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Oskar Davičo

Oskar Davičo
(From International Radio Serbia)

Oskar Davičo was the youngest poet in the Belgrade Surrealists Group. According to his friends and contemporaries, he surpassed all others with his talent, prolificity and breadth of influence. He won the prestigious NIN Literary Prize three times, while recently a plaque in memory of Oscar Davico was placed on the building in Belgrade where he lived. More in CULTURAL PANORAMA prepared by Milena Gluvacevic.

Oskar Davico published his first poem as a high school student. In his early poetry, everything was subordinate to experiment and research of possibilities of poetic expression. It was, however, quite distinctive social poetry, full of imaginative pictures. Davico’s fullest expression was reached in the social phase, when he put his own experience of a surrealist poet into service of revolutionary commitment. Of sentimentality, characteristic of our poetry from Romanticism to Expressionism, there is not a trace in Davico’s love poetry. His poem "Hana" represents the culmination of that elevated and lilting poetry of the senses.

Davico developed his prose style during and after World War II. He first published the war diary in 1947, followed by several books including travelogues, essays and polemical prose, ten novels and collection of short stories entitled Nezne Price (Tender Stories). His novels, which are, along with his poetry, the most important part of his work, depicted the revolutionary movement between the Two World Wars.

Oskar Davico was born into a clerical family of Jewish origin. He studied the French Language and Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Belgrade where he graduated. He worked as a high school teacher in Sibenik, Belgrade and Bihac. He published over 50 books of different genres -collections of poetry: Visnja za zidom (Cherry Behind the Wall), Hana, Covekov covek (Man's Man), Flora, Kairos, Zrenjanin; novels: Pesma (The Poem), Cutanje (Silence), Gladi (Hunger), Tajne (Secrets), Bekstva (Escape), Gospodar zaborava (Lord of Oblivion), etc. Oskar Davico died in Belgrade in 1989.