Category: Miroslav Krleza

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?

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The Return of Philip Latinowicz – post II

Didn’t get the chance tp catch up on the lunchtime read but here is more Krleza.

There is something that reminds you a bit of Proust here with the main characters in both Remembrance of Things Past and this book being artists and quite prepared to attend social functions and find the people at them disagreeable and not the sort they want to hang around with.

Philip’s problem comes from the relationships his mother has formed with an ageing ex official and those in his circle.

Bullet points between pages 80 – 150

* Philip’s mother has become involved with an old official who lives in a chateaux and wants to try and get her son on side but there is resistance by Philip and when he does finally visit him he is rude and leaves the house in mid conversation

* But the positive is that he is rediscovering his interest in art and paints a deaf mute that grabs his attention and is relieved to start to think in pictures again

* You sense there is the start of a potential relationship with a woman who is renowned for destroying men and marriages in the past and Philip has a very limited experience of women and that could be his undoing

* In a series of chapters the story of how the woman entranced and then destroyed a family man is told from his perspective and hers in a very clever way that leaves them both blameless in a sense because it was infatuation

* Philip attends a get together where the woman is also in attendance and wanders off into the woods and suddenly she appears and they sit silently together as if it is meant to be

More tomorrow…

The Return of Philip Latinowicz – post II

Didn’t get the chance tp catch up on the lunchtime read but here is more Krleza.

There is something that reminds you a bit of Proust here with the main characters in both Remembrance of Things Past and this book being artists and quite prepared to attend social functions and find the people at them disagreeable and not the sort they want to hang around with.

Philip’s problem comes from the relationships his mother has formed with an ageing ex official and those in his circle.

Bullet points between pages 80 – 150

* Philip’s mother has become involved with an old official who lives in a chateaux and wants to try and get her son on side but there is resistance by Philip and when he does finally visit him he is rude and leaves the house in mid conversation

* But the positive is that he is rediscovering his interest in art and paints a deaf mute that grabs his attention and is relieved to start to think in pictures again

* You sense there is the start of a potential relationship with a woman who is renowned for destroying men and marriages in the past and Philip has a very limited experience of women and that could be his undoing

* In a series of chapters the story of how the woman entranced and then destroyed a family man is told from his perspective and hers in a very clever way that leaves them both blameless in a sense because it was infatuation

* Philip attends a get together where the woman is also in attendance and wanders off into the woods and suddenly she appears and they sit silently together as if it is meant to be

More tomorrow…

The Return of Philip Latinowicz – post I

The blurb on the back of the book is very good at describing the position of Miroslav Krleza within the literary firmament: “Paris has its Balzac and Zola; Dublin its Joyce; Croatia, its Krleza”

The introduction makes the point that Krleza was a communist that made as many enemies as he did fans but regardless of his political views deserves to be read more widely than he has been. This book, his most well known, is set in the 1930s with the threat of Nazi Germany looming on the horizon.

Bullet points between pages 1 – 80

* Philip arrives at a station in the town where he grew up and slowly retraces some of the steps of his youth revealing that he hasn’t been home for 11 years after having a row with his mother who ran a tobacco shop and lived in the top floor of a building in a flat they shared

* He visits the tobacco shop where she used to work and reminisces about the past and hovers around the village before getting to a point where he can’t stand the idea of wasting any more time there

* He hitches a lift to the nearest town where the bishop resides, where his father worked before he died when Philip was two, and where his mother lives

* He seems to have come back not so much to meet his mother and find out the truth about his father, which is in doubt, but also as an artist to rediscover his muse and be inspired again by colour

* Once in the village he becomes immersed in the gossip which includes rumours of the devil roaming at night and werewolves wandering around in soft shoes and it gives Philip, who has really lost his artistic direction a welcome relief

“To live a while amidst mares and cats, amidst village rumours, to feel the rough calf tongue on one’s palm, to watch plants growing, from day to day ever increasingly green and lush, with mathematical precision adjusting themselves to the maximum, amount of light and sunshine, those were soothing things for Philip’s neurasthenia.”

* But he doesn’t find life soothing for long as his mother demands he does a portrait of her but as he produces something that shows off the real her instead of the wigs and make-up she is horrified

More tomorrow…

The Return of Philip Latinowicz – post I

The blurb on the back of the book is very good at describing the position of Miroslav Krleza within the literary firmament: “Paris has its Balzac and Zola; Dublin its Joyce; Croatia, its Krleza”

The introduction makes the point that Krleza was a communist that made as many enemies as he did fans but regardless of his political views deserves to be read more widely than he has been. This book, his most well known, is set in the 1930s with the threat of Nazi Germany looming on the horizon.

Bullet points between pages 1 – 80

* Philip arrives at a station in the town where he grew up and slowly retraces some of the steps of his youth revealing that he hasn’t been home for 11 years after having a row with his mother who ran a tobacco shop and lived in the top floor of a building in a flat they shared

* He visits the tobacco shop where she used to work and reminisces about the past and hovers around the village before getting to a point where he can’t stand the idea of wasting any more time there

* He hitches a lift to the nearest town where the bishop resides, where his father worked before he died when Philip was two, and where his mother lives

* He seems to have come back not so much to meet his mother and find out the truth about his father, which is in doubt, but also as an artist to rediscover his muse and be inspired again by colour

* Once in the village he becomes immersed in the gossip which includes rumours of the devil roaming at night and werewolves wandering around in soft shoes and it gives Philip, who has really lost his artistic direction a welcome relief

“To live a while amidst mares and cats, amidst village rumours, to feel the rough calf tongue on one’s palm, to watch plants growing, from day to day ever increasingly green and lush, with mathematical precision adjusting themselves to the maximum, amount of light and sunshine, those were soothing things for Philip’s neurasthenia.”

* But he doesn’t find life soothing for long as his mother demands he does a portrait of her but as he produces something that shows off the real her instead of the wigs and make-up she is horrified

More tomorrow…