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The Banquet in Blitva

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Colonel Kristian Barutanski, overlord of the mythical Baltic nation of Blitva, has freed his country from foreign oppression and now governs with an iron fist. He is opposed by Niels Nielsen, a melancholy intellectual who hurls invective at the dictator and the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of society. Barutanski himself despises the sycophants beneath him and recognizes ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published February 17th 2004 by Northwestern University Press (first published January 1st 1953)
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Jonfaith
My wife saw me reading The Banquet in Blivta and sort of chuckled, your in for some heavy lifting. Only a few pages into the affair, I had to agree. The novel is a complex affair of people struggling and existing within a police state, one rife with corruption and mendacity. There are no straw figures to move the plot. Every action and contemplation is appropriately conflicted. The characters resonate and remain unsure even while commiting the irrevocable.

Okay, so a dramatist wrote a political
...more
Malcolm
Satire is a strange beast indeed and it seldom translates effectively making this book a treat. Krleža, a Croatian writer who made his name during the inter-war period, has a sharp eye for absurdities of nationalism, the corruption of many of those claiming to represent the newly emergent ‘nation’, the fickleness of disputes with neighbours and malleability of nationalist histories as they are adjusted to suit the demands of power.

The novel is a barely concealed reference to rivalries, claims a
...more
Evan Woodward
A thoroughly underrated epic from Krleža, considered to be Croatia's best 20th century novelist. A sprawling, panoramic satire centering around the operations of an invented Baltic republic, The Banquet in Blitva incorporates Joycean scope, gripping, urgent plot, hilarious dialogue, and a biting critique of the nationalism of shrapnel states. Krleža sought to redeem the humanity of arts and culture in the face of rigid, militarized nation-states and, writing this in 1939, provides a canny framew ...more
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A leading Croatian writer and a figure in cultural life of both Yugoslav states, the Kingdom (1918-1941) and the Republic (1945 until his death in 1981). He has often been proclaimed as the greatest Croatian writer of the 20th century.
More about Miroslav Krleža...
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