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Junak ili Čudovište
Hero or Monster

Author(s): Mirta Maslać
Subject(s): Novel, Croatian Literature
Published by: Durieux
Keywords: novel; pseudo-autobiography; trauma; psychiatry; black humour;
Summary/Abstract: Junak ili čudovište, a novel by Mirta Maslać, is autobiographical in tone, but any stricter categorising would exclude an entire range of its completely heterogeneous elements. This is a diary of an illness and rehabilitation that functions also as a book about pop-culture and art, and about the way that motifs and narratives of the literary avant-garde, rock, and TV series shape our subjectivity. The novel that, besides familiar genre places, offers a merciless insight into the body as the uncanny locus of trauma, presenting the self-destruction without any romanticising. Despite the subdued black humour that colours this whole story, somebody will probably read it as a confession or testimony, a narrative shaping of one's own life in the perspective of existential crisis, maybe even death. But here, the struggle for authenticity is somewhere else, beyond the questions of truthfulness. Hero or Monster shows how, using a certain cultural repertoire, the self can »theatricalise« itself to itself, not for the sake of spectacle, but for the sake of self-reflection. That is the reason this novel is about a peculiar »taming of a monster«: a hard-laboured procedure of discursive creation of something that until now looked only as an unspeakable, unthinkable quantity, trauma generator, and pure danger. This taming is done by writing. Mirta Maslać was born in 1993, in Zagreb. She graduated in comparative literature and Croatian language and literature from the Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She published a theoretical study on the vocabulary in drag practices, and the novel Hero or Monster.

  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-953-188-453-2
  • Page Count: 244
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: Croatian