The Vizier's Elephant Author:Ivo Andric Jacket flaps: — When Ivo Andric was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961, the citation read, "for the epic force with which he has depicted themes and human destinies drawn from the history of his country." In the three novellas presented in this volume, the brilliant Yugoslavian writer demonstrates his extraordinary range. — "The Vizie... more »r's Elephant," the title story, is concerned with the eternal human elements of fear, hatred, and the distortion of truth that ultimately follows in their wake. The locale is a Bosnian village and the innocent hero-villain is an elephant, brought from a happier land, and now the fearsome symbol of despotism.
"Anika's Times" is a tragedy that explores the complex and shadowy avenues of guilt and evil. The story tells of an incredibly lovely girl whose beauty ultimately becomes the shame of a community. It opens with an event of madness and concludes with an act of murder.
"Zeko," the concluding story traces the spiritual evolution of one man from the turn of the century to the latter part of World War II. Mild, introspective, and subdued by a domineering wife, he takes refuge in a routine, subservient, and silent tolerance of life, but finds fulfillment in rebellion and in commitment to mankind.
Each of these haunting literary works demonstrates the remarkable creative talent that distinguishes Andric's writing.
Translated by Drenka Willen
Ivo Andric, who has served his native land as a diplomat, author and scholar, is the first Yugoslav to win a Nobel award. His literary work reflects the spirit and conflict of the times in which he has lived. Born in 1893 in a village in Bosnia, he attended secondary school in Sarajevo, and studied philosophy in the universities of Zagreb, Vienna, Cracow, and Graz, where he received a doctor's degree in 1023. He was serving in a diplomatic post in Berlin at the outbreak of World War II; he is now a parliamentary deputy from his native province. As "The New York Times " stated on the occasion of the Nobel Award announcement: "The one great theme of his work is the mental, moral, and spiritual evolution of his people, of how the various forces that have played their role and disappeared have molded and made the Yugoslavs what they are today. His feeling for the universal in man . . . makes [his books] of interest far beyond his country's borders." Critics have praised his work for its style, its insight, its poetry, and its sweep« less