Montenegrin Goodreads: Danilo Kiš

By , 17 Jul 2018, 10:18 AM Lifestyle

Danilo Kiš was a Yugoslav novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator, who wrote in Serbo-Croatian. Kiš was influenced by Bruno Schulz, Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges, Ivo Andrić and Miroslav Krleža, among other authors. His best-known works include HourglassA Tomb for Boris Davidovich and The Encyclopedia of the Dead.

Kiš was born in Subotica, Danube Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Kiš was the son of Eduard Kiš, a Hungarian-speaking Jewish railway inspector and Milica, a Montenegrin from Cetinje. His father was born in Austria-Hungary with the surname Kohn, but changed it to Kiš as part of Magyarization, a widely implemented practice at the time. Kiš's parents met in 1930 in Subotica and married the following year. Milica gave birth to a daughter, Danica, in Zagreb in 1932 before the family relocated to Subotica.

In mid-1944 authorities began to deport Jews en masse to concentration camps. Eduard Kiš was sent to a ghetto in Zalaegerszeg in April or May 1944, then was deported to Auschwitz on July 5. Eduard, along with many of his relatives, died in Auschwitz. Danilo, Danica, and Milica, perhaps owing to Danilo and Danica's baptism certificates, were saved from deportation.

After the end of the war, the family moved to Cetinje, Montenegro, where Kiš graduated from high school in 1954. Kiš studied literature at the University of Belgrade. Kiš was an excellent student, receiving praise from students and faculty members alike. He graduated in 1958 as the first student at the University of Belgrade to be awarded a degree in comparative literature. After graduating, Kiš stayed on for two years of postgraduate research.

Kiš's work was translated into English only in a piecemeal fashion, and many of his important books weren't available in English until the 2010s, when Dalkey Archive began releasing a selection of titles, including A Tomb for Boris Davidovich and Garden, Ashes; in 2012, Dalkey released The AtticPsalm 44, and the posthumous collection of stories The Lute and the Scars, capably translated by John K. Cox. These publications completed the process of "the Englishing of Kiš's fiction", allowing the possibility of what Pete Mitchell of Booktrust called a resurrection of Kiš.

High School in Budva is named after him. 

Source: Wikipedia (full article)

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