Ivan Aralica

Novelist, Author

1930 –


Who is Ivan Aralica?

Ivan Aralica is a Croatian novelist and essayist.

Born in Promina near Knin, and having finished pedagogical school and Philosophical Faculty at the University of Zadar, Aralica had worked in post-war period as a high school teacher in the backwater villages of the rural hinterland of northern and central Dalmatia. After a period of Communist infatuation, Aralica was swept into the vortex of turbulent events known as the “Croatian spring”. During this tumultuos era he allied with those who advocated greater Croatian autonomy and freedom for Croatian people in Communist Yugoslavia. The crackdown on the Croatian national movement and subsequent professional and social degradation resulted in Aralica’s return to his Christian and Catholic roots, abandonment of doctrinaire propagandist literature and formation of his own literary credo. Among world authors, he was influenced chiefly by realist fiction and early Modernism, the key authors being Ivo Andrić, Thomas Mann and Knut Hamsun.

From 1979 to 1989 Aralica published eight novels, which can be best described as modernist rewritings of historical fiction. The best among them show similar traits: these are essentially novels of complex narrative techniques recreating dramatic events in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from 16th to 18th century and describing historical fatum of Croats caught in the “clash of civilizations”- a three centuries long warfare between Austria, the Ottoman Empire and Venice. Aralica successfully mastered many divergent elements in his fiction, so that his finest novels are both replete with contemplative wisdom sayings on human condition and rammed with action; also, his artistry is expressed in numerous naturalist passages integrated in the overarching Christian vision of life where natural and the supernatural fuse into one reality.

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Sep 10, 1930
  • Croatia
  • Graduate school, University of Zadar
  • University of Zadar
    ( - 1961)

on July 23, 2013


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