1921. - 2009.


Ex Jugoslavia


Radovan Ivšić (Zagreb, 1921 – Paris, 2009): Croatian poet, writer, playwright, essayist, translator and surrealist of global standing, achieved the greatest acclaim with his poem Narcissus (1942), his play King Gordogan (1943) and poetry collection Black (1974). His creative work and life were spent in irm resistance to either Right or Left wing totalitarianism. Ante Pavelic, the head of the NDH (Independent State of Croatia), personally ordered the seizure of his irst book Narcissus after its publication in 1942. King Gordogan, because of its forceful “political allusiveness” remained banned both in the NDH and, late, in the socialist Yugoslavia until 1979. Ivšić was the greatest critic of the fellow writer Miroslav Krleža, considering inexcusable the latter’s adherence to the communist regime and his lack of understanding of the modern art. Ivšić leaves for Paris in 1954 at the invitation of Andre Breton. He takes part in all the events of the surrealist movement, privately and professionally collaborating with Breton, Peret, Miro, Benoit and other surrealists. He married the French poetess Annie Le Brun. His writing virtuosity and ideological and linguistic sense of freedom were to the author less important than bringing the same liberty to his readers and public in general. He believed that the suggestive nature of his language everyone had to hear, feel and understand on his or her own.

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