Confronting the Past: Contemporary Eastern European Writers

Danilo Kis [pronounced "kish"] (1935-1989)

Hourglass

Background

  • Born in 1935 in Subotica, Yugoslavia.
  • Died of cancer in 1989.
  • Received B.A. degree from the University of Belgrade in 1958.

Career

  • Taught Serbo-Croation and Yugoslavian at University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France and in Bordeaux and Lille, France.
  • Received a number of awads for his writing, including one from NiN for Hourglass (1972); one from Vjesnik for A Tomb for Boris Davidovich (1977), the Grand Aigle D'Or from the City of Nice for his body of work (1980), and the Award Ivo Andric for The Encyclopedia of the Dead (1984).
  • Also wrote plays and reviews and translated poems.

Major Writings (available in translation)

Basta, pepeo (novel), 1965  (Garden, Ashes, 1978)
Grobnica za Dorisa Davidovica (stories), 1976 (A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, 1978)
Pescanik, 1972  (Hourglass, 1990)
Enciklopedija mrtvih, (stories), 1983 (The Encyclopedia of the Dead, 1989)
Rani jadi, (stories) 1970  (Early Sorrows: For Children and Sensitive Readers, 1998)
Homo Poetics: Essays and Interviews, 1995

Critical Sources and Reviews

  • Biographical and critical information in the following Gale publications: Contemporary Authors, Volume 129; Contemporary Authors, New Revisions Series, Volume 61; Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 57; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 181: "South Slavic Writers Since World War II; " and Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century.  Gale Literary Database (Contemporary Authors Online) can be accessed online through a subscribing library at www.galenet.com.   (The CLC and DLB volumes contain portraits.)
  • Other sources for biographical information:
  • Cyclopedia of World Authors. 5 volumes. Ed. by Frank Magill.  1997.
    Literary Exile in the Twentieth Century. Ed. by Martin Tucker.  1991.
    Obituaries:  Chicago Tribune, October 17, 1989; Los Angeles Times, October 18, 1989; New York Times, October 17, 1989.

  • Some reviews:
    • New York Times Book Review, September 29, 1990 ("Giving a Nod to Kafka, As a JewFaces Calamity," by Herbert Mitgang), and October 7, 1990 ("How It Feels to Cease to Be" by Charles Newman), available in the New York Times Books Archive
    • New York Review of Books, October 26, 1989; April 11, 1991.
    • Times Literary Supplement, October 30, 1989; January 11, 1991.
  • An interview with Danilo Kis by Brendan Lemon


Retired Discussion Series



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