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The Culture of Lies: Antipolitical Essays

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  203 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Ugresic's acerbic and penetrating essays cover everything from politics to daily routine, from public to private life. With a diverse and unusual perspective, she writes about memory, soap operas, the destruction of everyday life, kitsch, the conformity of intellectuals, propaganda and censorship, the strategies of human manipulation and the walls of Europe which, she argu ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 3rd 1998 by Penn State University Press (first published 1995)
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Dec 08, 2011 Szplug rated it really liked it
Great stuff. Greatly powerful, painful, poignant, piercing, peppery, pithy, polemical and personal stuff. An expatriate Croat reviled by a considerable portion of her fellow Dinaric Alpine Slavs in that oddly configured republic for opting to publicly air these stinging rebukes and accusations, Ugrešić grew up within an ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse Yugoslavia embracing a Titoist cult of Brotherhood and Unity of which, even then, dark and disturbing undercurrents occasional ...more
MJ Nicholls
Aug 26, 2014 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it
I found myself trapped reading this book of essays on Serb-Croat pickles and peccadilloes. Plucking it idly from the library, based solely on my previous four sit-downs with Dubravka, I found the content not in my purview. And yet, her engaging voice kept me returning for more until—lo and behold!—all 288pp were completed, and I emerged 1% more knowledgeable about Balkan history (I have, of course, forgotten it all already). This is why reading is imperative for spongeheads like me: while we’re ...more
Harry Rutherford
The Culture of Lies by Dubravka Ugrešić is a book of essays written between 1991 and 1996 — that is, during and just after the wars that resulted from the collapse of Yugoslavia. It is my book from Croatia for the Read The World challenge, although there is a slight awkwardness to that choice. This is from the ‘Glossary’ which Ugrešić includes at the back of the book:


A few years ago my homeland was confiscated, and, along with it my passport. In exchange I was given a new homeland, far
Doris Pandžić
Jan 26, 2016 Doris Pandžić rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ova knjiga, kako autorica kaže "antipolitičkih eseja" nagrađena je 1996. godine nagradom Charles Veillon za najbolju europsku esejističku knjigu godine, ali u Hrvatskoj je dobila većinom loše kritike. Izdanje koje sam pročitala, iz 1999., na poleđini je namjerno imalo istaknute loše kritike iz hrvatskih časopisa. Pitate se zašto? Pročitajte eseje pa ćete saznati.
Felix Purat
Feb 16, 2016 Felix Purat rated it really liked it
Have you ever had trouble making sense of the Balkan conflict? You're probably not the only one. The Culture of Lies is a good place to start. Because Ugresic is a Croat, these essays mostly cover the Croatian side of the story. But Ugresic's summary of the Yugoslav collapse and recollections of what was before give the explorer of this bloody chapter in the past a good tool with which to branch out to other sides of the story afterwards. Ugresic's insight into the cultural dynamics of her cultu ...more
Ola Loobeensky
Świetna pozycja. Uważam przy tym, że jest to książka "o Bałkanach" mniej więcej na tyle, na ile "Ryszard III" jest książką "o królu" - to wszystko prawda, ale szkoda byłoby czytać ją tylko przez taki pryzmat. Pani Ugrešić w zacytowanym w opisie fragmencie stwierdza, że to po prostu pozycja o nacjonalizmie - i to stwierdzenie wydaje mi się wyczerpujące. "Kultura kłamstwa" to dowód na to, że ludzie wszędzie zachowują się mniej więcej tak samo.
Chris Landry
Sep 01, 2015 Chris Landry rated it really liked it
Sardonic to the max describing the heartbreak of civil war and conflict and eventually exile in the former Yugoslavia. What was most eye opening was Ugresic's description of how the worst, most reactionary forms of nationalism is reproduced at every level of society, not just in the military, police, political systems, or media but more insidiously, in road signs, maps, libraries, and school textbooks.
May 13, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Dubravka Urgresic writes thoughtful, interesting essays about how the fall of communism destroyed Yugoslav society. I really enjoy her, but I imagine that people without my same niche interests would not be so fond of her writing.
Nov 19, 2008 Kelly marked it as to-read
This book has come up a lot in my research for my senior seminar paper that I am doing on her. The more I read about this book in my research, the more I want to read it. One day when I have money.
apparently my life isn't depressing enough, so i figured that reliving the happy happy joy joy times of the nineties was a good idea. *headdesk*
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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
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