Value Judgements About Đuro Arnold From the Perspective of Miroslav Krleža’s Marginalia

Davor Balić
From the middle of the 1950’s until his death, Miroslav Krleža (1893 – 1981) was the main sub-editor of the Encyclopaedia of Yugoslavia and the sub-editor of the Lexicography Institute Encyclopaedia. In this period he had dictated numerous critical remarks regarding the proposed content of entries for the editions of these encyclopaedias. These critical remarks are nowadays most frequently termed ‘Krleža’s marginalia’. In this paper I elaborate on Krleža’s attitudes towards Đuro Arnold’s (1853 – 1941) work, which he expressed in his marginalia. Out of all the philosophers who were his contemporaries, Arnold was the philosopher about whom Krleža most frequently disclosed his opinions. However, I also point to his attitudes regarding Arnold’s work which he wrote down in his other texts, thus enabling a complete insight into Krleža’s value judgements of Arnold’s work. Krleža wrote very critically about Arnold, especially about his poetry. Besides in the marginalia, this is also evident in all the texts in which he mentioned Arnold, starting with the text published in 1919 in the Plamen (Flame) journal, and ending with the text published in 1957 in the book Deset krvavih godina (Ten bloody years). Krleža was of the opinion that the ‘legend’ of Arnold’s ‘greatness’ is unfoundedly passed on ‘from generation to generation’, since his poems were to a large extent ‘unsuccessful variations’. What is more, he believed that Arnold’s poetry could cause nothing more than ‘incurable migraine’ among readers, that it was worthless, even ‘unintelligent’, and that it was also reactionary, which Krleža resented the most.
Key words
Miroslav Krleža; Encyclopaedia of Yugoslavia, editions of Lexicography Institute Encyclopaedia; Krleža’s marginalia; Đuro Arnold; Vladimir Filipović
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