Montenegrin Goodreads: Borislav Pekić

By , 18 Jun 2018, 20:52 PM Lifestyle

June 18, 2018 - Borislav Pekić is one of the most important Montenegrin and Serbian (Yugoslav) contemporary writers and dramatists. He was a prominent political activist and anti-communist, and co-founder of the Democratic Party in Serbia. 

"Borislav Pekić was a Serbian/Montenegrin political activist and writer. He was born in 1930, to a prominent family in Montenegro. From 1945 until his immigration to London in 1971, he lived in Belgrade. A staunch anti-communist throughout his life, he was the founding member of the Democratic Party during the post-Tito era and is considered one of the greats of 20th-century literature." Goodreads

He graduated from high school in 1945 in Belgrade and shortly afterwards was arrested with the accusation of belonging to the secret association "Yugoslav Democratic Youth" and sentenced to fifteen years of prison. During his time in prison, he conceived many of the ideas later developed in his major novels. He was released after five years and in 1953 began studying experimental psychology at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy, although he never earned a degree.

In 1958 he married Ljiljana Glišić, the niece of Milan Stojadinović, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia and a year later their daughter Aleksandra was born. 1958 also marked the year when Pekić wrote his first of over twenty original film scripts for the major film studios in Yugoslavia, among which Dan četrnaesti ("The Fourteenth Day") represented Yugoslavia at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival.

Following Pekić's immigration to London in 1971, the Yugoslav authorities still considered him persona non grata and for several years they prevented his books from being published in Yugoslavia. Finally, in 1975, Uspenje i sunovrat Ikara Gubelkijana ("The Rise and Fall of Icarus Gubelkian") appeared. It was later translated into Polish in 1980, Hungarian in 1982, Czech in 1985 and French in 1992.

In 1989 he became one of the founding members of the Democratic Party in Serbia and in 1990 he became its Vice President and one of the editors of the party’s newspaper "Demokratija" ("Democracy"). Pekić was a member of the P. E. N. Association in London and Belgrade and became Vice President of the Serbian P. E. N. Association between 1990-1992. He was elected to The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1985 and was made a member of the Advisory Committee to The Serbian Royal Crown in 1992. Active both as an author and a public figure until his last day, Pekić died of lung cancer at his home in London on July 2, 1992. 

Works available in English:

  • The Time of Miracles. A legend, translated by Lovett F. Edwards, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976, ISBN 0-15-190464-2; Evanston (IL): Northwestern University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8101-1117-9.
  • The Houses of Belgrade, translated by Bernard Johnson, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, ISBN 0-15-142183-8; Evanston (IL): Northwestern University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8101-1141-1.
  • The Generals or Kinship-in-Arms, play, translated by Vidosava Janković, "Scena" 13 (1990), pp. 143–53.
  • Megalo Mastoras and His Work 1347 A.D., translated by Stephen M. Dickey and Doc Roc in The Prince of Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Serbian Short Stories, edited by Radmila J. Gorup and Nadežda Obradović, Pittsburg (PA): University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998.
  • How to Quiet the Vampire (An Excerpt), translated by Stephen M. Dickey and Bogdan Rakić, "Serbian Studies" 15 (1), 63-76, 2001; (PDF).
  • How to Quiet a Vampire, translated by Stephen M. Dickey and Bogdan Rakić, Evanston (IL): Northwestern University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-8101-1720-7 and ISBN 0-8101-1719-3.

Source: Wikipedia - full article on the link

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