Komeda: A Private Life in Jazz by Magdalena Grzebałkowska tells the story of Poland’s most talented musician of the jazz generation, and reveals what exactly jazz meant to a Polish society in the throes of rapid change.
The Nowhere Man
With the late Bekim Sejranović’s award-winning novel From Nowhere to Nowhere appearing in English for the first time, we look back at the career of an extravagantly talented writer
Kovač Through the Looking Glass
Marc Casals takes a look at Mirko Kovač‘s novel The City in the Mirror, a classic of post-Yugoslav literature that is yet to appear in English translation
José Saramago: “Writers are no longer authors, but content providers”
Croatian journalist Adriana Piteša interviewed the Nobel Prize-winning novelist shortly before his death in 2010. He didn’t pull any punches.
Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb
Višnja Vukašinović looks back at a classic modernist novel about holidays gone horribly wrong
Dropping the baton: Tito, youth culture and the Slovene syndrome
Tito’s cult of personality prevailed for a few years following his death in May 1980. By the end of the decade, however, this legacy was in a serious state of dissipation.
The world’s first fully-operational torpedo was developed in Rijeka by Bolton-born engineer Robert Whitehead
Gabriele D’Annunzio and the Culture of Violence
Was the Italian soldier-poet a liberator? Or a warning of the dark times to come?
If London had been the birthplace of punk, northern England had become the incubator of whatever it was that was about to happen next.
Yugoslavia in the Year 2000
Throughout 1960, Globus magazine ran a series of articles about what they thought the country would look like in the year 2000. Casting their eyes over existing plans for concrete suburbs and high-rise cities, Globus’s writers were essentially saying that, thanks to socialism, the future was already here.
Journey to Russia
Miroslav Krleža’s masterpiece of mid-Twenties reportage is a compelling hybrid of travelogue, personal memoir and political essay
The Elusive Emperor
Few people are so central to the history of Split as Roman Emperor Diocletian. And yet it’s surprising how little we know about the man.
What is a song without a sleeve? Jugoton’s place in art and pop
Zagreb record label Jugoton didn’t just nurture a unique music scene. It also set new standards in Croatian design
Forty years ago members of Czech rock band Plastic People of the Universe were put on trial for playing music that the country’s communist rulers didn’t like the sound of.
(Come on Baby) Light my Choir
Traditional choral festivals provided a natural focus for the so-called Singing Revolution, which swept across the Baltic States in 1987-1990.
One of Europe’s most breathtaking new museums is on the Croatian island of Lošinj
Rijeka Rock City
It was the port city of Rijeka that led the way when it came to Croatia’s relationship with the electric guitar, and it is Rijeka that preserves most in terms of rock and roll heritage today.
Welcome to Hofbauerland
Few graphic artists are as closely associated with the Zagreb urban landscape as illustrator, poster designer and graphic novelist Igor Hofbauer.
Although rarely celebrated, it’s Zadar’s rich stock of Sixties-era architecture that gives the city so much character.
Siluett was one of the most seductive fashion magazines of the 1960s. And it was produced in Soviet-occupied Estonia.
We Play World War: Karl Kraus and the end of Austria
Viennese satirist Karl Kraus was one of the few people who wrote against World War I from start to finish: not because he thought there was anything wrong in defending one’s flag, but because he saw how patriotism was hijacked by the mass media.
Crucif*cked: the extraordinary career of Egon Bondy
Outside Czech-speaking circles, underground writer and philosopher Egon Bondy remains almost unknown; however it’s hard to see where the Czech literary scene would be without him
Power Ballads: Marta Kubišová and the Velvet Revolution
The story of Marta Kubišová’s song A Prayer for Marta reveals much about the power of popular culture - and the desire of those in government to place it under control.
The time is ripe for a rereading of Gregor von Rezzori, one of Central Europe’s most distinctive voices
Death, metal: Ernst Jünger and Germany’s 20th century
The German author of Storm of Steel was the greatest writer to come out of the trenches of World War I. It’s almost exactly a century since he first saw front-line action.
Croatian artist Julije Knifer spent the best part of 45 years painting endless variations on the theme of the meander. But did he ever intend so many of his meanders to be exhibited in the same gallery all at once?
Parts of the mural-covered wall running along Zagreb’s Branimirova ulica were demolished at the end of May 2015. The news was greeted by a wave of public indifference, despite the fact that the wall is one of the city’s defining visual landmarks.
Man paints Dog
Artist Miroslav Kraljević was the great hope of Croatian painting until his early death in 1913
Coast of Thrones
The more popular the Croatian Adriatic becomes, the less control it exerts over its own narratives