Book 947 Dubravka Ugresic – The Museum of Unconditional Surrender

A word of warning to you all. This book is frequently in and out of print so you have to be a bit quick when looking for copies. In order to secure a copy from The Book Depository I had to wait a couple of months but trust me, it was worth it.

The Museum of Unconditional Surrender is about how photographs and miscellaneous trinkets can create an autobiography and throughout the book Ugresic does precisely this. It’s also a book about being exiled and it is pictures and small objects which help us preserve the country and the memories we have left behind. By the end of the book Ugresic states that immigrants are traveling museums as they remember artifacts of history to keep the spirit of the departed country.

The structure of the book is also like an album of photographs, paragraphs appear here and there, memories pop out of nowhere, there is even a semi magic realist story involving an angel and some of Ugresic’s close friends. Despite all these all experimental techniques the book is addictive and every piece is seamlessly connected. Here the author does get her point and personal biography of war and exile across but it’s after a bit of wandering. It’s a truly satisfying read.

This is my first foray into Croatian literature and i’m glad it was a positive one. If anything this quest is helping me open my mind about different forms of literature and many new authors and so it’s an enlightening challenge!

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