After a large part of his family dies in a plane crash, Zvonimir Žagar, a descendant of an Ustaša family that emigrated to Argentina after the Second World War, begins to remember his gloomy childhood and youth in emigration, and then his life in Žablji Dol, the village to which the Žagar family moved when they returned. Growing up among them, the main character realizes that the hatred between him and his family is inevitable. Whatever he does, whatever he says, they will be against him, they will try to mock him and portray him as an unnecessary being. After returning to Croatia, the Žagars are disappointed with the Croats, because they do not match their projections and their emigrant optics. In this split, the final catharsis of the main character begins, in which he realizes all the monstrosity of his political views. He is disgusted by the political and social situation and no longer has the strength to lie to himself. His catharsis walks on the edge of madness, but the main character manages to laugh it all off in the end, rising above the events in macabre smoke.
The novel The Insect is characterized by an intercontextual approach to history, in which history is not only perceived as a series of events, but as a factual substrate in which the anecdotal individual is imprinted. His insect, which becomes his dark but necessary alter ego, is not a Kafkaesque insect, he is not an escape from reality but a giant insect that wants to devour his family. Official history, even when it is written according to all the rules of the profession, is not able to show the internal processes caused by historical events – in this sense, there is always a correlation and interpenetration between the internal and the external. The novel accepts a Montypythonian-Kafkaesque view of reality, but in the orbits of Balkan humor and Brešan grotesqueness, because let's not forget, at the root of every horror, at least a grain of the grotesque is embedded in the humorous.

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If only my compatriots knew how much spiritual beauty the Croatian language carries in itself. How much space for opinion it leaves for the one who uses it. But Croats are afraid to penetrate their language so as not to realize their own misery. I have often wondered why we don't have original thinkers. Why don't we have philosophers? Our language is a wonderful stimulus for thinking, it calls to think in it, but Croatians have been afraid since childhood that books and thinking will destroy them. You will go crazy with those books. Just strain your brain so much and you'll end up in a madhouse. Primitivism is always a reign of fear. Threat. It is difficult for someone who has not lived among these people to understand how oppressed we are.

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My family wanted the reconciliation of all Croats. But in their conciliatory state-building, they divided those same Croats, whom they loved so endlessly, into Catholics and atheists, into pure Croats and mixed ones, into ustaša and partisans, into right and left wing Croats, and, what is most important, into patriots and traitors... My father was obsessed with traitors, he looked for them and found them all around us, and he passed this obsession on to his children, and we, like dog catchers, looked for them on the streets of Buenos Aires, Zagreb and Žablji Dol.

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Ivan Klarić (Šibenik, 1972) is a Croatian writer and poet. Life took him from Croatia to Italy, to Palermo, where he still lives today. He maintains a connection with his homeland as a member of the Society of Croatian Writers and the Croatian Community of Independent Artists. Some of his published works are: Roses and Nothingness (2006), House of the Moon (2009), Henok (2012), Noah's Mirror (2013), Digital Murmur (2014), Silent Days (2015), Mirrors in the Desert (2016), Camile's Requiem (2016), Black Pantomime (2018), Hours in the Wind (2019), Carbon Landscapes (2020), Report from Pretorium (2020), Dead Sea (2021), Dear Mark (2021), etc. For Magnitudes poetry collection he received the „Tin Ujević“ award.

  • ISBN: 978-953-369-030-8
  • Dimensions: 136x210 mm
  • Number of pages: 248
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2023