NSK joins 2023 Miroslav Krleža Festival

Objavljeno 11.7.2023.

On 5 July 2023, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) put on a special programme as part of the 12th Miroslav Krleža Festival, the 2023 edition of the annual cultural festival commemorating Miroslav Krleža (1893-1981), undoubtedly the greatest Croatian writer of the 20th century and one of the most distinguished Croatian writers and thinkers of all time.

The Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Dr Ivanka Stričević welcomed all present at the opening of the programme, after which Goran Matović, the Festival’s author and director, Dr Lada Čale Feldman from the Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Suzana Marjanić from the Zagreb Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Pavle Bonča from The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography and Head of the NSK Manuscripts and Old Books Collection Dr Irena Galić Bešker spoke on Krleža and his place in the context of Croatian culture, his manuscript legacy and newly discovered parts of it.

Croatian stage and screen actor Siniša Ružić interpreted the fragments of Krleža’s autobiographical text focusing on his childhood and formation as an artist (Djetinjstvo u Agramu, 1952, 1972), while the Festival’s director Goran Matović enacted selected passages from his original piece merging the details of his personal encounters with the great writer with excerpts from Krleža’s texts, live music and audio recordings featuring Krleža’s voice.

In accordance with Krleža’s own wishes and owing to Dr Krešimir Vranešić, who executed Krleža’s will, the NSK Manuscripts and Old Books Collection preserves Krleža’s manuscript heritage. Becoming part of the Collection in 1988, Krleža’s manuscripts were unsealed in 2001, upon the expiry of a 20-year moratorium which Krleža requested on in any way surveying or handling that material. In 2003, upon cataloguing the manuscripts in collaboration with The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography and with the assistance of the leading Croatian experts on Krleža and his work – Zoran Kravar, Velimir Visković, Vlaho Bogišić and Krleža’s bibliographer Davor Kapetanić, the Library published a special catalogue making available all data on this particularly valuable part of Krleža’s legacy (Rukopisna ostavština Miroslava Krleže).

The recent discovery by young researcher from The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography Pavle Bonča among Krleža’s manuscripts preserved in the Collection of an unpublished dramatic text Goya attracted keen interest of the general public and provided one of the highlights of this year’s Miroslav Krleža Festival, which opened with the text’s premiere at the Zagreb City Museum.

Apart from the newly discovered Krleža’s manuscript, the exhibition held as part of the programme featured other original hand- and typewritten Krleža’s texts preserved by the Library and spotlighted by this year’s Festival – plays Legenda (1914; “A Legend”) and Glembajevi (1932; “The Glembaj Family”), novels The Banquet in Blitva (Banket u Blitvi, 1961) and On the Edge of Reason (Na rubu pameti, 1938), Krleža’s diaries, letters, interviews, etc.