for me as I have recently moved to Krakow and took a Masterpieces of Polish Literature class. This class was great and whet my appetite for more literature from this region.
Roger
Jedna z najlepszych książek, jakie przeczytałem w ciągu bieżącego roku. Ostra, ironiczna, przenikliwa, gwałcąca dobre samopoczucie konsumentów kultury i zmuszająca do myślenia nie tylko na temat literatury, postaw przeciętnego człowieka, ale poruszająca również zagadnienie globalizacji jako problemu, procesu uniformizacji populacji ludzkiej, spłaszczania kultury i używania demokracji jako rekwizytu.

Gorąco polecam!
Lyddie
Very interesting, but out of date.
Tommy
I thought this book bogged down towards the end. Some of the early essays were promising, but they got too tied down with her personal issues related to her exile and the state of literature today. I often found myself agreeing with her while at the same time being bored and turned off by her whining tone. One should probably pass on this one.
Kelcey
This was on my Amazon wishlist and I got it for Christmas. Full of short, smart, funny essays from an Easter-European perspective about the absurdities of the literary market--like Joan Collins being the featured author at a London Book Fair.
Kate
I'll admit, I didn't finish reading this book. The essays were interesting enough, but the writing wasn't inspiring. Perhaps because English is not the author's first language.
Angela Joyce
Jun 02, 2010 Angela Joyce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rueyn, Helena, Rashaan, David
There are so many reasons to love this book that I cannot possibly list them all... writers, read it. As a bonus, you'll learn fascinating things about Croatia.
Chadwick
Ugresic is one of those rare authors that can makes you laugh but primarily so she can twist the dagger deeper into you ribcage. This book hurts so good.
zan
Mar 04, 2008 zan marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I love that the people who viewed this item also viewed Hunger by Knut Hamsun and Bridge to Terabithia. My kind of people.
Tuck
wonderful, artful wide ranging essays about the world of books, literacy, and pop capitalism. recommened for all who read.
Rae
Sometimes witty. Sometimes satirical. Sometimes difficult to read (due to the translation?). A fair read.
Megan C
Dubravka Ugresic: 1
Contemporary culture, literature and politics: 0
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Chromos
  • The Polish Complex
  • Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century
  • Palinuro de México
  • Television
  • Finding a Form
  • A Reader on Reading
  • The Jade Cabinet
  • Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature
  • Uho, grlo,nož
  • They Would Never Hurt a Fly: War Criminals on Trial in The Hague
  • The Great Fire of London: A Story with Interpolations and Bifurcations
  • Billy and Girl
  • Tripticks
  • Melancholy
  • On Elegance While Sleeping
  • The Mirror in the Well
  • Christ Versus Arizona
2736291
Dubravka Ugrešić earned her degrees in Comparative Literature, Russian Language and Literature at the University of Zagreb, and worked for twenty years at the Institute for Theory of Literature at Zagreb University, successfully pursuing parallel careers as a writer and a literary scholar.

She started writing professionally with screenplays for children’s television programs, as an undergraduate. I
...more
More about Dubravka Ugrešić...
The Ministry of Pain Baba Yaga Laid an Egg The Museum of Unconditional Surrender Štefica Cvek u raljama života The Culture of Lies: Antipolitical Essays

Share This Book

“No one is interested in real victims, or real criminals. Not local courts, not their fellow citizens, not publishers, and not readers. Everyone simply refuses to believe them. An imaginary crime is much more convincing; reality is too real. They can only identify with an invented crime, only paper evil can excite them.” 2 likes
“…there is, presumably, something in the very nature of shit that makes it so looooooved. And however much the theoreticians of popular culture try to explain why shit ought to be loved, the most attractive aspect of shit is nevertheless its availability. Shit is accessible to everyone, shit is what unites us, we can stumble across shit at every moment, step in it, slip on it, shit followed us wherever we go, shit waits patiently on our doorstep. So who wouldn’t love it! And love alone is the magic formula that can transform shit into gold.” 1 likes
More quotes…