THE PASHA'S CONCUBINE & OTHER TALES by Ivo Andric

THE PASHA'S CONCUBINE & OTHER TALES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Although Ivo Andric, born in 1892, was the contemporary of most of the European modernists of this century, his feeling for language and people goes back to an older tradition. His stories generally take the form of parables enhanced with naturalist detail, as in the folk simplicity of ""The Bridge on the Zepa,"" or else provide the reader with some strange strain of melancholic romance, as in the very beautiful title story, ""The Pasha's Concubine."" Like Tolstoy, like Chekhov, and now and then like Kazantzakis, Andric's identification with the people and scenes he writes about tends to be pretty nearly absolute. This is not to say that his work reflects his own private psychology; on the contrary, there is nothing literary about his portraits or descriptions. Rather, Andric is able not only to efface his particular sensibility and sense of culture, but also to absorb alien moods and primitive presences to such an extent that he becomes a sort of anonymous fabulist, a discreet recorder of sorrows and myths, a writer without any idiosyncratic signature, yet with an earthiness and unforced luminosity which in his best work rings marvelously true. ""Bar Titanic,"" the masterpiece of the collection, a tale of a Jew and his stumbling nemesis, so enters the confused banal lives of its protagonists that the whole hapless tragedy of bigotry and scapegoat history is made achingly clear. Andric won the 1961 Nobel Prize.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1968
Publisher: Knopf