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Музеят на безусловната капитулация

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  717 ratings  ·  78 reviews
На изгнаника му се струва, че състоянието на изгнаничество има структурата на съня. На изгнаника неочаквано наяве му се явяват лица, събития и картини, привлечени от магнитното поле на съня; изведнъж има усещането, че биографията му е написана отдавна, преди да се сбъдне, че изгнанието поради това не е резултат от външни обстоятелства, нито негов избор, а координати, които ...more
Paperback, 374 pages
Published 2005 by Стигмати (first published 1997)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  717 ratings  ·  78 reviews


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Steven Godin
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, the-balkans
The Museum of Unconditional Surrender is a novel unlike anything else I have read in recent times.
It reminded me in some ways of W. G. Sebald woven around Milan Kundera, with maybe even a small dose of Patrick Modiano in there as well when it comes to the themes of memory and loss. It's certainly highly ambitious and original storytelling, that wanders off down unconventional literary paths rather than taking the most convenient one that simply goes from A to B. The scattershot narrative moves
...more
Adam Dalva
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An immersive experience - a book of exile ABOUT exile, about how life slowly re-accumulates in unexpected combinations when your life is fractured. It is essentially a linked story collection, with some parts stronger than others (I think the sequences in Berlin would be better had I myself lived in Berlin) and the reading occasionally slow-going, but as time goes along and you learn the peculiar rhythm of the piece, you can't help but fall in love. Some choice sequences (a virtuosic short-story ...more
Annabel
Aug 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those rare surprises that can happen when you buy a book solely based on the title or the back cover description and hope for the best.

I found it in the English section of a Croatian bookshop, while in search of something by a local writer. It was the first and only book I picked up and ended up being one of my favorite books ever.

It's a beautifully written memoir by a Croatian refugee. Unlike most memoirs, it is not a linear story. Some paragraphs are numbered, as if she is cr
...more
Donna
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I just 100% loved this book. I thought I would have so much to say about but I have been busy moving, from a childhood house filled to the brim with 3 generations of peoples' stuff, to an apartment. I have been at it for two years. My sister came up every summer to help me. I learned a lot. The best thing was probably how to drop a box of stuff through an attic trap door so that it lands upright and nothing breaks or flies out. That is m new favourite skill.
Perhaps it was fitting to read this b
...more
El
Having read some of Ugrešić's books previously and being otherwise underwhelmed by them, I did not have high intentions for this book. But there was something about it when I saw it on the clearance shelf, something about that image on the cover, that drew my interest. As I began to read and discovered that a significant part of the book was questioning what photography is, what does it capture, what do those images mean to us years later, what do we know about the people in the image based sole ...more
Jonathan
Oct 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the great novels of the diasporic experience, and of the emotional legacy of Yugoslavia's brutal and bloody ending. One of those BBB (while not exactly "Big" in size, it is "Big" in thematic content) beloved of some of us here, which brings PoMo and, indeed, Mo, techniques to bear on a fragemented, and fragementing, experience.

Excellent article here: http://www.artmargins.com/index.php/a...
...more
Bridget Rawding
This "novel" is simply stunning. Part memoir, part fiction, part essay collection, what it ultimately seems to be is a photo album in words -- a "collage" -- of life in exile. The book begins with a humorously gruesome catalog of the disparate items that were found in the stomach of a dead walrus at the Berlin Zoo. What follows is a similarly disconnected series of vignettes, journal entries, and biographical sketches of people living in the aftermath of war and exile. But just like the cigarett ...more
Meaningless
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
1- Then what’s the sense of it all if I have no future, and can find no base in the past.

2- In the end life is reduced to a heap of random unconnected details. It could have been like this and like that is completely immaterial. I wonder where is that point I can still hold of before I slip into nothingness.

3- I have read a lot; I have submerged myself in books. everything I have read is just a confusing jumble of words, I try to remember my parents, I’m ashamed I know so little about them. Then
...more
M. Sarki
For the most part an enjoyable read, but nothing meaningful I am impelled to say about it. There was not one sentence I could lift or wanted to quote which tells me the book perhaps was so-so. Or I was not in the right place or time for it.
Sophy H
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange little book was this!

A series of thoughts, remembrances, recollections set out in a purposely disjointed manner to show the reader how the memory can at times be unreliable, selective, discriminatory.

I felt uncomfortable during some of the reading of this, due to the author's indifference towards others; particularly her mother, her friends, neighbours; yet she guiltily shares emotion with random fellow exiles.

I don't think this book is meant to be an easy read by any means. It felt
...more
Beth
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-bookshelf
I loved the Ministry of Pain so I thought I’d give this one a try. Similar themes of exile and memory
through a fractured narrative. It took me a lot longer to get into it and although I quite liked parts of it, I wasn’t as enamored of the whole, and I liked Ministry of Pain more for its stronger sense of character and relationships. I’ll definitely keep reading Ugresic.
Emily Beyda
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tremendous book. Unreal. It'll rearrange your brain a little
Aravindakshan Narasimhan
The book had one of the most provocative, intriguing as well as mildly sarcastic beginning. I was planning to quote certain beautiful sentences from the book. But due to some technical reasons ( due to the format of the book I read I guess), I couldn't copy those sentences and paragraphs.
The author captures what it is to be an exile in pre and post-Berlin wall destruction. The earlier parts to me, were brilliant. There is a chapter on Russian artist exhibiting his art to mimic exactly what it w
...more
Issie
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Rereading this book that remains one of my favorites.
Get to understand it more know that I've have been in the cities she mentions all the time.
An amazing reflection about memories and nostalgia about being away when you aren't away, and when you are.
S̶e̶a̶n̶
Jul 27, 2018 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018

Made it about 2/3 of the way through, but it wasn't the right book for the moment. Parts of it I enjoyed but I didn't feel compelled to finish it.
Jim Elkins
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: croatian
I slowed, reading this, and finally stopped. As Susan Sontag says (it's so annoying, really, finding myself so often following in the history of her reading, and agreeing with her judgments), the book has "high-velocity reflections," and "speaks for many people." That's a generous way of pointing to a fault. The individual numbered sections in the book are self-contained stories; they're often brilliant, but they end up giving the impression of an endless ocean of stories -- and that realization ...more
Tomislav
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I finished this book quite quickly. Since it is relevant to the book, I should mention that I am a Croatian-American, born in the US, but somewhat familiar with both the Croatian and German languages - and I am the adoptive father of a daughter from Bulgaria since 1993. So I felt quite familiar with the history and the settings and the issues of pan-Slavism vs. nationalism, and they are authentic in this book. It is possible other readers will not recognize that Bubi is a child version of the na ...more
freckledbibliophile
I've finished reading The Museum of Unconditional Surrender. Through the narrative of Dubravka Ugresic, I was able to espy the poignant mayhem of her hometown-the state of the entire world today. It was very saddening to see how those who had been exiled from their country vigilantly maintained their memories. The story forces one to realize that their is always someone with bigger problems and tribulations than their own. Ultimately, the book was a testament to strength in the face of adversity ...more
Daniel Simmons
A book about displacement and exile, with a very unconventional narrative style. I didn't love it, nor did I hate it. I valued it mostly for beautiful passages like this one: "In the silence of my room, with the romantic stage set in the windows, I arrange my bits and pieces, some I have brought with me, without really knowing why, some I found here, all random and meaningless. A little feather I picked up while walking in the park gleams in front of me, a sentence I read somewhere rings in my h ...more
Juliet Wilson
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This is a stunningly beautiful book focusing on the experiences of a group of women from former Yugoslavia as their country falls apart and they become exiles. It's a novel but not a conventional one as it has no actual narrative but is made up of fragments and stories woven together to make a patchwork of feelings and insights on ageing, identity, loneliness, homeland, belonging and loss. Certain images and snippets of stories appear again and again within the pages, making connections between ...more
Alison Anderson
I love this book, I've read it several times and with each reading, like a poem, a symphony, it becomes dearer. But don't expect a conventional novel with a plot; it is closer to poetry, or a fractured memoir. A very special book.
Joey Anderson
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Museum of Unconditional Surrender: a tableau of a broken Yugoslavia.

The novelist and cultural critic Dubravka Ugrešić is an exile from the former state of Yugoslavia, specifically Croatia. Disagreeing with the direction the leaders of her country were taking, she left for Europe. This novel portrays subjects of which I have no experience. I have never been an exile or a refugee. I have no experience of what it might feel like if I could not really live in the United States anymore.

While I re
...more
Janet
“Rilke once said that the story of a shattered life can only be told in bits and pieces …” p107

The novel begins with a description of the contents of a stomach of a walrus which died in the Berlin zoo; unimaginable bits of random, plastic modern life, which, no matter how one may try to fit together, stay a random collection, but still describe the walrus's life and ultimately his death.

So it is with Ugrešić's novel. There are random bits and pieces which one is in despair of fitting together,
...more
Dana Kraft
I stuck it out and finished this, but I didn't enjoy it at all. I think I understand what the book is about and how the "unique" writing and structure work together, but for me it was boring and almost seemed too contrived.

The early parts of the book about memories, photographs and keepsakes reminded me of when we helped my parents move out of their house of 50 yrs. Then it just got weird in an unsettling way.
Jack Lindgren
This book should probably be better known than it is.
At least there's a Sontag endorsement on the dust jacket, because after a few pages I said "this feels like a book that would have a Sontag endorsement on the dust jacket."
"Eastern European Sebald."
Makes enough references to Shklovsky that I feel like it is actually reminiscent of Shklovsky.
Also Paul Metcalf.

This review is fragmentary and name droppy in the same way as the book, but not on purpose.
Kate Throp
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part memoir, part fiction all pretty fabulous stories of exile. What initially seems disparate becomes richly interwoven but that richness is mean that like a good dark chocolate I could only have a little at a time, and, at the risk of sounding Forrest Gumpish like a box of chocolates some suited my palate better than others.
Kat
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's weird and lovely, written almost as a collection of novellas and a smattering of thoughts. It made me want to know more about the very recent history of the former Soviet states. A beautiful, odd primer on the area and its people
Lauren
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ate-2017
The fragmentary nature of this book did not quite work for me.
Stephen
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff. I like the theme of clutter and the way objects gain a life of their own.
Eschad
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simply excellent, and full of accounts of contemporary art including the Kabakovs, Boltanski, Marclay, and many many others.
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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
...more

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