As in his lengthier works, the short stories by Yugoslavia's famous political prisoner reveal a somber yet exalted study of humanity struggling for the survival of self and a selfless ideal while caught in wars and revolutions as inevitable and invincible as death itself. In these stories the philosophical implications are most evident -- how does someone deeply committed to an ideal accept the destruction of the human fabric in the process? A party leader whose loved wife s under suspicion executes her himself; a stolid peasant digs his own grave before execution; villages with women and children are destroyed, and the green earth is withered. In Woods and Waters the author watches trout in their life-giving element oying with a line and bait while the fishermen are playing their own silly game of snares with enemy guards; in Sudikova further investigations of the natural world blend the immediate with the eternal; and in The Song of Vuk Lopusina momentary human passion contrasts with myth. In Djilas' view man is often defenseless against destiny but even the meanest has a unique dignity in his walled-in isolation. Djilas's name, and the strength of the stories, may partially offset the limitations of the themes and the genre in view of the common reader.