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Modernism: Representations of National Culture

Ahmet Ersoy
Maciej Górny
Vangelis Kechriotis

Chapter III. Literary representations of the “national character”

The Banquet in Blitva

Miroslav Krleža
Traduction de Edward Dennis Goy et Jasna Levinger-Goy

Texte intégral

1Title: Banket u Blitvi; roman u tri knjige (The banquet in Blitva; a novel in three books).

2Originally published: Zagreb, Biblioteka nezavisnih pisaca, 1938.

3Language: Croatian

4The excerpt used is from Miroslav Krleža, The banquet in Blitva, translated by Edward Dennis Goy and Jasna Levinger-Goy (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2004), pp. 5–13.

About the author

5Miroslav Krleža [1893 Zagreb – 1981, Zagreb]: writer and the most outstanding Croatian intellectual of the twentieth century. He graduated from a military cadet school in Pécs, and attended the Ludoviceum Military Academy in Budapest, from which he dropped out in 1913, starting a literary career. He spent most of the First World War in hospitals as a military convalescent, while publishing his first books, which immediately turned him into a prominent writer. He started his political career as an advocate of unitary Yugoslavism, and after the Bolshevik revolution he became a fervent advocate of Leninism. From the 1920s onwards, he worked as a freelance writer and soon became known as the most outstanding Croatian and Yugoslav leftwing intellectual. He was chief editor of the literary magazines Plamen (The flame) (1919), Književna republika (The literature republic) (1923–1927), Danas (Nowadays) (1934) and Pečat (The seal) (1939), which popularized among interwar Yugoslav youth the notion of a socialist Yugoslav federation as the only path to south Slavic national emancipation. In the second half of the 1930s, he was engaged in the harsh debate with the party leadership (the so called ‘Clash on the literary Left’) opposing Stalinism and advocating the autonomy of art. During the Second World War, he remained inactive in Zagreb, being also ostracized by the new communist regime until Tito’s break with Stalin in 1948. In the 1950s, he founded the Yugoslav Lexicographic Institute (nowadays known as the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute), pushing for the autonomy of literature against the socialist principle, an effort in which he was largely successful. In the 1960s, he was even co-opted by the party to join the ‘Central Committee’ of the Croatian branch. He resigned, though, after offering public support to the ‘Croatian Spring’, the mass reform movement advocating the autonomy of Croatia in the early 1970s. After the suppression of the movement, he became almost completely politically and intellectually inactive till his death. Krleža’s canonization in socialist Yugoslavia had a twofold character: he was officially praised as the greatest Yugoslav intellectual and artist ever, and as an ideologue of Tito’s special path to socialism. Semi-officially he was always suspected of not being entirely dedicated to the communist ideals (in popular language he was called a “salon communist”). Politically, Serb nationalist circles accused him of Croatian nationalism, while Croatian nationalists labeled him a Yugoslav. Due to this fact, in the 1990s, he was partly abandoned, although never completely neglected.

6Main works: Hrvatska rapsodija [Croatian rhapsody] (1918); Hrvatski bog Mars [The Croatian god Mars] (1922); Novele [Short stories] (1923); Vučjak (1924); Izlet u Rusiju [Trip to Russia] (1926); Gospoda Glembajevi [Glembay gentlemen] (1928); U agoniji [In agony] (1931); Eseji [Essays] (1932); Moj obračun s njima [My showdown with them] (1932); Povratak Filipa Latinovicza [The return of Philip Latinowicz] (1932); Legende [Legends] (1933); U logoru [In the camp] (1934); Evropa danas [Europe nowadays] (1935); Balade Petrice Kerempuha [The ballads of Petrica Kerempuh] (1936); Deset krvavih godina [Ten bloody years] (1937); Na rubu pameti [On the edge of reason] (1938); Banket u Blitvi 2 vols. [The banquet in Blitva] (1938–39); Dijalektički antibarbarus [The dialectical anti-barbarus] (1939); Djetinjstvo u Agramu [Childhood in Agram] (1952); O Erazmu Roterdamskom [On Erasmus of Rotterdam] (1953); Aretej [Aretheus] (1959); Banket u Blitvi vol. III [The banquet in Blitva, part III] (1962); Zastave [The banners] (1962–1975); Dnevnik [Diary] (1977).


7Krleža began his writing and intellectual career in the 1920s as a harsh critic of Yugoslav bourgeois society and a staunch advocate of communism, which he regarded to be the solution to all national and social problems among post-war south Slavs. Hence, his writings followed the contemporary European anti-war literary stream. However, he incorporated into his thought aspects of Leninism and a criticism of Croatian petit-bourgeois nationalism, claiming that it hindered the modern national and, especially, social emancipation of the masses. This amalgamation was even more obvious in his parallel non-fiction writing, in which he condemned the immorality of the bourgeois world and the Croatian ‘periphery’ syndrome, considered to be the national inferiority complex which compelled the elites to fabricate a Croatian national idea based on a backward celebration of national history. However, Krleža abandoned unitarism well before the Communist Party officially did (see August Cesarec, The national question and our missions). He also openly supported Stjepan Radić’s Croatian agrarian movement as a starting point for mass emancipation, while simultaneously criticizing Radić’s ideology as an expression of petit-bourgeois nationalism. Positioning himself in the 1920s as the most influential Yugoslav communist intellectual, Krleža gradually entered into a dispute with the Communist Party, due to the latter’s attempt to impose the ‘socialist realism’ canon. This conflict reached its peak in the late 1930s, known as the ‘clash of the literary Left’, when he openly refuted Stalinism and advocated the autonomy of art, which nearly cost him his membership in the party. This was most strongly expressed in his novels Na rubu pameti (On the edge of reason) and Banket u Blitvi (The banquet in Blitva), published during the peak of the ‘clash of the literary Left’.

8While Na rubu pameti is narrowly focused on the clash between the individual and the society, in Banket u Blitvi Krleža also alludes to the contemporary realities of Eastern Europe by locating the main plot in the imagined region of ‘Northeast Europe’. This plot is constructed around the political activities of a Blitvinian liberal intellectual Niels Nielsen against the dictatorship of colonel Kristian Barutanski. The movement Nielsen initiated subsequently turned into a general rebellion against “peripheral nationalism” in all the countries of the region (Blatvia, Hunija, Kobilija). The similarities between the imaginary countries and the actual ones are obvious on a few levels, from the game with the toponyms (for example, Blitva is Lithuania, ‘Litva’ in Croatian, and Blatvia is Latvia), to the depiction of the actual political situation, where newly-declared countries emerge with the 1917 peace in the “mud of Blitva” (an obvious allusion to the Brest-Litovsk peace agreement) and promptly rediscover their identity under the impact of fierce nationalism. These allusions are overtly exposed in the case of Blitva, where Krleža clearly evokes Poland, probably because he felt an extreme repulsion towards Piłsudski’s nationalistic path to socialism. Polish characteristics are visible in Blitvinian politics (such as the 1925 coup d’état organized by Barutanski and his legions against the corrupt government as well as the actual territorial dispute with neighboring countries over the port of Playvistok) and in the main political characters (Barutanski as Piłsudski and the sculptor Roman Rajevski as Ignacy Paderewski). With Blitva, however, Krleža reflected even more on contemporary Croatia and Yugoslavia, which is most concretely expressed in the excerpt presented here, the book’s introductory chapter entitled ‘A form of prologue or sentimental variations on the Blitvanian question through the ages’. These references are already present in the political songs in the first section of the excerpt, in which Barutanski’s legions paraphrase the most famous Serbian First World War song ‘March on, march on, King Petar’s Guard’. At the same time, he portrays the democratic opposition using a paraphrase of the Pan-Slavist song and later anthem of socialist Yugoslavia ‘Hey Slavs, still within us dwell our fathers’ voices clear’. Finally, a paraphrase of the old Romantic song of the Croatian Illyrian movement is attributed to the agrarian government: ‘Croatia shall not ever perish while we, her sons, are still alive’ (see Janko Drašković, Dissertation, or treatise). Krleža’s allusions to Croatia are mostly evident in the depiction of the history of Blitva’s national question, where Krleža, similar to the Hungarian intellectual István Bibó, describes Blitvinian national identity as a mixture of an inferiority complex and a fundamental fear concerning the survival of the community, due to its political subordination to the Aragon Empire (Austro-Hungarian Empire in the Croatian case) and the peripheral geographic position of “Blitva’s mud” (Krleža’s favorite allegory of the ‘Pannonian mud’, which he used in order to refer to the Croatian peripheral inferiority complex).

9Krleža interprets this peripheral status as the cradle of petit-bourgeois nationalism obsessed with “a thousand years” of historic tradition, and as the main course to the historical “betrayal of the elites,” who exchanged national emancipation for offices and positions. Simultaneously, the only positive agents of Blitvinian history, the Youth movement and the politicians Flaming- Sandersen and Petersen, are clear allusions on the Yugoslav ‘Nationalist Youth’ (see Antun Gustav Matoš, Art and nationalism), Ante Starčević (see Franjo Rački, Yugoslavism) and Frano Supilo. Eventually, the main message of the Banket u Blitvi is that no political system, even the communist one, can enable total human emancipation, due to eternal “human dumbness.” Hence, Krleža stresses in the last sentence of the excerpt (Incipit comoedia blithuanica!”) the function of the novel as a stage play, trying to express a naturalistic picture of human society as a constant staging of the oppression of one people over another.

10At the time of its publication, Banket u Blitvi was dismissed by the Communist Party as ‘decadent’, while it was simultaneously prohibited by the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. However, in socialist Yugoslavia, it was praised as a critique of both the bourgeois society and of fascism. With the liberalization of the system from the late 1960s onwards, Krleža was recognized as an advocate of individual emancipation, in opposition to any political regime.


The banquet in Blitva

A form of prologue or sentimental variations on the Blitvinian question through the ages

12One of the first romantics who raised this question to himself and to his fellow citizens was Dr. Niels Nielsen, an independent publicist and the publisher of the Tribune. And what happened? They trampled on him like a mad dog and continued with their agenda, chanting their anthem: “March on, march on, oh you brigade of Blitva.”

  • 1 Dr. Nielsen’s book was published immediately after the coup by Colonel Barutanski, that is to say, (...)

13Already during the parliamentary rule of Dr. Muzhikovski, Dr. Nielsen had written an interesting and well-documented study, The Law of Blitva —As an Essential Part of the Blitvinian Question.1 Readers will forgive us if, in the framework of this informative introduction, we hold generally to Dr. Nielsen’s ideas expressed in the abovementioned book. First, because we, looking at this unusually tangled complex of the Blitva-Blatvia-Hunnia question, from a dim and distant foreign country, lack the ability to create a clear picture for ourselves and, second, because the character of Dr. Nielsen will play a somewhat important role in our story. It seems to us that it may be no bad thing if we create for ourselves some sort of concept of this bold character who caused the death of almost all the main heroes of this sad history of Blitva.

14The question of Blitva (according to Dr. Nielsen) had remained open since the second half of the eighteenth century, when the Blitva-Swedish line of the Hunnish throne died out, to be renewed after the revolutionary crises of ‘48 and ‘66 by the peace of Blato Blitvinsko in ‘17 and remained “open” through all the many changes to this very day, just as unresolved, just as fateful as it was from the beginning: too weak to solve itself, yet too strong to be solved by the forces that denied it.

  • 2 Flaming-Sandersen (1818–85): the great Ideologue of Blitva and follower of Garibaldi [Author’s foo (...)

15The character of Flaming-Sandersen,2 in itself, represented nothing other than the politico-moral continuation, by inertia, of the revolutionary elan of ‘48, and Flaming-Sandersen’s words concerning “the laws of Blitva” and of “Blitva’s right to freedom” were no more than echoes of that freedom-loving, romantic, and hazy enthusiasm which dissolved so futilely beneath the walls of European feudalism. Yet as a distant reflection it still had the power to shine in the absolute darkness of the dark decades between the rule of absolutism and the world war, as a hope, a dream, an illusion, as a false and hypocritical phrase. This same poetic inspiration fluoresced with a magic glow, even at the time when, in Blitva, everything appeared to be on its deathbed. “The Blitvinian question,” as a phrase, sounded like a fanfare signaling the denial of a whole list of violence and injustices, and yet the worn and tedious refrain regarding “Blitva’s freedom” and “Blitva’s right” was, chances are, conditioned by real and actual circumstances, for otherwise it would have been lost and vanished forever. All this vast and endless mass of deceit and injustice, of theft and robbery (which the socialists later defined, not very wittily, as “the infiltration of Hunnish and Ingermanlandish imperialism” and as “the creation of a market for the developed Karabaltic industries” in the poor and illiterate land of Blitva), all this inexhaustible mass of violence and varying forms of moral and material corruption over a period of more than thirty years was denied by the concept of “The Right of Blitva,” that is, “The Right” of a poor, peasant, illiterate, and enslaved Blitvinian people not to be poor or illiterate or enslaved for the profit of others by other “more advanced” peoples, who were only “more advanced” because they had revolvers and could, in the interest of their state-supported plundering and murder, order the unarmed Blitvinian poor to put their hands up whenever it occurred to them in the name of high interest and the so-called creation of markets. The messieurs doctors of law and divinity (generally speaking humanistic gentlemen well read in literature) desired to define this basic “Blitvinian right” not to be enslaved, as was natural, in a bourgeois, petit bourgeois, and semi-feudal manner, and so for the illiterate and poverty-stricken Blitvinian peasant masses they created a romantic Karabaltic legend concerning a rich thousand years of Blitva’s past statehood, and thus began the fatal petit bourgeois diversion from the path of immediate reality into the illusion of “poor Blitva,” of “the Blitvinian pagan traditions,” of “the tragic character of the Blitvinian national hero Jarl Knutson,” of “the Karabaltic mission,” and so on and so forth. The millennium of the Hunnish kingdom gained its counterpart in the Blitvinian millennium. Paningermanlandia had to be overcome by Panblitvania. The Hunnish, Aragon, Swedish, and Blatvian kings lost battles in the sonnets written by patriotic Blitvinian poets, in which, by some superior logic, the heroic bearers of the Blitvinian crown conquered. For what sort of a royal Blitvinian tercet would it be if it lacked a victorious Ausklang: While we have sabers, Blitva will live?

16As in the verses of Andria Waldemaras (the greatest romantic epigone of the new Blitvinian literature), the Blitvinian epic moved in the clouds of the Blitvinian Valhalla, and that romantic “historiographic” opera continues today in the “heroic” characters of the greatest and most famous, both in Europe and the two Americas, painter, sculptor, and political ideologue Roman Rajevski.

  • 3 Nielsen is alluding to the suicide of a well-known Blitvinian politician of the 1890s, Petersen [A (...)

17The main reason for this Pan-Blitvinian petit bourgeois diversion into romanticism was fear of destruction, horror at collapse and defeat, despair at the pending dangers that always threatened to swallow the existence and independence of the Blitvinian and Pan-Blitvinian national substance. In these endlessly tangled complexities, the Blitvinian question welled up like a spring. In this land it surged and flowed from all sides like an underground river, and there was nothing in Blitva around which and beneath which “the Blitvinian question” did not appear like a ghost: in politics; in literature; in the daily press; in church sermons; in street fights; in war; in peace; in foreign, Hunnish parliamentary discussions; in the independent Blitvinian diet; in state coups; in blood, in the endless streams of Blitvinian blood that flowed and ran as from an open wound. All personal questions, all the circles of personal Blitvinian existence for the last hundred years, trembled, died, and rotted in the shadow of this question. Why should someone shoot themselves at a time when all the laws of a respectable career would imply that he had no good reason for doing so? Why did someone drink themselves to death? Why did somebody die as a wasted talent? Why was someone dismissed from the Hunnish or the Inger-manlandish state service for voting contra, and why did someone have to leave for Transilmengia to the Aragon Pantocrator in a humble deputation, so as to gain the concession for the first Blitvinian distillery, which the drunken Blitvinian peasants would burn down in a mindless political fury and then the imperial Hunnish army would intervene and forty-three men would be left lying in the mud, simply because some imperial drunk of an officer felt inclined to shoot? All the histories of the various outstanding Blitvinian personalities over the last hundred years tell us ever the same thing: that an individual may hang himself in the toilet by his own braces, out of shame at having sold himself as an informer to foreign powers, because, as the most popular tribune of the people, he had declaimed for years and from his own balcony the thousand-year cultural mission, when the citizens came under his windows, as to the Hunnish father of the nation and mayor of Blitvas-Holm.3 What this moral misery drove to such a revolting death was the specter of the Blitvinian question, which penetrated the dying Blitvinian patriots from head to toe, like an uneasy conscience, like the reflex of a suppressed and rejected feeling that was powerful enough to disturb people even on their deathbed. Why did Larsen hang himself? Because he realized that to make pictures in Blitva meant madness. The great men of Blitva who received the recognition of the Ingermanlandish, Aragon, or Hunnish powers because their patriotic greatness answered in every way the criteria laid down by foreign laws, were recognized by foreign powers and by high school textbooks as “Blitvinian giants” simply because they bore their political convictions within the framework of imposed loyalties, which, in truth, meant to be an informer, a perjurer, and a traitor to the true Blitvinian national feeling and civil dignity. To wear a decoration in Blitva was a national shame, while to end on the gallows was the poets’ ideal. Who does not recall those Blitvinian renegades and corrupted cavaliers who played the role of provincial grand seigneurs, representing, in reality, the act of taking refuge from their own consciences in a semiliterate cynicism, in cards and alcohol. Under the pressure of centuries, the Blitvinian man was deformed. He moved about the world like a caricature of all human concepts. He had to choose between madness and drowning, whether to sell himself or take to drink and generally perish morally the moment he received a professorship or any other high Hunnish rank, as a sinecure, in return for the betrayal of Blitva’s interests. The only music of Blitvinian civil careers was the whistles of the street accompanied by the stink of rotten eggs on ministers’ top hats. Small, backward, uncultured towns and the narrow petit bourgeois conditions in these Blitvinian provincial backwaters gave birth to small people, and were any to outgrow these domestic, local Blitvinian standards, they would flee abroad or — surrendering to the force of circumstances — grow gray, be broken, and remain crushed at the mercy of everything. Except for quite weak and uninteresting lyricism and subjective resignation, everything else in Blitva was known as: my daily bread, my pension, my family. And for that bread, for that pension, and for that family the rebellious cosmic and social revolutionary poets, as, for example, Horetzki, wore the imperial tricorn hat of Aragon with its plumage and shamelessly wrote monographs for schools concerning the imperial Aragon Pantocrator, Menelaus the Last, dedicating their books to the national tyrants and Hunnish governors, while constantly voting in public elections for antinationalist candidates and saving themselves from reality in a wondrous dream of the Karabaltic mission of the Pan-Blitvinian movement, which at that time they were founding throughout the entire Karabaltic of the Ingermanlandish turnverein, forever singing the old Blitvinian hymn “Heh, Blitvinians!”

18Regarding this politically and economically so often wrongly yet so often precisely formulated and wittily defined foreign political pressure, “the Blitvinian question” appeared as a chaotic and vague state of facts, ever changing their form and direction. Upon this dynamic Blitvinian question were born, nurtured, and arose: Flaming-Sandersen, the great ideologue of the second half of the nineteenth century; Muzhikovski, the leader and president of the last parliamentary government, who was physically liquidated by Colonel Kristian Barutanski in his Christmas coup of 1925; Bauer-Kmetynis, deputy chief of the Agrarians, now abroad; and finally, last but not least, Colonel Kristian Barutanski himself, who, with his legions created Blitva and who is on the shortest way, together with his legions, to destroying it.

  • 4 Ancient Greek name for the Danube [Translator’s note].
  • 5 A spicy Hungarian stew [Translator’s note]

19When (during the final prewar phase) Blitvinian politics were under Muzhikovski, everything resembled a balalaika more than it did politics. The “Blitvinian question” of that political period appeared in the flats of the petit bourgeoisie as the lithographed princess Tugomila, a prisoner in the Weider- Hunnen fortress, sending a dove from her cell to Blitva: “Oh, had I but the pinions of a dove, I would fly away with you to Blitva.” Now as a forbidden banner in an obscure bookshop window, now as a broken window-pane in the Hunnophile flats of a Blitvinian national renegade, now as the corpse of a rebellious peasant who desired to remove the Hunnish flag from the railway station roof, “the Blitvinian question” constantly appeared in the press as censored news, or before the green cloth of justice as an offense in the sense of the Hunnish imperial and royal laws. Or some apprentice was arrested for spilling ink over a notice in a foreign language, or some high school kid was expelled from all the Blitvinian high schools for splashing a classmate for being a political rascal, or the police with their bare sabers cut down schoolboys when they publicly set fire to foreign banners on the square. Strikes, bloodshed at elections, bloodstained demonstrations, public unrest, constant murmuring in Blitvinian jails when through those miserable apartments passed processions of patriots, convinced that in this way they were promoting the Blitvinian cause from its state of torpor. In that tragically static moment in Blitvinian political awareness, at that politically crucial point when Blitva’s power to resist was at its lowest, people’s brains in the kingdom of Blitva were overcome by apathy, so that everything dissolved in a universal miasma of memory. The Blitvinians forgot everything, even their own name! Processions of emigrants crossed the seas and there, from another shore, sprouted so-called freedom-loving Blitvinian newspapers, illiterate stammering, pathetic, but borne along by some definite ideal resistance, by a heroic denial of the injustice which, after centuries-long suffering, deserved to be dispensed with. In the body of the Aragon Empire, this “Blitvinian question” (a mere detail of all such similar questions in Yenisey, in the Caucasus, in the Kara-baltic, and in Ister4), in its struggle with the gendarmerie, with the Hunnish school, with imperial scholarships, with exceptionally tedious and practical- joking laws limiting the Blitvinian representative body, the zemstvo, vegetated in the form of a poverty-stricken and backward press, like an illiterate brochure, like a lost case concerning press laws, like an empty speech at an election meeting held in a smoky bar, when the elective consciousness of various Blitvinian fellow citizens was at such a low ebb that it could be purchased for a mug of beer and a stinking Hunnish pörkölt.5 At that time a single political vote could decide the fate of the imperial mandate and, for this reason, at elections to the Blitvinian zemstvo there was often shooting, in an attempt to kill those two or three patriotic electors whom the powers that were knew to be incorruptible and who would vote for “Blitvinian rights.”

20It presents a strange and fantastic question: What was the power of this worn, contemptible, obscure, and ridiculous “Blitvinian question,” that it succeeded in not perishing and was able to maintain itself in conflict with immeasurably superior powers? In the shadow of this tricky question were innumerable lost battles. Many broken individuals surrendered unconditionally. Many a renegade concealed his so-called ideals and sold himself to “those in power” (as was said in the style of that time “for a mess of pottage”). The defeats of the Blitvinian movement were all the more seriously silhouetted against the horizon. In Europe everything grew ever darker. Coping with the Blitvinian muddles grew ever more intricate, and it is no wonder that individuals began to feel complete apathy, exactly similar to the despair of bankruptcy and of suicide everything ruined and everything sealed! Blitva, with its chances of liberation, could take its place in a respectable coffin at a second-class funeral, light two historical candles, cross its tired hands under Jarl’s tower, where, for centuries, all Blitva’s hopes and all its ideals slept their eternal sleep. Nobody in the whole of Blitva believed in the liberation and resurrection of the Blitvinian state, except for high school kids, and these loyal and hotheaded kids Barutanski recruited into his brigade, and when, by the concatenation of international events, one day in ‘17 he appeared in the Beauregard palace as the Lord Protector Republicae Blithuaniae, all the rubbish of the Blitvinian intelligentsia swam with him on the crest of a wave of Blitvinian megalomania, avengism, irredentism, great Blitvinian and Pan-Karabaltic programs, having before their eyes a single “ideal” which, at that time, took on a realistic, earthly form: the ideal of a profitable and distinguished ministerial wallet. Experience proved that the concept of Blitva meant, apart from “ideals,” good and lucrative business according to all the laws of international roulette, which is known as the policy of the Great Powers.

21The dramatic side of this patriotic wheeling and dealing may be seen in the first part of this medieval play, in which the main roles are played by two heroic characters, two childhood friends: Colonel Barutanski, the commandant of Blitva, and Dr. Nielsen, a neurotic, European-educated intellectual, of whom Kerinis, paid to dispatch him to another world, is known to have said, without a wink of an eye: “I’ll kill this silly fool who doesn’t know what he wants himself.” Kerinis, in the third book of this Blitvinian poem, will travel to finish off this animal on the run, but will become the victim of his own noble and heroic act. This, how Dr. Nielsen changes from a sentimental bungler into a man who “knows what he wants” and how, on his path, like a burning fuse, he becomes the fatal destroyer of human lives, will be shown in this story, whose first chapter opens now, on the next page. Incipit comoedia blithuanica!

22Translated by Edward Dennis Goy and Jasna Levinger-Goy in Miroslav Krleža, The Banquet in Blitva (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2004), pp. 5–13


1 Dr. Nielsen’s book was published immediately after the coup by Colonel Barutanski, that is to say, in 1926. [Author’s footnote].

2 Flaming-Sandersen (1818–85): the great Ideologue of Blitva and follower of Garibaldi [Author’s footnote].

3 Nielsen is alluding to the suicide of a well-known Blitvinian politician of the 1890s, Petersen [Author’s footnote].

4 Ancient Greek name for the Danube [Translator’s note].

5 A spicy Hungarian stew [Translator’s note]


Edward Dennis Goy (Traducteur)
Jasna Levinger-Goy (Traducteur)

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