A Brief Excursion and Other Stories

It was precisely at that moment, the narratio tells us, that a team of archaeologists and painters, art historians, and photographers set out almost spontaneously in search of the medieval frescoes of Istria. So begins A Brief Excursion, a picaresque adventure in which a tantalizing hint of hidden riches, forgotten beauty, and a whiff of the past lure an odd variet of characters toward the unexpected.A Brief Excursion, Antun Soljan 's second ovel, anchors this collection of novella by one of the most significant postwar Croatian writers. The works collected here, including many stories from Soljan 's first memoi, Traitors, reveal a sensibility both comic and poignant, devoted to questions of identity and solidarity, of how the one and the many onflict and mingle -- issues that were at the enter of both political and literary life for Soljan. In one story after another -- whether fixing up a summerhouse on the Istrian coast or confronting prejudice and the past in a tourist town -- Soljan 's characters are stirred to action by a chimera of longing only to find, at the nd of their endeavor, the stark landscape of self-knowledge and loss.

Antun Soljan 's ironic, playful writing, always flirting with the social, asserts itself throughout these stories with their portrayal of the complex identity of his generation.
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Published January 25th 2000 by Northwestern University Press
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A Brief Excursion and Other Stories
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