Krleza, Miroslav

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Krleža, Miroslav,

1893–1981, Croatian novelist, playwright, and poet. He captured the concerns of a revolutionary era in Yugoslavia in his trilogy of social dramas about the Glembay family (1928–32) and in novels like The Return of Philip Latinovicz (1932) and Banners (1963–65), a multivolume saga of the Croatian bourgeoisie beginning in the early 20th cent.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Krleža, Miroslav


Born July 7, 1893, in Zagreb. Croatian writer; vice-president of the Yugoslav Academy of Science and Art (since 1945). Graduated from the military academy in Budapest. First published in 1914.

The drama of the Croatian people, forced to fight for foreign interests, is portrayed in Krleza’s early works—the collections Poems (1918–19) and Lyric Poems (1919), the collections of short stories The Croatian God Mars (1922) and A Thousand and One Deaths (1933), and the plays Galicia (1922; second version, In The Camp, 1934) and Vudjak (1923)—which are mainly associated with the theme of World War I (in which he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army). A presentiment of revolutionary changes and the ripening protest of the people is particularly clearly expressed in his journalistic career and his dramas Christopher Columbus (1918) and Golgotha (1922).

In this period Krleza’s artistic principles were close to expressionism. His understanding of the revolutionary upheavals connected with the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia sharpened his social sensitivity and made him critical of avantgarde excesses. In the late 1920’s and the 1930’s, Krleza created realistic works of keen social awareness (In Agony, 1928; The Glembaj Family, 1928; and Leda, 1932), which formed the widely known dramatic trilogy The Glembaj Family, reflecting the contradictions in Croatian bourgeois society. The novels The Return of Filip Latinovic (1932) and At the Edge of Reason (1938) contain harsh criticism of capitalism and of its morality and culture. The Ballads ofPetrica Kerempuh (1936), which can be traced to folklore, records the national protest against tyranny. The lampoon-novel Banquet in Blitva (books 1–2, 1938–39; book 3, 1962) was one of the first major antifascist works in Croatian literature.

After Yugoslavia’s liberation from fascist occupation, Krleža began to appear in print as a journalist. He is publishing a multivolume epic novel, The Banners (vols. 1–5, 1963–68; still incomplete), whose plan is to reveal the social, political, and spiritual biography of several generations of Croats. Krleza is the director of the Institute of Lexicography and editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of Yugoslavia.


Sabrana djela, vols. 1–26—. Zagreb, 1953–69—.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. [Afterword by M. Bogdanov.] Moscow, 1958.
Stikhi. [Foreword by B. Slutskii.] Moscow, 1967.
Vozvrashchenie Filippa Latinovicha. [Foreword by B. L. Suchkov.] Moscow, 1969.


Bogdanović, M. O Krleži. Belgrade, 1956.
Gligorič, V. U vihoru. Belgrade, 1962. Pages 204–368.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.