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CROATIAN AVANT-GARDE AND EARLY COMMUNISM: Plamen. Polumjesečnik za sve kulturne probleme [Flame. Bimonthly for all the Cultural Problems].



This is the 7th number of a rare early Croatian left-wing magazine with avant-garde poetry, which was banned in the same year after the number 15 for political reasons.

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The magazine was issued between January 1st and August 1st in 15 numbers, after which it was banned its left-wing messages, for “addressing the masses, especially the working class and can cause serious consequences for the state order”. The magazine was also criticizing the Croatian nationalism and the repression of Belgrade politics.

The editors were August Cesarec (1893 – 1941) and Miroslav Krleža.

Miroslav Krleža (1893 –1981) is considered as the greatest Croatian author of the 20th century. He was also one of the early sympathisers of the Communist movement. In the late 1930 Miroslav Krleža started changing his views on the Communism and opposing the radical Stalinism, which was followed by a fallout with a Croatian Communist Party, founded in 1937. 

Cesarec was a Croatian writer and a left-wing politician, who became an early sympathiser of the October revolution and the Communism, after serving the army under Austria-Hungary during WWI. A great friend of Miroslav Krleža, the two authors often participated together between the wars. Before WWII Cesarec spent some time in Spain during Spanish Civil War.

August Cesarec was arrested together with 90 other leading members of Croatian left-wing intelligentsia days before WWII and was shot by Ustasha under the Independent State of Croatia in July 1941.

The design was made by a Croatian academic painter Ljubo Babić (1890 – 1974). Babić studied painting in Munich under Angelo Jank (1910–11) and Franz von Stuck between 1911 and 1913, and in Paris between 1913 and 1914. At the beginning of WWI he returned to Zagreb, where he opened his modern art school in Ilica 52, but soon got appointed at the Academy for Art, where he worked until 1940. In 1919, when this magazine as printed, Babić was appointed the first director of the Modern Gallery in Zagreb.

All the issues uf this magazine are rare. We could trace electronic versions or separate numbers in four libraries worldwide and a complete series in the National and University library in Zagreb. 


References: OCLC 762166265.


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