• Daša Drndić: Leica format

Daša Drndić: Leica format

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Daša Drndić
Leica format

Translated by Sonja Polanc
Afterword by dr. Andrea Violić Zlatar
Language: Slovene
Number of pages: 354
Format (mm): 210x150
Paperback
Published by KUD AAC Zrakogled
Year of publication: 2011
Series: Helia
ISBN 978-961-6533-39-3

In general we may define the main thematic nodes of the novelistic narrative as an experience of being uprooted, indelible traumas of personal and European (war) past, the Holocaust, destructive evil of Balkan and European nationalisms, both intentional and deliberate “loss” of memory, fugues – devastating memory holes… With the Leica format, also know as small format, photography established itself as a documentary genre and a document of the time, however, in the novel itself Drndić plays with the documentary potential of fiction (fabrication): like a single photography cannot capture the whole complexity of a certain historic moment, let alone a separate historical flow, also the scope of a single narration can only be a small section. Perhaps that is the reason why author opted for fragmented structure of the novel, in which she interweaves the history of a certain Croatian town with her own personal and family history, as well as with history of medical experiments on humans and anamnesis of syphilis.

Writer and publicist Daša Drndić (1946, Zagreb, Croatia) is one of the most exciting Croatian authors: her work, that includes eleven novels, four books of essays, and dozens of titles in a variety of publications, is prominent both from the formal-stylistic as well as from the substantive-theme point of view. Her relationship with language is of particular significance; it willingly and consistently breaks and violates language standards, producing an ironical twist on their mandatory compliance, while explicitly warning against the (ab)use of language as a (especially political) weapon: this involves a consciously literary strategy of “pollution” of the language and denial of its “ethnic purity or integrity. In the recent years, particularly after the publication of novels Leica Format, Sonnenschein and April in Berlin, interest in Drndić’s literature has increased significantly; extensive discussions and analysis are produced by different scientists and theorists, who approach her creativity either with literary-historical, anthropological, sociological or linguistic research apparatus. After a series of translations, several award nominations (novel Leica Format has been nominated for four most important Croatian literary awards, second place in the selection for the book of the year) and some won awards (Fran Galović Award and Cyclops Award of the Pula book fair for the best narrative work in 2007 – for the novel Sonnenschein), it seems that the writer and her work have gained a reputation of stylistic and literary supremacy.

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Tags: Daša Drndić, Leica format, Sonja Polanc, dr. Andrea Violić Zlatar, roman, Croatian literature