By Marinković, Ranko; Stojiljković, Vlada; Elias-Bursać, Ellen
In his semiautobiographical novel, Cyclops, Croatian author Ranko Marinkovic recounts the adventures of younger theater critic Melkior Tresic, an archetypal antihero who makes a decision to starve himself to prevent battling within the entrance traces of worldwide warfare II. As he wanders the streets of Zagreb in a near-hallucinatory kingdom of paranoia and malnourishment, Melkior encounters a colourful circus of characters—fortune-tellers, shamans, actors, prostitutes, bohemians, and café intellectuals—all residing in a delicate dream of a society approximately to be replaced forever.
A seminal paintings of postwar jap eu literature, Cyclops reveals a little-known viewpoint on global battle II from in the former Yugoslavia, person who hasn't ever prior to been on hand to an English-speaking viewers. Vlada Stojiljkovic's capable translation, superior by means of Ellen Elias-Bursac's insightful modifying, preserves the outstanding brilliance of this riotously humorous and densely allusive textual content. alongside Melkior’s trip Cyclops satirizes either the delusions of the righteous army officers who feed the nationwide bloodlust in addition to the wayward intellectuals who think themselves to be above the disagreeable realities of overseas clash. via Stojiljkovic's clear-eyed translation, Melkior’s peregrinations exhibit how background occurs and the way the person realization is swept up within the tide of political occasions, and this can be comprehensive in a method that might resonate with readers of Charles Simic, Aleksandr Hemon, and Kundera
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I’ve driven this here nail into my peg leg for him special, and I press the bottom bar, careful like, as if I am squeezing drops into his eye. But he smells a rat, thinks the measure’s now too good all of a sudden, and he won’t believe me. Go on, he says, press your scale! There will be somebody to press the scale for you, too, when your soul is weighed before God! And off he goes, all angry and unhappy. He was unhappy just now, too, over weighing the same as he did this morning. He’d had the feed of his lifetime, he said .
And spat as he left. ‘‘But, sir, what if the tuberculosis you just spat out comes back to your daughter on the eve of her marriage as her paternal dowry? You cannot be too careful. Therefore, no spitting on the ﬂoor, gentlemen! ’’ he said to a man with a bicycle putting up posters. ‘‘Right,’’ said the cyclist, proud at being addressed. ‘‘And what are these, swastika posters? Not by any chance working for the German consulate, are you, von Velocitas? ’’ ‘‘For Franco? Well, well! I said you were up to some Fascist business.
And later on, in the ﬁeld hospital in Káposvár or somewhere, bedbugs eating you as punishment, as if you’d invented war! ‘Wasting away,’ indeed! ’’ Without bothering to collect his ticket, Melkior hurried over to the corner where Dom Kuzma was standing on the blind man’s weighing machine, leveling the arms himself, seeking a balance for them. His ﬁngers were trembling in the prayer wherein he supplicated God to stretch forth his arms and show His mercy by way of the arms of the scale. And, lo and behold, God lent him a hand, Dom Kuzma stepped down, elated, and began hurriedly emptying his pockets, as if preparing to rob himself.