One-day NSK exhibition held as part of 11th Miroslav Krleža Festival

Objavljeno 6.7.2022.

On 5 July 2022, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) put on a special one-day exhibition organised as part of the 2022 edition of an 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 11th Miroslav Krleža Festival.

The Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Dr Ivanka Stričević welcomed all present at the opening of the exhibition programme, after which Goran Matović, the Festival’s author and director, spoke on Krleža and his legacy, merging the details from his personal encounters with the great writer with excerpts from Krleža’s texts.

The participants in the opening programme included one of the leading authorities on Krleža’s legacy and editor-in-chief of the Krležijana encyclopaedia Velimir Visković, Dr Suzana Marjanić from the Zagreb Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research and Head of the NSK Manuscripts and Old Books Collection Dr Irena Galić Bešker, who presented works by Krleža preserved in the Collection and displayed in the Library’s grand lobby as part of the exhibition. Croatian stage and screen actress Jelena Miholjević and actor Siniša Ružić read selected excerpts from Krleža’s 1922 story collection Hrvatski bog Mars (“The Croatian God Mars”).

The exhibited material included notes from Krleža’s 1942 diary and passages from his novels The Banquet in Blitva (Banket u Blitvi, 1961) and On the Edge of Reason (Na rubu pameti, 1938), also featuring an autobiographical text focusing on Krleža’s childhood and formation as an artist (Djetinjstvo u Agramu, 1952, 1972), excerpts from a work by Predrag Matvejević documenting Matvejević’s conversations and encounters with Krleža (Razgovori s Krležom, 1987), Krleža’s correspondence with his wife and distinguished Croatian actress Bela Krleža (1896-1981), the story collection Hrvatski bog Mars (1922, “The Croatian God Mars”) featured as part of the reading and other.

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, and catalogued 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 Davor Kapetanić, Krleža’s bibliographer.

The programme of this year’s Festival is taking place until 7 July 2022 on several locations in Zagreb – at the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts (ALU), National Museum of Modern Art (NMMA), the cult Zagreb cafés Kolding and Kavkaz and the famous Zagreb streets.