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Joyce's Pupil Paperback – 1 Jul 2006

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Brandon (1 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863223400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863223402
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 480,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Drago Jancar, born in Maribor in 1948, is a novelist, short story writer, essayist and playwright. His works have been translated into many European languages, and his plays have enjoyed a number of foreign productions.

In 1974 he was taken into custody over alleged propaganda, and he was active in the democratization of his native country as President of the Slovenian PEN Centre between 1987 and 1991.

In 1993 he received the highest Slovenian literary award for his lifetime achievement, and in 1994 he won the European Short Story Award. He lives in Ljubljana.

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Format: Paperback
Jancar's `JP' is a collection of short stories, most of which are set in or around the writer's home country of Slovenia. I have read very little from the Balkans, so it was interesting to read something from an author who has been credited with being one of the most prominent voices for his country in world literature. His stories are all very short, and largely focus on minor characters swept up by major historical events. The title story, `Joyce's Pupil', follows a man who was taught by James Joyce during the latter's stay in Trieste. The pupil's interest in literature leads him to London during the war, and finally back to Yugoslavia, where he is branded as a spy and a traitor. He is portrayed as a victim of history, a little person whose life is bewilderingly lead by events much larger than him. This idea runs through many of Jancar's stories, such as the man beaten up for refusing to accept a leaflet from a student, soldiers discovering the aftermath of a massacre, or simply a commuter who went home with the wrong woman on his way home from work. In all these stories, people make decisions that are sometimes good, sometimes bad, but that are never as powerful as the history that is dictating the course of events.

I enjoyed reading `JP', and it was definitely interesting to read a Slovenian author whose stories had a distinct feeling of that part of the world. The stories were short, and very easy to read. In fact the whole book probably only took me a couple of hours, and was well worth the effort. However, for me, the true test of short stories or novellas is how well they stick in the mind, and I have to confess that `JP' didn't really do this for me. I think that Jancar was very successful in his aims, but this wasn't a collection that I found to be especially moving or memorable. I wouldn't advise anyone against reading `JP', and its something that I may return to in the future, but it certainly didn't blow me away.
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