Category: Miroslav Krleza

book of books – The Return of Philip Lationowicz


Art is a difficult subject, particularly the debate about what constitutes good art, and so it is a challenged theme running through this book by Croatian author Miroslav Krelza. There are several things going on here in a confined area with a small collection of characters. If you stripped out the debates about art, the thoughts Philip has about painting and his own origins and just ran the final few chapters it has such a limited cast it comes into short story territory. But the larger themes make it more than just the tale of an individual.

Plot summary
Philip Lationowicz has returned home after an absence of eleven years and arrives at a station in a town where his mother and himself used to live but she is clearly no longer there and you half wonder if she is dead. But he then travels to a town where the bishop lives and his mother is there and he moves into an attic room in her house. Philip is a painter but has lost the creativity urge and inspiration and hopes to rediscover it, as well as solving his history discovering the real identity of his father. The first comes and goes and the second is finally revealed but you have to wait until near the end. On top of those twin tracks there is also a relationship with a cashier in a café who attracts Philip and in the end dies as a result of the jealousy he partly inflames in her long time lover. The conclusion of the book provides Philip with plenty of material for artistic ideas and leaves him with no excuses to stay with his mother and his past any longer.

Is it well written?
It’s an odd book in that it is a slow burner starting with a idyllic return to a childhood village and ending up with a gruesome murder. The action builds like a pressure cooker as Philip starts to fall out with his mother, becomes obsessed with Bobocka the cashier in the café and because of his weak nature allows his entire view of the world to come under attack by a Greek philosopher. Where it is well written is providing an insight into the mind of the artist in torment. Where it is easy to find fault is around the relationship between mother and son, which is sketched out when it could be described more fully.

Should it be read?
As part of an education into writers from other countries then Krelza deserves to be read. But I am not sure that had this book not been £1 in a second hand book store then I would have brought it. It doesn’t really say anything about Croatia and it is slightly depressing to find Philip reading the Daily Mail while he smokes a cigarette and sips his coffee. But as a tale of tightening tension and the price people will pay to avoid loneliness then it is well worth reading.

Summary
An artist looking for his muse discovers one in his childhood village but she is destroyed by her jealous lover in an evening that reveals more than Philip ever expected about the truth of his family

Version read – Quartet Encounters paperback

book of books – The Return of Philip Lationowicz

Art is a difficult subject, particularly the debate about what constitutes good art, and so it is a challenged theme running through this book by Croatian author Miroslav Krelza. There are several things going on here in a confined area with a small collection of characters. If you stripped out the debates about art, the thoughts Philip has about painting and his own origins and just ran the final few chapters it has such a limited cast it comes into short story territory. But the larger themes make it more than just the tale of an individual.

Plot summary
Philip Lationowicz has returned home after an absence of eleven years and arrives at a station in a town where his mother and himself used to live but she is clearly no longer there and you half wonder if she is dead. But he then travels to a town where the bishop lives and his mother is there and he moves into an attic room in her house. Philip is a painter but has lost the creativity urge and inspiration and hopes to rediscover it, as well as solving his history discovering the real identity of his father. The first comes and goes and the second is finally revealed but you have to wait until near the end. On top of those twin tracks there is also a relationship with a cashier in a café who attracts Philip and in the end dies as a result of the jealousy he partly inflames in her long time lover. The conclusion of the book provides Philip with plenty of material for artistic ideas and leaves him with no excuses to stay with his mother and his past any longer.

Is it well written?
It’s an odd book in that it is a slow burner starting with a idyllic return to a childhood village and ending up with a gruesome murder. The action builds like a pressure cooker as Philip starts to fall out with his mother, becomes obsessed with Bobocka the cashier in the café and because of his weak nature allows his entire view of the world to come under attack by a Greek philosopher. Where it is well written is providing an insight into the mind of the artist in torment. Where it is easy to find fault is around the relationship between mother and son, which is sketched out when it could be described more fully.

Should it be read?
As part of an education into writers from other countries then Krelza deserves to be read. But I am not sure that had this book not been £1 in a second hand book store then I would have brought it. It doesn’t really say anything about Croatia and it is slightly depressing to find Philip reading the Daily Mail while he smokes a cigarette and sips his coffee. But as a tale of tightening tension and the price people will pay to avoid loneliness then it is well worth reading.

Summary
An artist looking for his muse discovers one in his childhood village but she is destroyed by her jealous lover in an evening that reveals more than Philip ever expected about the truth of his family

Version read –

book of books – The Return of Philip Lationowicz


Art is a difficult subject, particularly the debate about what constitutes good art, and so it is a challenged theme running through this book by Croatian author Miroslav Krelza. There are several things going on here in a confined area with a small collection of characters. If you stripped out the debates about art, the thoughts Philip has about painting and his own origins and just ran the final few chapters it has such a limited cast it comes into short story territory. But the larger themes make it more than just the tale of an individual.

Plot summary
Philip Lationowicz has returned home after an absence of eleven years and arrives at a station in a town where his mother and himself used to live but she is clearly no longer there and you half wonder if she is dead. But he then travels to a town where the bishop lives and his mother is there and he moves into an attic room in her house. Philip is a painter but has lost the creativity urge and inspiration and hopes to rediscover it, as well as solving his history discovering the real identity of his father. The first comes and goes and the second is finally revealed but you have to wait until near the end. On top of those twin tracks there is also a relationship with a cashier in a café who attracts Philip and in the end dies as a result of the jealousy he partly inflames in her long time lover. The conclusion of the book provides Philip with plenty of material for artistic ideas and leaves him with no excuses to stay with his mother and his past any longer.

Is it well written?
It’s an odd book in that it is a slow burner starting with a idyllic return to a childhood village and ending up with a gruesome murder. The action builds like a pressure cooker as Philip starts to fall out with his mother, becomes obsessed with Bobocka the cashier in the café and because of his weak nature allows his entire view of the world to come under attack by a Greek philosopher. Where it is well written is providing an insight into the mind of the artist in torment. Where it is easy to find fault is around the relationship between mother and son, which is sketched out when it could be described more fully.

Should it be read?
As part of an education into writers from other countries then Krelza deserves to be read. But I am not sure that had this book not been £1 in a second hand book store then I would have brought it. It doesn’t really say anything about Croatia and it is slightly depressing to find Philip reading the Daily Mail while he smokes a cigarette and sips his coffee. But as a tale of tightening tension and the price people will pay to avoid loneliness then it is well worth reading.

Summary
An artist looking for his muse discovers one in his childhood village but she is destroyed by her jealous lover in an evening that reveals more than Philip ever expected about the truth of his family

Version read – Quartet Encounters paperback

book of books – The Return of Philip Lationowicz


Art is a difficult subject, particularly the debate about what constitutes good art, and so it is a challenged theme running through this book by Croatian author Miroslav Krelza. There are several things going on here in a confined area with a small collection of characters. If you stripped out the debates about art, the thoughts Philip has about painting and his own origins and just ran the final few chapters it has such a limited cast it comes into short story territory. But the larger themes make it more than just the tale of an individual.

Plot summary
Philip Lationowicz has returned home after an absence of eleven years and arrives at a station in a town where his mother and himself used to live but she is clearly no longer there and you half wonder if she is dead. But he then travels to a town where the bishop lives and his mother is there and he moves into an attic room in her house. Philip is a painter but has lost the creativity urge and inspiration and hopes to rediscover it, as well as solving his history discovering the real identity of his father. The first comes and goes and the second is finally revealed but you have to wait until near the end. On top of those twin tracks there is also a relationship with a cashier in a café who attracts Philip and in the end dies as a result of the jealousy he partly inflames in her long time lover. The conclusion of the book provides Philip with plenty of material for artistic ideas and leaves him with no excuses to stay with his mother and his past any longer.

Is it well written?
It’s an odd book in that it is a slow burner starting with a idyllic return to a childhood village and ending up with a gruesome murder. The action builds like a pressure cooker as Philip starts to fall out with his mother, becomes obsessed with Bobocka the cashier in the café and because of his weak nature allows his entire view of the world to come under attack by a Greek philosopher. Where it is well written is providing an insight into the mind of the artist in torment. Where it is easy to find fault is around the relationship between mother and son, which is sketched out when it could be described more fully.

Should it be read?
As part of an education into writers from other countries then Krelza deserves to be read. But I am not sure that had this book not been £1 in a second hand book store then I would have brought it. It doesn’t really say anything about Croatia and it is slightly depressing to find Philip reading the Daily Mail while he smokes a cigarette and sips his coffee. But as a tale of tightening tension and the price people will pay to avoid loneliness then it is well worth reading.

Summary
An artist looking for his muse discovers one in his childhood village but she is destroyed by her jealous lover in an evening that reveals more than Philip ever expected about the truth of his family

Version read – Quartet Encounters paperback

The Return of Philip Lationowicz – post IV

The book comes to an end and Philip luckily isn’t the one under the train or the one clawing at the windows to escape while their throat is being bitten into. Still if he learns anything it should be that he is weak, nervous and suspectible to the influence of influential women.

Bullet points between pages 196 – 231

* Philip has been caught under the spell of Bobocka but at the same time knows that she is no good for him and is having affairs with other men under his nose and of course she lives with her old lover, a respectable man who ruined himself for her

* The Greek philosopher who plagued Philip is found dead after throwing himself under a train and following the discovery Bobocka tells Philip she is going away to Hamburg and wants to borrow as much money as she can

* Her lover comes to visit Philip and begs him not to allow him to be abandoned and there is a scene when Bobocka comes for the money but all it does is postpone the moment when she will come for the money and then leave

* Just as his nerves start to crank up as he waits Philip has an almighty row with his mother and asks who his real father was and she tells him but before you can find out the impact they are disturbed by Bobocka’s lover

* He tells Philip that she won’t be coming after all but Philip senses that he is lying, notices he is covered in blood and rushes after him and then disovers Bobacka dead after her lover had bitten through her throat

Not the ending you might have expected but easily enough material there to fuel Philip’s artistic passions…a full review will follow in the next couple of days.

The Return of Philip Lationowicz – post IV

The book comes to an end and Philip luckily isn’t the one under the train or the one clawing at the windows to escape while their throat is being bitten into. Still if he learns anything it should be that he is weak, nervous and suspectible to the influence of influential women.

Bullet points between pages 196 – 231

* Philip has been caught under the spell of Bobocka but at the same time knows that she is no good for him and is having affairs with other men under his nose and of course she lives with her old lover, a respectable man who ruined himself for her

* The Greek philosopher who plagued Philip is found dead after throwing himself under a train and following the discovery Bobocka tells Philip she is going away to Hamburg and wants to borrow as much money as she can

* Her lover comes to visit Philip and begs him not to allow him to be abandoned and there is a scene when Bobocka comes for the money but all it does is postpone the moment when she will come for the money and then leave

* Just as his nerves start to crank up as he waits Philip has an almighty row with his mother and asks who his real father was and she tells him but before you can find out the impact they are disturbed by Bobocka’s lover

* He tells Philip that she won’t be coming after all but Philip senses that he is lying, notices he is covered in blood and rushes after him and then disovers Bobacka dead after her lover had bitten through her throat

Not the ending you might have expected but easily enough material there to fuel Philip’s artistic passions…a full review will follow in the next couple of days.

The Return of Philip Latinowicz – post III

Things start to unravel for Philip and you start to sense that the book is starting to build towards some moment. It is hard to predict what that climax will be with Philip seemingly disintegrating it might well be into violence or it could be a reaction against the mediocrity of life and an explosion into brilliance. That will have to come in the final forty pages.

Bullet points between pages 154 – 196

* Philip is on the brink you feel of a relationship with Bobocka, the woman he has been seen with at the party and on an almost daily basis where she works, and as they walk through the woods he gets incredibly passionate about painting

* He sketches out mentally a composition that is centred on a Jesus Christ that is powerful, angry and taking the fight to the bar lizards and market traders that scorn his name and to add to the dramatic picture a summer thunder storm starts

* But the passion is never recaptured and instead a mysterious figure from Bobocka’s past turns up and as an expert in philosophy the stranger, Kiralyes, is able to mentally strip Philip down to a stammering fool and undermine everything he believes in

* Even his love of painting is attacked and despite the negative impact on his mental stats Philip continues to seek out Bobocka and as a consequence Kiralyes even though he knows it will do him harm

The question is how long will Philips stomach the insults and will it really undermine his belief in painting?