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Danilo Kis

Hebrew: דנילו קיש
Also Known As: "Kiš"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Subotica, North Bačka District, Vojvodina, Serbia
Death: 1989 (53-54)
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France (lung cancer)
Immediate Family:

Son of Eduard Kis and Milica Dragicevic
Husband of Private
Brother of Private

Occupation: write, poet
Managed by: Emil Eskenazy Lewinger (curator)
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Danilo Kis

about him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danilo_Ki%C5%A1


Early life Kiš was born in Subotica, Danube Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Kiš was the son of Eduard Kiš (Hungarian: Kis Ede), a Hungarian-speaking Jewish railway inspector and Milica (née Dragićević), a Montenegrin Christian from Cetinje. His father was born in Austria-Hungary with the surname Kohn, but changed it to Kiš as part of Magyarization, a widely implemented practice at the time.[2] Kiš's parents met in 1930 in Subotica and married the following year.[3] Milica gave birth to a daughter, Danica, in Zagreb in 1932 before the family relocated to Subotica.[4]

Kiš's father was an unsteady and often absent figure in Danilo's childhood. Eduard Kiš spent time in a psychiatric hospital in Belgrade in 1934 and again in 1939. Kiš visited his father in the hospital during one of his later stays. This visit, in which, Kiš recalled his father asking his mother for a pair of scissors with which to commit suicide, made a strong impression on young Danilo.[4] For many years, Kiš believed that his father's psychological troubles stemmed from alcoholism. Only in the 1970s did Kiš learn that his father had suffered from anxiety neurosis. Between stays in the hospital, Eduard Kiš edited the 1938 edition of the Yugoslav National and International Travel Guide. Young Danilo saw his father as a traveler and a writer.[5] Eduard Scham, the eccentric father of the protagonist of Early Sorrows, Garden, Ashes, and Hourglass is largely based on Kiš's own father.

World War II Kiš's parents were concerned with the rising tide of anti-Semitism all around in Europe in the late 1930s. In 1939, they oversaw three-year-old Danilo's baptism into the Eastern Orthodox Church in Novi Sad, where the Kiš family resided at the time.[6] Kiš later acknowledged that this action likely saved his life, since as the son of a Jewish convert to Christianity, Danilo would probably have been subject to persecution without definitive proof of his Christian faith.[6]

In April 1941, Hungarian troops, in alliance with Nazi Germany, invaded the northern Yugoslavian province of Vojvodina.[7] After Hungary declared war on the Allied powers in 1941, territory was annexed and officials began to persecute Jews in the region. On January 20, 1942, gendarmes and troops invaded Novi Sad, and two days later, gendarmes massacred thousands of Jews in their homes and around the city.[8] Eduard Kiš was among a large group of Jews rounded up and taken by the gendarmes to the banks of the frozen Danube to be shot. Eduard managed to survive, only because the hole in the ice where the gendarmes were dumping the bodies of the dead became so clogged with bodies that the commanders called for the officers to stop the killing. Kiš later described the massacre as the start of his "conscious life"[9]

Following the massacre, Eduard relocated his family to Kerkabarabás, a town in south-west Hungary. Danilo attended primary school in Kerkabarabás.[10] Through 1944, Hungarian Jews were largely safe, as compared to Jews in other Axis-occupied countries since Hungarian officials were reluctant to hand over Jews to the Nazis. However, in mid 1944 authorities began to deport Jews en masse to concentration camps.[11] Eduard Kiš was sent to a ghetto in Zalaegerszeg in April or May 1944, then was deported to Auschwitz on July 5. Eduard, along with many of his relatives, died in Auschwitz.[12] Danilo, Danica, and Milica, perhaps owing to Danilo and Danica's baptism certificates, were saved from deportation.

Kiš's father's death had a massive impact on his work. Kiš crafted his own father into Eduard Scham, the father of the protagonist of Early Sorrows, Garden, Ashes, and Hourglass. Kiš described his father as a "mythical figure," and would continually claim that his father had not died in Auschwitz but had "disappeared."[13]

Post-war life After the end of the war, the family moved to Cetinje, Yugoslavia, where Kiš graduated from high school in 1954. Kiš studied literature at the University of Belgrade. Kiš was an excellent student, receiving praise from students and faculty members alike. He graduated in 1958 as the first student at the University of Belgrade to be awarded a degree in comparative literature. After graduating, Kiš stayed on for two years of postgraduate research.[14]

Career While doing research at the University of Belgrade, Kiš was a prominent writer for Vidici magazine, where he worked until 1960. In 1962 he published his first two novels, Mansarda (translated as The Garret) and Psalm 44.[15] He then took up a position as a lector at the University of Strasbourg. He held the position until 1973. In that period, he translated several French books into Serbo-Croatian. He also wrote and published Garden, Ashes (1965), Early Sorrows (1969), and Hourglass (1972). For his novel Peščanik (Hourglass), Kiš received the prestigious NIN Award, but returned it a few years later due to a political dispute.[16]

Plagiarism controversy In 1976, A Tomb for Boris Davidovich was published. Kiš drew inspiration for the novel from his time as a lector at the University of Bordeaux.

Kiš returned to Belgrade that year only to be hit by claims that he plagiarized portions of the novel from any number of authors. Critics also attacked the novel for its alleged Marxist themes.

Kiš responded to the scandal by writing The Anatomy Lesson. In the book, he accused his critics of parroting nationalist opinions and of being anti-literary. Several of the people that Kiš criticized in The Anatomy Lesson sought retribution following its publication. In 1981, Dragan Jeremić, a professor of literature at the University of Belgrade and opponent of Kiš, published Narcissus without a Face in which he reasserted his claim that Kiš had plagiarized A Tomb for Boris Davidovich. Dragoljub Golubović, the journalist who published the first story accusing Kiš of plagiarism, sued Kiš for defamation. The case was eventually dismissed in March 1979, but not after it drew substantial attention from the public.[17]

Move to Paris Rattled by the plagiarism controversy and subsequent defamation lawsuit, Kiš left Belgrade for Paris in the summer of 1979. In 1983 he published The Encyclopedia of the Dead. During this period in his life, Kiš achieved greater global recognition as his works were translated into several languages.[18]

Death After feeling weak for several months, Kiš was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in September 1989. He died a month later, on October 15, 1989. Kiš was 54 at the time of his death, the same age that his father had been when he was sent to Auschwitz.[19]

Personal life Kiš was married to Mirjana Miočinović from 1962 to 1981.[20] At the time of his death, he was living with Pascale Delpech, his former student from the University of Bordeaux.[21]

Kiš was a close friend of writer Susan Sontag. After his death, Sontag edited and published Homo Poeticus, a compilation of Kiš's essays and interviews.[22]

Adaptations and translations of Kiš's work A film based on Peščanik (Fövenyóra), directed by Hungarian director Szabolcs Tolnai, was finished in 2008.[23] In May 1989, with his friend, director Aleksandar Mandić, Kiš made the four-episode TV series Goli Život about the lives of two Jewish women. The shooting took place in Israel. The program was broadcast after his death, in the spring of 1990, and was his last work.

Kiš's work was translated into English only in a piecemeal fashion, and many of his important books weren't available in English until the 2010s, when Dalkey Archive began releasing a selection of titles, including A Tomb for Boris Davidovich and Garden, Ashes;[24] in 2012, Dalkey released The Attic, Psalm 44, and the posthumous collection of stories The Lute and the Scars,[25] capably translated by John K. Cox.[26] These publications completed the process of "the Englishing of Kiš's fiction",[26] allowing the possibility of what Pete Mitchell of Booktrust called a resurrection of Kiš.[24]

Style and themes Kiš was influenced especially by Jorge Luis Borges: he had been accused of plagiarizing Borges (and James Joyce) in A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, which prompted a "scathing response" in The Anatomy Lesson (1978),[27] and the influence of Borges is recognized in The Encyclopedia of the Dead.[28] From Bruno Schulz, the Polish writer and prose stylist, Kiš picked up "mythic elements" for The Encyclopedia of the Dead, and he reportedly told John Updike that "Schulz is my God".[29]

Branko Gorjup sees two distinct periods in Kiš's career as a novelist. The first, which includes Psalm 44, Garden, Ashes, and Early Sorrows, is marked by realism: Kiš creates characters whose psychology "reflect[s] the external world of the writer's memories, dreams, and nightmares, or his experiences of the time and space in which he lives". The worlds he constructed in his narratives, while he distanced himself from pure mimesis, were still constructed to be believable. The separation from mimesis he sought to achieve by a kind of deception through language, a process intended to instill "'doubts' and 'trepidations' associated with a child's growing pains and early sorrows. The success of this 'deception' depended upon the effect of 'recognition' on the part of the reader". The point, for Kiš, was to make the reader accept "the illusion of a created reality".[30]

In those early novels, Kiš still employed traditional narrators and his plots unfolded chronologically, but in later novels, beginning with Hourglass (the third volume of the "Family Cycle", after Garden, Ashes and Early Sorrows), his narrative techniques changed considerably and traditional plotlines were no longer followed. The role of the narrator was strongly reduced, and perspective and plot were fragmented: in Hourglass, which in Eduard Scham portrayed a father figure resembling the author's, "at least four different Schams with four separate personalities" were presented, each based on documentary evidence.[30] This focus on the manipulation and selection of supposed documentary evidence is a hallmark of Kiš's later period, and underlies the method of A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, according to Branko Gorjup:

First, most of the plots in the work are derived or borrowed from already-existing sources of varied literary significance, some easily recognizable—for example, those extracted from Roy Medvedev and Karl Steiner—while others are more obscure. Second, Kiš employs the technique of textual transposition, whereby entire sections or series of fragments, often in their unaltered state, are taken from other texts and freely integrated into the fabric of his work.[30]

This documentary style places Kiš's later work in what he himself called a post-Borges period, but unlike Borges the documentation comes from "historically and politically relevant material", which in A Tomb for Boris Davidovich is used to denounce Stalinism. Unlike Borges, Kiš is not interested in metaphysics, but in "more ordinary phenomena";[30] in the title story of The Encyclopedia of the Dead, this means building an encyclopedia "containing the biography of every ordinary life lived since 1789".[31]

About דנילו קיש (עברית)

דָנילוֹ קיש

' (Danilo Kiš; בכתב קירילי: Данило Киш;‏ 22 בפברואר 1935, סובוטיצה, ממלכת יוגוסלביה – 15 באוקטובר 1989, פריז, צרפת) היה סופר ומשורר יוגוסלבי סרבי חשוב. ספריו תורגמו לשפות רבות, בהם לעברית.

תוכן עניינים 1 מהלך חייו 2 יצירתו 3 ספריו בתרגום לעברית 4 קישורים חיצוניים 5 הערות שוליים מהלך חייו קיש נולד ב- 1935 בעיר סובוטיצה בחבל וויבודינה (כיום בסרביה). אביו, אדוארד או אדה קיש, היה מפקח רכבות, יהודי דובר הונגרית כשפת אם. אמו, מיליצה לבית דרגיצ'ביץ', הייתה סרבית מונטנגרית נוצרייה אורתודוקסית מצטיניה. שם משפחתו המקורי של אביו היה קון (כהן), אך הוא שינה אותו כחלק מהתהליך בו בני אתניות שונות בהונגריה אימצו שמות הונגריים כחלק מתהליך ההיטמעות שלהם. בשנת 1939, לאור התגברות האנטישמיות הוא הוטבל לנצרות על ידי הוריו בכנסייה בנובי סאד. בעקבות הטבח בנובי סאד בשנת 1942 נמלטו הוריו איתו להונגריה למחוז זאלה, מולדתו של אביו[1]. ביולי 1944 נלקח אביו יחד עם שאר היהודים לאושוויץ בה נרצחו[2]. קיש, אמו ואחותו דניצה עברו בשנת 1947 לצטיניה במונטנגרו, מקום מוצאה של אמו, שם סיים קיש את לימודיו התיכוניים.

ב-1958 סיים את לימודיו בספרות השוואתית באוניברסיטת בלגרד, ולאחר מכן עבד במגזין "Vidici" עד לשנת 1960. בשנת 1961 הוא שירת במשך כשנה בצבא היוגוסלבי. בתום שירותו הצבאי התחתן והזוג התגורר בבלגרד בחדר קטן מאחורי הפרלמנט היוגוסלבי. מאוקטובר 1962 עד יוני 1964 הם שהו בשטרסבורג[3] שם קיש לימד באוניברסיטת שטרסבורג לשון ודקדוק סרבו-קרואטית, ושילב בשיעוריו מה שהוא קרא "תרבות יוגוסלבית"[4].

בשנות השישים החל קיש לפרסם סיפורים קצרים ורומנים שכתב, וזכה בפרסים ספרותיים רבים ביוגוסלביה ובעולם. קיש התגורר בבלגרד והיה פעיל בה מבחינה פוליטית ותרבותית. ב-1972 אף זכה בפרס נין היוקרתי, אך כעבור מספר שנים החזיר אותו כחלק ממחאה פוליטית. בשנת 1976 הוציא את הספר "מצבת קבר לבוריס דוידוביץ" שביקר את הקומוניזם[5].

בשנת 1973 התקבל ללמד סרבו-קרואטית באוניברסיטת בורדו[6].

זמן קצר לאחר פרסום הספר "מצבת קבר לבוריס דוידוביץ" בשנת 1976 נפוצו שמועות שחלקים נכבדים מהספר הועתקו מיצירות של סופרים אחרים. קיש ענה למבקריו בספר "שיעור באנטומיה" שכתב במשך חודש אחד.

בשנת 1978 נתבע קיש על ידי עיתונאי שטען שקיש השמיץ אותו באחד מספריו. קיש סירב לשכור עורך דין וסירב להשמע לעצה שהגיע מהמשטרה להמלט מיוגוסלביה. במשפט האשים קיש את העיתונאי בגזענות ובבורות ספרותית וב-22 במרץ 1979 זכה והתביעה נדחתה[7]. בקיץ 1979 עבר להתגורר בפריז, צרפת, בנפרד מאשתו שהמשיכה להתגורר בבלגרד. הם המשיכו להפגש כשקיש הגיע לבלגרד, אך התגרשו ב-2 ביולי 1981, לאחר שאשתו אמרה לו שכך לא ניתן להמשיך. זמן קצר לפני מותו ביקר בישראל[2], והתלווה לחברו הבמאי היוגוסלבי אלכסנדר מנדיץ' לצורך הפקת סדרת טלוויזיה. ב-15 באוקטובר 1989 נפטר קיש בפריז ממחלת הסרטן[8]. בצוואתו ביקש שיקברו אותו בקבורה נוצרית פרובוסלבית, למרות שכל חייו לא ביקר בכנסייה והזדהה כיהודי[2].

יצירתו קיש כתב את יצירותיו בשפת האם שלו-סרבית–קרואטית.

קיש כתב מספר ספרים על רקע קורות משפחתו בשואה. הראשון שבהם היה "תהלים מ"ד" שסיפר על יסורי משפחה יהודית ויצא בשנת 1962. השני יצא בשנת 1965 ונקרא גן האפר[9]. בשנת 1973 יצא הספר השלישי: "פאשצ'אניק", בו "נארגים פרטים מציאותיים אכזריים בריקמה דמיונית נועזת"[10].

בשנת 1966 תואר[9]:

""הגל החדש" של דנילו קיש הוא גל אישי, אינטימי. כתיבתו לירית, אוטוכיאוגרפית. המלחמה הרסה את עולמו של המחבר בילדותו — אך לא יכלה לנפשו החמה האוהבת של הילד; מתחת לאפר שהשאירה המלחמה התעוררו חיים חדשים בגנו של דנילו קיש." ספריו בתרגום לעברית גן, אפר, תרגום: אמציה פורת, עם עובד, 1980 מצבת קבר לבוריס דוידוביץ' (שבעה פרקים בהיסטוריה משותפת), תרגום: דינה קטן בן-ציון, הוצאת אדם, 1985 אנציקלופדיה של המתים, תרגום מסרבית-קרואטית: דינה קטן בן-ציון, זמורה ביתן, 1992 שעון חול, תרגום מסרבית- קרואטית: דינה קטן בן-ציון, הוצאת עם עובד, 1994 מצוקת נעורים. תרגום מסרבית- קרואטית: דינה קטן בן-ציון, הוצאת כרמל, 2005 קישורים חיצוניים ויקישיתוף מדיה וקבצים בנושא דנילו קיש בוויקישיתוף Green globe.svg אתר האינטרנט הרשמי

של דנילו קיש

הספרים של דנילו קיש , באתר "סימניה" רות אלמוג, נדוניית הילדות העצובה , באתר הארץ, 17 באוגוסט 2005 על הספר אנציקלופדיה של המתים בקהילת הספרים של זמורה ביתן דנילו קיש , באתר "Find a Grave" (באנגלית) https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%93%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%9C%D7%95_%D7%A7%D7%99%D7%A9

---------------------------------------------

about him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danilo_Ki%C5%A1


Early life Kiš was born in Subotica, Danube Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Kiš was the son of Eduard Kiš (Hungarian: Kis Ede), a Hungarian-speaking Jewish railway inspector and Milica (née Dragićević), a Montenegrin Christian from Cetinje. His father was born in Austria-Hungary with the surname Kohn, but changed it to Kiš as part of Magyarization, a widely implemented practice at the time.[2] Kiš's parents met in 1930 in Subotica and married the following year.[3] Milica gave birth to a daughter, Danica, in Zagreb in 1932 before the family relocated to Subotica.[4]

Kiš's father was an unsteady and often absent figure in Danilo's childhood. Eduard Kiš spent time in a psychiatric hospital in Belgrade in 1934 and again in 1939. Kiš visited his father in the hospital during one of his later stays. This visit, in which, Kiš recalled his father asking his mother for a pair of scissors with which to commit suicide, made a strong impression on young Danilo.[4] For many years, Kiš believed that his father's psychological troubles stemmed from alcoholism. Only in the 1970s did Kiš learn that his father had suffered from anxiety neurosis. Between stays in the hospital, Eduard Kiš edited the 1938 edition of the Yugoslav National and International Travel Guide. Young Danilo saw his father as a traveler and a writer.[5] Eduard Scham, the eccentric father of the protagonist of Early Sorrows, Garden, Ashes, and Hourglass is largely based on Kiš's own father.

World War II Kiš's parents were concerned with the rising tide of anti-Semitism all around in Europe in the late 1930s. In 1939, they oversaw three-year-old Danilo's baptism into the Eastern Orthodox Church in Novi Sad, where the Kiš family resided at the time.[6] Kiš later acknowledged that this action likely saved his life, since as the son of a Jewish convert to Christianity, Danilo would probably have been subject to persecution without definitive proof of his Christian faith.[6]

In April 1941, Hungarian troops, in alliance with Nazi Germany, invaded the northern Yugoslavian province of Vojvodina.[7] After Hungary declared war on the Allied powers in 1941, territory was annexed and officials began to persecute Jews in the region. On January 20, 1942, gendarmes and troops invaded Novi Sad, and two days later, gendarmes massacred thousands of Jews in their homes and around the city.[8] Eduard Kiš was among a large group of Jews rounded up and taken by the gendarmes to the banks of the frozen Danube to be shot. Eduard managed to survive, only because the hole in the ice where the gendarmes were dumping the bodies of the dead became so clogged with bodies that the commanders called for the officers to stop the killing. Kiš later described the massacre as the start of his "conscious life"[9]

Following the massacre, Eduard relocated his family to Kerkabarabás, a town in south-west Hungary. Danilo attended primary school in Kerkabarabás.[10] Through 1944, Hungarian Jews were largely safe, as compared to Jews in other Axis-occupied countries since Hungarian officials were reluctant to hand over Jews to the Nazis. However, in mid 1944 authorities began to deport Jews en masse to concentration camps.[11] Eduard Kiš was sent to a ghetto in Zalaegerszeg in April or May 1944, then was deported to Auschwitz on July 5. Eduard, along with many of his relatives, died in Auschwitz.[12] Danilo, Danica, and Milica, perhaps owing to Danilo and Danica's baptism certificates, were saved from deportation.

Kiš's father's death had a massive impact on his work. Kiš crafted his own father into Eduard Scham, the father of the protagonist of Early Sorrows, Garden, Ashes, and Hourglass. Kiš described his father as a "mythical figure," and would continually claim that his father had not died in Auschwitz but had "disappeared."[13]

Post-war life After the end of the war, the family moved to Cetinje, Yugoslavia, where Kiš graduated from high school in 1954. Kiš studied literature at the University of Belgrade. Kiš was an excellent student, receiving praise from students and faculty members alike. He graduated in 1958 as the first student at the University of Belgrade to be awarded a degree in comparative literature. After graduating, Kiš stayed on for two years of postgraduate research.[14]

Career While doing research at the University of Belgrade, Kiš was a prominent writer for Vidici magazine, where he worked until 1960. In 1962 he published his first two novels, Mansarda (translated as The Garret) and Psalm 44.[15] He then took up a position as a lector at the University of Strasbourg. He held the position until 1973. In that period, he translated several French books into Serbo-Croatian. He also wrote and published Garden, Ashes (1965), Early Sorrows (1969), and Hourglass (1972). For his novel Peščanik (Hourglass), Kiš received the prestigious NIN Award, but returned it a few years later due to a political dispute.[16]

Plagiarism controversy In 1976, A Tomb for Boris Davidovich was published. Kiš drew inspiration for the novel from his time as a lector at the University of Bordeaux.

Kiš returned to Belgrade that year only to be hit by claims that he plagiarized portions of the novel from any number of authors. Critics also attacked the novel for its alleged Marxist themes.

Kiš responded to the scandal by writing The Anatomy Lesson. In the book, he accused his critics of parroting nationalist opinions and of being anti-literary. Several of the people that Kiš criticized in The Anatomy Lesson sought retribution following its publication. In 1981, Dragan Jeremić, a professor of literature at the University of Belgrade and opponent of Kiš, published Narcissus without a Face in which he reasserted his claim that Kiš had plagiarized A Tomb for Boris Davidovich. Dragoljub Golubović, the journalist who published the first story accusing Kiš of plagiarism, sued Kiš for defamation. The case was eventually dismissed in March 1979, but not after it drew substantial attention from the public.[17]

Move to Paris Rattled by the plagiarism controversy and subsequent defamation lawsuit, Kiš left Belgrade for Paris in the summer of 1979. In 1983 he published The Encyclopedia of the Dead. During this period in his life, Kiš achieved greater global recognition as his works were translated into several languages.[18]

Death After feeling weak for several months, Kiš was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in September 1989. He died a month later, on October 15, 1989. Kiš was 54 at the time of his death, the same age that his father had been when he was sent to Auschwitz.[19]

Personal life Kiš was married to Mirjana Miočinović from 1962 to 1981.[20] At the time of his death, he was living with Pascale Delpech, his former student from the University of Bordeaux.[21]

Kiš was a close friend of writer Susan Sontag. After his death, Sontag edited and published Homo Poeticus, a compilation of Kiš's essays and interviews.[22]

Adaptations and translations of Kiš's work A film based on Peščanik (Fövenyóra), directed by Hungarian director Szabolcs Tolnai, was finished in 2008.[23] In May 1989, with his friend, director Aleksandar Mandić, Kiš made the four-episode TV series Goli Život about the lives of two Jewish women. The shooting took place in Israel. The program was broadcast after his death, in the spring of 1990, and was his last work.

Kiš's work was translated into English only in a piecemeal fashion, and many of his important books weren't available in English until the 2010s, when Dalkey Archive began releasing a selection of titles, including A Tomb for Boris Davidovich and Garden, Ashes;[24] in 2012, Dalkey released The Attic, Psalm 44, and the posthumous collection of stories The Lute and the Scars,[25] capably translated by John K. Cox.[26] These publications completed the process of "the Englishing of Kiš's fiction",[26] allowing the possibility of what Pete Mitchell of Booktrust called a resurrection of Kiš.[24]

Style and themes Kiš was influenced especially by Jorge Luis Borges: he had been accused of plagiarizing Borges (and James Joyce) in A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, which prompted a "scathing response" in The Anatomy Lesson (1978),[27] and the influence of Borges is recognized in The Encyclopedia of the Dead.[28] From Bruno Schulz, the Polish writer and prose stylist, Kiš picked up "mythic elements" for The Encyclopedia of the Dead, and he reportedly told John Updike that "Schulz is my God".[29]

Branko Gorjup sees two distinct periods in Kiš's career as a novelist. The first, which includes Psalm 44, Garden, Ashes, and Early Sorrows, is marked by realism: Kiš creates characters whose psychology "reflect[s] the external world of the writer's memories, dreams, and nightmares, or his experiences of the time and space in which he lives". The worlds he constructed in his narratives, while he distanced himself from pure mimesis, were still constructed to be believable. The separation from mimesis he sought to achieve by a kind of deception through language, a process intended to instill "'doubts' and 'trepidations' associated with a child's growing pains and early sorrows. The success of this 'deception' depended upon the effect of 'recognition' on the part of the reader". The point, for Kiš, was to make the reader accept "the illusion of a created reality".[30]

In those early novels, Kiš still employed traditional narrators and his plots unfolded chronologically, but in later novels, beginning with Hourglass (the third volume of the "Family Cycle", after Garden, Ashes and Early Sorrows), his narrative techniques changed considerably and traditional plotlines were no longer followed. The role of the narrator was strongly reduced, and perspective and plot were fragmented: in Hourglass, which in Eduard Scham portrayed a father figure resembling the author's, "at least four different Schams with four separate personalities" were presented, each based on documentary evidence.[30] This focus on the manipulation and selection of supposed documentary evidence is a hallmark of Kiš's later period, and underlies the method of A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, according to Branko Gorjup:

First, most of the plots in the work are derived or borrowed from already-existing sources of varied literary significance, some easily recognizable—for example, those extracted from Roy Medvedev and Karl Steiner—while others are more obscure. Second, Kiš employs the technique of textual transposition, whereby entire sections or series of fragments, often in their unaltered state, are taken from other texts and freely integrated into the fabric of his work.[30]

This documentary style places Kiš's later work in what he himself called a post-Borges period, but unlike Borges the documentation comes from "historically and politically relevant material", which in A Tomb for Boris Davidovich is used to denounce Stalinism. Unlike Borges, Kiš is not interested in metaphysics, but in "more ordinary phenomena";[30] in the title story of The Encyclopedia of the Dead, this means building an encyclopedia "containing the biography of every ordinary life lived since 1789".[31]

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Danilo Kis's Timeline

1935
1935
Subotica, North Bačka District, Vojvodina, Serbia
1989
1989
Age 54
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France