In his semiautobiographical novel, Cyclops, Croatian writer Ranko Marinković recounts the adventures of young theater critic Melkior Tresić, an archetypal antihero who decides to starve himself to avoid fighting in the front lines of World War II. As he wanders the streets of Zagreb in a near-hallucinatory state of paranoia and malnourishment, Melkior encounters a colorful...more
Ranko Marinkovic's Cyclops is likely my favorite novel of the year. It is a Ulysses of Zagreb in 1940 with the howl of War in the air. A theatre critic fears for the future...more
Reflected in the pale glass window, among the shoes on display, was Melkior's thin, unprepossessing silhouette, a poorly built city dweller. The slanting image reflected in the shop window triggered a crafty sneer inside Melkior, and the word mobilization suddenly found itself in autumn mud churned by a squelching olive drab monotony of dejected strangers on some endless trek; there was the bluster of angry sergeants, the tired voice of sodden boots, and the mysterious word "aide-de-camp." Here...more
Born in Komiža on the island of Vis (then a part of Austria-Hungary), Marinković's childhood was marked by World War I. He later earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Zagreb. In the 1930s, he began to make his name in Zagreb literary circles with his plays and stories.
His career was interrupt...more