SHOES :: PARALLEL SLALOM :: TESTIMONIES OF THE WAR
PEOPLE FROM THE END OF THE CENTURY :: RADIO RIJEKA
- THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS
LITORALL FAIRY TALES AND STORIES :: BARBA RUDE
''Already after ten pages, the reader comprehends he or she
is dealing with a skillful and talented young storyteller
(born in 1963 in Rijeka). Ease of the narration's flow is
actually amazing when related to the well-known problem of
the publicists, especially for those that are seeking confirmation
as a novelist for the first time. Although, even some experienced
bards of our literature are not immune to this problem - when
faced with the need of enlivening the effect of a convincing
and non-ossified narration... This is actually the reason
why we get dumb stricken when first meeting Ogurlic's novel.
'Milovan Tatarin, 'Toward encountering the Chronicler',
from the book 'Broken Poetic Mirrors', SKUC Osijek 1991.
'One has no need to personally know Edi Jurkovic and Dragan
Ogurlic. Already, legends of them circle around, and they
ardently nurture these, producing incalculable amounts of
the transitory literary forms, thus preventing the wider public
from getting any rigid picture of those 'media wizards.'
Mate Basic, Quorum, 1987.
'Here we deal with an unusual event and above all with an
extraordinary experiment that could prove to be of great use
to our pedagogical science. '
Irvin Lukezic, 'Project Slalom', Val, 1988
'Parallel Slalom' is an interesting project with a multitude
of entertaining stories, songs and one-act plays that will
hardly leave anyone grave or sober.'
Nikola Petkovic, Vecernji list, 11-12-1989
'If we had an award that would be apportioned for the absolute
cult-book of the year, undoubtedly this year it would have
been given to those two guys from Rijeka who were courageous
enough to launch into an adventure of exploration and of methodological
rooting of the seemingly new literary form, writing on a previously
set topic. To read 'Parallel Slalom' means to acquire the
best insight both into the creation of those two bards as
well as into the very top of our literature today.'
Boris Peric, Polet 1989
'Edi Jurkovic and Dragan Ogurlic, Rijeka's young writers have
renounced fees for their book tilted 'Parallel slalom' (which
was, by the way, sold out in a month!) in favour of socially
valuable projects. The fee that was to be paid by Izdavacki
Centar Rijeka was ceded to the bank accounts for building
of the Adriatic highway, a project of revitalisation of the
cultural monuments on the Adriatic islands and to the Fund
for accommodating the artworks donation by Rijeka's painter
Vecernji list, 1990
TESTIMONIES OF THE WAR IN CROATIA
'Young Rijeka's journalist and writer Dragan Ogurlic started
his diary on 27th June, 1991. On that day, the Yugoslav army
attacked Slovenia. Events occurred in a flash and soon war
spread to the territory of Croatia. Aware of the fact that
the journalist's primary task is to inform himself of the
events at their source, Ogurlic took his fax and writing machine
and went for a far off and lasting journey around the Croatian
front-lines. His notes are an account of the Croatian war
reality as perceived through the eyes of a reporter who has
frequently found himself in dangerous situations. Each note
is a little story in itself....'
Damir Agicic, M.A., Word as the Surrounding, Nova Matica
PEOPLE FROM THE END OF THE CENTURY
'Curiosity that was pushing these authors forward, from one
text to another, from one photograph to another, has resulted
in a brilliant book, drawing the lives of our contemporaries,
laying them on the pages of the book, and consequently snatching
them away from the jaws of that sad moment in which a page
from the newspapers ends its' life as a glow-worm, crumpled
and rejected. 'People from the End of the Century' have come
to life in this book by Dragan Ogurlic and Silvano Jezina,
revealing all the meaningfulness of the journalist's work.
This work remains alive, becoming part of life itself. There
is sense to it all - that is the message this book seems to
speak, remaining there to await the end of the century in
which it lodged so benignly.'
Roman Latkovic, 'Brilliant Reminder of the Obvious', Novi
'This book again reveals Dragan Ogurlic as the writer who
interferes with journalistic and literary discourse. Assisted
by excellent photography by Silvano Jezina, which compliments
the picturesqueness of the book, this collection is surely
one of the most interesting new editions in Croatia. To cut
a long story short - it is a book about the people that live
with pleasure and it is a book that is read with pleasure.
Zeljko Valentic 'Extraordinary Ordinary People', Vecernji
RADIO RIJEKA - THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS
'Due to the historiography and cultural needs of this city,
as well as the role of the local radio in the everyday life
of the citizens, and not only of the city of Rijeka, this
monograph is definitely something deserved by the institution
of Radio Rijeka, by its former and present employees and by
its listeners. However, although one must kindly accept this
publication, appreciating the very fact of such a book's appearance
as being the most essential, one has to observe that this
monograph did not completely succeed in avoiding the traps
of currying the favours to the actual daily politics, nor
in achieving the objectivity needed not in estimation but
in bringing out the plain facts of recent history.'
Nadia Mifka-Profozic, 'Radio-waves Guide', Novi list, 12-1-1996
LITORALL FAIRY TALES AND STORIES
'Littoral Fairy Tales and Stories' by Dragan Ogurlic are bequests
bearing permanent value. These narrations have risen within
the common people of this region, and are miniature pictures
singled out from a whole that consists of coastal region,
islands, Istria and Gorski Kotar. These are tales of the customs,
habits and mentality of the common, simple, self-abnegating
and serene man, grown up from his environment and simultaneously
inbuilt into it.
Ogurlic writes in fable-like language, using narration and
dialogue and skillfully leading the plot. Dialogues are alive,
and tales are short enough to instantly absorb the reader,
and keep plundering his / her attention to the very end of
the book. The author has invested an effort in preserving
the original language and consequently he wrote tales in the
dialect of the region in which they originated. This book
has a rich documentary base. Ogurlic has used different sources,
ranging from common people narrators, historians and archaeologists,
to the church and scientific libraries and archives. The book
also contains an extensive list of literature, arranged with
scientific meticulousness. This bibliography contains all
the titles that the author used in the process of literary
theoretical classification of the collected material and of
its' expert treatment. Ogurlic utilises a whole range of the
scientific and specialised works according to which he coordinates
the language, customs and geographical characteristics.
All the stories are illustrated. Ivan Miskovic reflected the
stories' events with the skilled hand of the drawer and with
the unimposing local colour. Using the caricature technique
he conjured up the simplicity of the comprehension and humour
of the content. This book will prove to be an interesting
piece to read for both younger and older readers and will
certainly find its' way to their heart.
Katica Ivanisevic, PhD., 'Accounts of the Customs', Novi
'Ogurlic has performed the work of collecting, remaking and
rendering in his very own and original manner, consulting
all the available sources; common narrators, historians, archaeologists,
church and scientific archives. To all of his readers he offered
a real literary delicacy. This luxurious 'literary bite' does
not recognise age groups: children, students and 'serious'
people alike read it with an equal intensity, curiosity and
These selected littoral legends and tales are warm, human
and fair to such an extent that their unobtrusive message
ennoble the reader, whether he or she wants it or not. It
is but one dimension of the book - the other is its' amusing
character, because each story, fable, legend or anecdote is
read in a breath - it is short enough and long enough to engage
all the reader's attention. The third, scientific dimension
consists in pointing toward the existence of the common oral
tradition in our coastal region and represents the care for
preservation of our cultural and literary inheritance. The
fourth dimension is significant - popularisation of such a
type of literature and creation of the 'new sort of readers'.
The fifth dimension is visual and bears an outstanding importance,
since we are living in the time of universal visualisation
- the artistic and technical outfit of the book was done by
an extraordinary Rijeka caricaturist and designer Ivan Miskovic.
Miskovic illustrated each story, which resulted in a book
that is living proof of the mutual interpenetrating of the
contemporary drawing expression and literary inheritance.'
Kristina Vucemil, 'Wisdom of the Littoral Narrative Inheri-tance',
'During the last decade, Rijeka's journalist and writer Dragan
Ogurlic succeeded to publish approximately one publicist or
fictional title per year. His last project, 'Littoral Legends
and Tales', that was done together with a top-notch Rijeka
drawer Ivan Miskovic and published by 'Adamic' proved to be
a very pliable medium for reflecting his literary and publicist
sense and talent. This project also revealed Ogurlic as being
a competent anthologist and 'adapter' of the stories of the
common people of the Croatian Littoral. All the stories (...)
bear a common characteristic and that is the aspiration towards
a peculiar 'film-like' quality of the narration, 'fast prose
framing', down to the non-pathetic point. Inside such a procedure,
Ogurlic supports narration whose basic tactic and strategy
is 'tightening' the reader's breath. Narration serves this
goal by being quick, effective and amusing even when it bears
potentially moral motifs.'
Zeljko Valentic, 'small Chest Box of the Littoral narrative
ve Treasury', Vecernji list, 21-6-1998
'Undoubtedly, amusement in 'Barba Rude' - fashion has at least
one advantage. In the era of global industrialisation and
its instant products, which even includes industrialisation
of the entertainment, this story of the 'crazy nights' on
the ship in Rijeka harbour radiates something lost and forgotten
and that is immediacy and charm of the irreplaceable 'home-made
product', of the 'handwork'. Actually it is that human touch
that cannot be mistaken for anything else. Since then, we
have became more alienated, more frowned, and we are always
short of time. However, it seems that actually 'Barba Rude'
offered entertainment that was not heartless, not pretending,
a truly 'integral' fun, and that actually this 'heart' was
the most valuable thing which everyone refers to when talking
of the entertainment on the boat in Rijeka - once upon a time.
With this object in view, we should definitely revive the
story of this unusual sea veteran that resisted - for so long
- sailing away to the ocean of memories. Even if it was with
some-what conscious use of nostalgia and myth as done by Dragan
Velid Dekic, 'Amazing Marine 'Exercising the Life', Novi
list, Mediteran, 17-01-1999
this everyday reality, what is the meaning of such a boat
appearing, of "an integral striptease" and need
for a night-life in general? And where do the contemporary
actualities of the time direct us to, like the fact telling
that Opatija had in the same time, for instance, Festival
of the Opera, or the fact that Rijeka's Governor's palace
had concerts on an everyday basis, that citizens of Rijeka
could entertain themselves at legendary night-clubs like "Plavi
podrum", Club of Arts and Culture, numerous coffee houses,
classic dance halls and terraces? Is it that Rijeka citizens
could not accept spiritual poverty and rigid reality in which
Rijeka lived ever since 1945? (...) Ogurlic's photo-monograph
really opens up thousands of questions about the reality that
we've been immersed into for such a long time..."
Ivica Zupan, "Ship as the integral striptease",
Vijenac, March 25th 1999.
THE ADRIATIC LEGENDS
"Fictional journey of a kind, travelling through a narrational landscape of the Croatian oral literature is initiated by Ogurlic upon the Istrian peninsula, followed by stopping at certain geographical points of the Kvarner Bay, Littoral, Dalmatia, Croatian island, only to find its end in Boka Kotorska. In putting forward and interpreting the already known matters, Ogurlic uses an interesting junction of fiction and faction, once again invoking the good Borghesian spirit.
Being a single place where most well known traditions and legends of the eastern Adriatic are collected - is the basic value of this book. However, The Adriatic Legends can be read as a sort of popular amusing "textbook" of the Croatian history or some kind of Adriatic's alternative tourist guide."
Kim Cuculic, Guide through the Adriatic's Narrational Inheritance, Novi list, April 14th 2001.
"Generally I have tried to endow the legends, as much as possible, with founded historical, geographical, ethnological and social frame. In order to set a story within the frames of its arising, I have used all the accessible sources, from incunabula to the Internet. Thus, after all, I incline towards the term "founded legends". This means that we are able almost to point the finger at the place of their happening, the actual spot, actual rock. And, of course, there is a clear frame from which they get born upon this soil."
Dragan Ogurlic, Through the Labyrinths of the Adriatic's Oral Literature, Jutarnji list, May 12th 2001
"In front of us there lies an extended version of the legends, fairy tales and stories that come not only from the Croatian Littoral but from the entire Adriatic coast, and therefore it's title The Adriatic Legends. Our reader will find mostly interesting those stories coming from the region reachiog from island of Pag down to the Kornati islands..."
Goran Bujic, Book as a Gift, Zadarski list, May 15th 2001.
"The Adriatic Legends is a book accompanied by a rich bibliography of titles dealing with Croatian people's inheritance and web addresses that deal with these topics. Ogurlic has also presented his web-site at the http:///www.ogurlic.com which made him the first Rijeka writer with a personal web-site. "
Kim Cuculic, The Adriatic Legends from Savudrija to Boka kotorska, Glas Istre, Apr 17th 2001
"According to the disposable data those are the first personal web-pages of one Rijeka writer and journalist. When we speak of an "ordinary" journalist as differing from the one dealing exclusively with IT journalism, we may be witnessing the first serious "journalist" www pages even within the frames of Croatia.
Vladimir Mrvo, Dragan Ogurlic, Novi list, Jun 3rd 2001
PEOPLE AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
"Ogurlic's choice of collocutors is very variegated and very eclectic at the first glance: from an academic to a lace-maker, from an artist to a priest, from a driver to a pilot... They are of course of different ages, different views, education, inclinations, skills, hobbies, generations, languages and of course, sexes. However, the one thing uniting and linking them in a logical literary whole is their singularity and uniqueness. Regardless all the differences, their recognizability lies in the fact that those people are devoted to their jobs, their life path and destiny almost to the brink of fanaticism. They are obsessed with their guiding ideas that transform their life stories into the fantastic fiction inside which everyday life's persons become novel characters. Daily press heroes, bound within the book covers, have transformed into the principle characters of an unfolding story.
Except by choosing them as the collocutors, author himself has helped them only inasmuch as he used his skill. Namely, all his introductions and explanations are minimal. His characters are actually introducing themselves, while questions put by Ogurlic are in monosyllables and simultaneously rich in information. Those questions are a reliable track followed by collocutor and the subsequent confession is sure to be a delicacy for each and every reader. Ogurlic didn't get caught in a trap of authorial competition and sophistry over the subject, on contrary he has shown a real journalist's intention: to reveal - before the reader's eyes - his collocutor in a real light and with a full attention, renouncing the writer's self-pleasing attitude. This journalistic minimalism and modesty have repaid in kind with a literary success, because Ogurlic has created a collection of stories and figures that hardly any "real" writer could have imagined."
Branko Mijic, Fantastic Library of the Missionary of the Good, Novi list - Mediteran, Oct 28th 2001