A Tale of One of Us
"Bijeg" is a novel by the Croatian writer Milutin Cihlar Nehajev, here translated into English by Damir Janigro with the title "Fugue." Regarded as a paramount example of Croatian literature from the Modernist era, it offers a captivating portrayal of the culture in pre-World War I Austro-Hungary. The story revolves around Duro, a talented and aspiring writer who abandons his studies in Vienna to take up a teaching position in Senj, a small coastal town in Croatia. Duro's aspirations include marrying a woman from Zagreb, but his plans are thwarted when her family objects due to the absence of the inheritance he had hoped for from his deceased uncle. The central theme of the novel explores the struggles faced by a gifted and principled individual in an inhospitable environment that often fails to comprehend his efforts to improve the world. The male and female characters are well-crafted and captivating, and the novel contains breathtaking descriptions of the natural beauty of the Croatian coast.
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