Ivan Aralica Collection of Press Clippings
The Ivan Aralica Collection of Press Clippings contains articles, documents and letters presenting the heated polemics in the Yugoslav press in 1985 and 1986. Members of the Association of Veterans of the People's Liberation War (SUBNOR) tried to proclaim award-winning author Ivan Aralica as politically unfit for literary work in a socialist society due to his involvement in the "counter-revolutionary" Croatian Spring (1967-71). The collection contains outstanding materials to studying the microhistory of censorship through pressure on public opinion.
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Name of collection
- Ivan Aralica - "Conversations, awards, cases"
Provenance and cultural activities
The collection of press clippings came into being when the novelist Ivan Aralica had the press material, which he collected about himself in the period from 1985 to 2000, photocopied and gave them to his secretary (he was vice-president of the Chamber of Counties of the Croatian Parliament at the time, that is, from 1993-2000) to arrange them in a folder. The collection of press clippings was supplemented by letters and the author's comments, which additionally contextualise the media texts. Aralica himself supervised the arrangement and organisation of his collection, which he entitled Razgovori, nagrade, slučajevi (Conversations, Awards, Cases). The material can be regarded as historical documentation for some prospective biography of the novelist, which he bequeathed to his son Tomislav Aralica.
An ad hoc collection had been selected from the complete material, which extensively presents two cases of attempts to publicly condemn Aralica's novels on ideological-political grounds. These campaigns were initiated by members of the Association of Veterans of the People's Liberation War (abbr. SUBNOR-"Savez udruženja boraca narodnooslobodilačkog rata") in Aralica's hometown of Zadar in the second half of the 1980s, and spread to the republic level and beyond. The author called these campaigns "cases," and for the COURAGE registry two of them will be described: “The Goran Award and the related 'case' /1985” and “The case related to the screenplay and film My Uncle's Legacy, based on the book Okvir za mržnju (A Framework for Hatred)/1986.” From that time the collection also contains press clippings about “the Miroslav Krleža Award and the related 'case'/1986” and “the 'case' related to the novel Tajna sarmatskog orla (The Secret of the Sarmatian Eagle)/ 1989.” It is noteworthy that the writer carefully monitored articles about himself in the contemporary press at the time of their release, which is apparent from his private correspondence with publisher and editor Zlatko Crnković, who discovered Aralica and published his novels in the very popular HIT series of the Zagreb publishing house Znanje (Aralica and Crnković 1998).
The first case emerged when on 9 June 1985, the inter-republic jury for the Vjesnik Literary Award decided to grant the prestigious Ivan Goran Kovačić Award for the year 1984 to Ivan Aralica for the novel (Duše robova (The Souls of Slaves). The novel told a story from the time of the Ottoman-Venetian wars at the beginning of the eighteenth century, when two commoners and friends, one Christian and the other Muslim, maintained their relationship despite religious-civilizational differences. In Aralica's view, the task of literature was to spread the sphere of humanism, in which he saw a similarity with Ivan Goran Kovačić (1913-1943), the left-wing poet and icon of the People's Liberation War, after whom the award was named. However, precisely this fact was the reason for the campaign against Aralica, which was instigated by the members of the Association of Veterans of the People's Liberation War in Zadar (Vučenović 1985). The material shows their endeavours to exert public pressure on the members of the jury to withdraw their decision on Aralica because he was involved in the “nationalist-chauvinistic” and thus “counter-revolutionary” Croatian Spring. Despite these efforts, the jury's decision remained unchanged.
The press clippings on the second case deal with the condemnation of the screenplay for the feature film My Uncle's Legacy (Život sa stricem), which Aralica wrote together with the film’s director, Krsto Papić. Papić liked the story in Aralica's forthcoming novel Okvir za mržnju (A Framework for Hatred), which told about the repression of the communist authorities over a freethinking student in the teacher-training school in Knin from 1949 to 1951. Papić had to secure financial support for filmmaking before the film council of the Jadran Film production company , whereby his idea was vehemently opposed only by Ante Kesić (1921-2011), a representative of the Croatian SUBNOR organisation and a former journalist at the Radiotelevision Zagreb. Kesić's accusations can be seen as ideological interventionism in the field of literary creativity and he reproached the council for adhering to aesthetic, dramaturgical and artistic criteria, but that social-political criteria and the criteria of historical truth had been rejected from their evaluations. Again, SUBNOR remained unsuccessful in their efforts, since in the late 1980s many taboos were broken as a consequence of Tito's death in 1980, and the association lost much of its previous influence.
These two polemics can be interpreted as attempts to censor state-supported artistic activities by means of pressure on public opinion. Since censorship did not exist in an administrative sense, it was implemented through loyal representatives of Party and para-Party organisations. SUBNOR was one of the latter and at this time it was the primary protector of the memory of the People's Liberation War and the role of the Party in it under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito. The collection material is important to the study of the culture of dissent at the national level, and the collection is completely open for research by appointment.
Description of content
The “case” of the Ivan Goran Kovačić Award is covered by 35 mostly authored articles from 13 Croatian, Serbian, and Montenegrin periodicals, that is, newspapers, journals and reviews (Večernji list, Vjesnik, Novi list, Narodni list, Slobodna Dalmacija, Politika, Nedjeljna Dalmacija, Danas, Pobjeda, Novosti, Politika ekspres, Osmica, Oko). The “case” of the film My Uncle's Legacy consists of ca. 40 articles (Vjesnik, Politika ekspres, Slobodna Dalmacija, Danas, Nedjeljna Dalmacija, Večernje novosti, Polet, Duga, Nin), one unpublished response by Aralica and three court documents (a lawsuit, a counter-suit and an affidavit).
The selected clippings form a single thematic unit, in which two cultural polemics that preoccupied the contemporary Yugoslav press have been completely reconstructed with all the protagonists. Editorial boards were happy to accord space to these debates in the field of the culture of dissent to their participants because they obviously attracted readers, who appreciated the quality of the arguments. All clippings have been photocopied, i.e., they are not originals (as in the Vjesnik Newspaper Documentation Collection), and are thematically and chronologically organized. Aralica manually designated the articles by headings and sub-headings, which points to the possibility of copying and preparation for publishing in the form of a book (which is something Aralica practiced).
The press clippings document the development of the so-called “cases.” The order makes it is possible to follow the participants in the public polemics and their statements, showing the criticisms and the (self-)defence of the writer and the advocates of his cultural output. Therefore, the collection constitutes material for a microhistory of the culture of dissent in the press, revealing their social role in contemporary cultural debates, which was by no means limited to a narrow circle of readers.
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 100-499
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- Kesić, Ante. "Lies and deceptions plus insults and slander". Vjesnik, 9 December 1986. Press clipping
- Letter from Ivan Aralica. Vjesnik, 3 August 1985.Press clipping
- Papić, Krsto. "Lies and deceptions". Vjesnik, 1 December 1986. Press clipping
- Vučenović, Dane. "Vigilance fell asleep". Narodni list, 6 July 1985. Press clipping
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Shek Brnardić, Teodora
Aralica, Ivan. Anastazija. Oluje u tihom ozračju. (Anastasia. Storms in a quite atmosphere). Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 2016.
Aralica, Ivan. “ Bez hrvatskog proljeća, ne bih napisao "Pse u trgovištu" (Without the Croatian Springs [the novel] Dogs in the market place would not have been written). Večernji list (28 July 2004). Accessed 25 June 2017.
Aralica, Ivan. Duše robova (The souls of slaves). Zagreb: Znanje, 1984, 19862, 19883, 19904, 19955, 19966, 20107, 20118. Slovak translation: Duše otrokov (transl. by Ján Jankovič). Bratislava: Pravda, 1988. Slovenian translation: Duše sužnjev (trans. by Stanka Rendla). Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 1989. Albanian translation: Shpirtrat e robërve (trans. by Sylë Osmanaj) Prishtina: Rilindja, 1989. German translatian: Die Seelen der Sklaven (trans. by Jasna Schmidt-Konjedić). Munich: Weimarer Schiller-Presse, 2006.
Aralica, Ivan. Izabrana djela (ed. by Velimir Visković) (Five centuries of the Croatian literature series, book 171). Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Matice hrvatske, 1987.
Aralica, Ivan. Okvir za mržnju (A framework for hatred). Zagreb: Znanje, 1987, 19882, 19903, 19984, 20115.
Aralica, Ivan. Smrad trulih lešina (A nasty smell of rotten corpses). Zagreb: Despot Infinitus, 2014.
Aralica, Ivan and Zlatko Crnković. Pisac i njegov urednik. Izabrana pisma (A writer and his editor. Selected letters). Zagreb: Znanje, 1998.
Aralica, Ivan. Zadah ocvalog imperija. Ogledi. (The stench of the withered empire. Essays). Zagreb: Znanje, 1991.
Bijela knjiga Stipe Šuvara. Originalni dokument Centra CK SKH za informiranje i propagandu od 21. ožujka 1984. (The White Book of Stipe Šuvar. The original document of the Centre for information and propaganda of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia, dated 31st March 1984). Zagreb: Večernji list, 2010.
[Conversation with Ante Ferlin, president of the SUBNOR of Croatia], Danas, 23. December 1986.
Diklić, Marjan. Kažimir Zanki i Hrvatsko proljeće u Zadru (Kažimir Zanki and the Croatian Spring in Zadar). Nin: Matica hrvatska – Nin, 2012.
„Idejna borba u kulturi i umjetnosti (The struggle of ideas in culture).“ Naše teme: časopis mladih o društvenim zbivanjima 29, no. 7-8 (1984), 1091-1250.
I., V. „Komunizam kakav je bio: Ivan Aralica predstavio roman: 'Anastazija-oluje u tihom ozračju' „. Accessed on 7 Seeptember 2017.
Kažimir Zanki (1924.-2000.). Zbornik radova posvećenih životu i djelu Kažimira Zankija uz 80. obljetnicu rođenja. (A book of proceedings dedicated to the life and work of Kažimir Zanki on the occasion of his 80th birth anniversary). Zadar: Matica hrvatska Zadar, 2005.
Kukoč, Juraj, Daniel Rafaelić and Tomislav Šakić. „Krsto Papić u razgovoru: 'Želim pridobiti vječnu publiku' (A conversation with Krsto Papić: I want to win the eternal public.“ Hrvatski filmski ljetopis 16, no. 61 (2010), 10-69.
Nemec, Krešimir. „Pogovor: Parabola o vlasti i ropstvu (Afterword: A parable about power and slavery)“, in: Ivan Aralica, Psi u trgovištu (Dogs in a bazaar). Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 2010, pp. 367-77.
Nemec, Krešimir. Povijest hrvatskog romana od 1945. do 2000. godine. (A history of the Croatian novel, 1945-2000). Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 2003.
Nikolić, Kosta, Srđan Cvetković and Đoko Tripković, ed. Bela knjiga – 1984. Obračun sa „kulturnom kontrarevolucijom“ u SFRJ. (The White Book – 1984. The showdown with „the cultural contrarevolution“ in the Socialist and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). Beograd: Službeni glasnik, 2010.
Pavičić, Jurica. „Vrane, ovnovi i žene: politika i moć u filmu Lisice Krste Papića (Crows, rams and women: politics and power in the movie Handcuffs by Krsto Papić.“ Hrvatski filmski ljetopis 16, no. 61 (2010), 70-83.
Pešorda, Damir. „Pogovor: Roman o poosobljenoj partijnosti“ (Afterword: A novel about the incarnated Partijnost), in: Ivan Aralica, Anastazija: oluje u tihom ozračju (Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 2016), 149. Dostupno i on-line: http://www.izravno.com/hr/info/aktualni-kultura/roman-o-poosobljenoj-partijnosti/ [skinuto 7. rujna 2017.]
Shek Brnardić, Teodora. "The Invisible Hand of Yugoslav Censorship", The Handbook of Courage (forthcoming).
Šakić, Tomislav. „Uvod u Krstu Papića (An introduction to Krsto Papić).“ Hrvatski filmski ljetopis 16, no. 61 (2010), 6-9.
Škrabalo, Ivo. 101 godina filma u Hrvatskoj (101 years of the Croatian film, 1896-1997. A survey of the history of the Croatian cinema). Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Globus, 1998.
Turković, Hrvoje. Politikom po kulturi. Polemike, 1968-2002 (Using politics against culture. Polemics, 1968-2002). Zagreb: Meandarmedia, 2016.
Von Erdmann-Pandžić, Elisabeth. „Stjepan Čuić i suvremena hrvatska proza: (usporedba romana Orden i Okvir za mržnju I[vana] Aralice) (Stjepan Ćuić and the contemporary Croatian fiction; (a comparison of the novel A medal and A framework for hatred by Ivan Aralica ).“ Dubrovnik : časopis za književnost, nauku i umjetnost 2, no. 2 (1991), 128-41.Vučenović, Dane, „Zaspala budnost [Vigilance felt asleep], Narodni list, 6 July 1985.
Aralica, Ivan , interview by Shek Brnardić, Teodora , October 02, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection