Daša Drndić, At true great of European fiction has passed.

The pic is of Dasa when I meet her the day at the IFFp in 2013 when her first book to be translated into English. Trieste had been shortlisted for the prize. I had a good half hour chat that evening with her. She told me about how the Italian edition of the book Trieste had a tear-out section of the list of names of Jewish people killed in Italy and the idea was that people could take out a name they knew and over time as the pages went like the losses of the people the book became unstable like the loss of all those voices on society. This is a perfect example of the power of her as a writer. I have reviewed the three books she has been translated into English they are Trieste, Leica Format and Belladonna. She also paid me the highest compliment in say she had read my blog, although I could do with an editor she said. She also commented a few times on the blog which for me was touching. Her books dealt with big subjects and showed the brutal heart of Europe a writer that needs to be read. I’m sorry to hear of her passing today and remember a warm summers day I meet her a number of years ago. Her words when her last book was up for the Croat book of the year sum her views up well.

We live in a very sick time, in a time that destroys spirit, thought, freedom, individuality, joy, beauty, knowledge, and love, and at the same time destroys ourselves. Just like a carcinogenic pancreas, whenever it eats the bodies surrounding it, it disappears alone. To those who write this topic to pretek. Within this globally collapsing, decaying world (the world), floats countless stories of small and large, known, unknown, for literature more than enough. After all, those who read (and increasingly reads a leafy, quick and easy digestive book with enough additives to absorb the original flavor of ‘material’) are at least at times privy to their voyeur passion, a foolish fool, in English called the ‘pacifier’. So the everyday life remains cloudy, and the imaginative readers are unaware of their existential limbo.(a google translation but gets the spirit of her words)


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lizzysiddal
    Jun 06, 2018 @ 20:00:44

    This saddens me even though I’ve never read her.


  2. Lisa Hill
    Jun 06, 2018 @ 23:42:09

    This is sad news. I’ve read Trieste and Belladonna (thanks to you, Stu, for introducing her books to me) and I was looking forward to reading more of them. A great writer and a great intellect, and she used the power of her words to tell important stories.
    But *smile* she was wrong about you needing an editor. What I love about your blog – and the reason it’s so influential – is that your reviews come from the heart, unvarnished and sincere. You have the knack of putting your finger on what’s important about a book and because you are so widely read, you are able to link books together in unexpected ways. You don’t just inspire people who are not great at spelling to get out there anyway and share their ideas, you also teach people not to judge the quality of thought or a writer’s intelligence by their spelling. In a bland and boring world full of shallow people, you, Stu, are the Real Deal.


  3. TravellinPenguin
    Jun 06, 2018 @ 23:45:19

    So sad when such talented people die too young.


  4. 𝚁𝚘𝚋 𝙱𝚞𝚛𝚍𝚘𝚌𝚔 (@RobAroundBooks)
    Jun 10, 2018 @ 07:10:27

    A lovely tribute, Stu. Such a sad loss.

    And I agree with Lisa on you not needing an editor. Your honesty and genuine nature shines through, and that so very important these days. Keep being you, my dear friend.


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June 2018


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