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World War I from Local Perspectives: History, Literature and Visual Arts

Austria, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland and the United States

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Edited By Mirosława Buchholtz and Grzegorz Koneczniak

The volume explores the ways in which the Great War has been remembered and imaged in various local accounts. It provides careful readings of a wide range of sources: letters exchanged by Henry James and Burgess Noakes, spoken accounts of the Old Believers of the Russian Orthodox Church, historical documents concerning Eastern Europe and the United States, travel writings by Fritz Wertheimer, Hermann Struck, and Herbert Eulenberg, literary texts by Lord Dunsany, Miroslav Krleža, and Gustav Meyrink, theater performances in Italy and Ireland and visual arts: masks for facially disfigured soldiers made by Francis Derwent Wood and Anna Coleman Ladd.
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Fates of the Suppressed: Social Criticism against the Background of the First World War in Miroslav Krleža’s The Croatian God Mars

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Introduction

Miroslav Krleža (1893–1981), who was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and died at the age of eighty-six in socialist Yugoslavia, is one of the canonical writers of Croatian literature. He expressed himself in numerous forms; the list of his works includes novels, stories, dramas and lyric poetry as well as diaries, essays and political writings. The largest collection of his works up to now was released in the years 1975–1988 by the publishing house Oslobodenje in Sarajevo and consists of 45 volumes. His impact on the Croatian cultural life is also notable in editorial projects he originated. By Krleža’s initiative, in 1950 the Lexicographical Institute in Zagreb was established and Krleža became its director. Besides the multi-voluminous Encyclopaedia of Yugoslavia the institute published more than 250 different encyclopaedias, dictionaries and lexicons1 (Institute, DOA: 17 February 2015).

The academic literature about Krleža places emphasis on the radicality with which he acted against the social and political evils. He lived between “all fronts” (“zwischen allen Fronten,” Plath, DOA: 17 February 2015), he was “a passionately committed, uncompromising, revolutionary writer and therefore kind of an inconvenient one who campaigned adamantly during his whole life in favour of his convictions and therefore encountered over and over again substantial inconveniences and was exposed to intense attacks”2 (Schneider 1969: 7). ← 171 | 172 →

Due to his Marxist attitude, he was a staunch opponent of the monarchy, both at the time of...

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