(1942 - 2009)
An upright man, of a moderate stride, well-mannered and with a pleasant smile is — at this moment — departing from us like a swaying shadow along unknown paths and open spaces of the soul. He will remain in our memory as an image and a real figure of an intellectual of a clever and composed speech, a real figure of a collocutor who — with his fellow men — communicated with respect, and generally, as a person who cherished in himself, as well as around himself, the inherited values of culture and morality. Such wellcared for conduct was particularly remarkable since it was expressed in circumstances of the opposite, alien to culture, features. Srećko Lipovčan was an advocate of clear ideas, morally founded behaviour, following the tradition of improved customs. As if he were now — departing from us — taking a considerable weight of higher values, since here — in our surroundings — they were not as appreciated as much as they deserved.
He was a man of oral, working and written culture. The first was manifested in his constant communication with the listeners, friends and colleagues, and in his later years, with his students. The second was cultivated as a constant, everyday practice. Namely, he was among the rare ones who could take pride in living by his beliefs. Particularly frequently, he emphasised that being socially involved also meant following the first postulate of a strict differentiation between the public and the private sphere. He did not consider Obliti privatorum, publica curate to be just an evidence of a high statecraft and loyalty to the constitutional ideas of the Dubrovnik administrative bodies, but the first principle of every intellectual worker. A plethora of historical texts, cultural treatises, theatre essays and selected articles on a large number of public topics is a testimony to the third, written culture of which he left a legacy for Croatian future generations. His journalistic, nonfiction, literary-historical and cholarly-theoretical oeuvre is marked by a number of one thousand and five hundred varied bibliographical entries. If anyone ever engages in that infinite number of sentences, they will surely have to devote all their energy. Among his works, his four books — high scholarly achievements — are particularly prominent as well as more than sixty comprehensive studies that have been published in first-rate publications in Croatia and abroad. Srećko Lipovčan left a valuable work to the culture of his language, his country and his nation. While he was a deputy president, he bestowed — upon the Croatian Writers' Association — his best intellectual, working and organisational skills. He would respond to different activities of Matica hrvatska every time occasions and personal commitments permitted.
On behalf of all Croatian writers, the employed ones as well as the freelancers, I express — also on this, the last and the most serious human occasion — my deepest gratitude for everything that he — in word and deed — did for Croatian literature and culture in its entirety.
On many troubled paths of our lives, our fates were interwoven, frequently in close touch — mostly in Zagreb, but also in Dubrovnik, Oldenburg and Berlin. Our friendship almost approached a temporal framework of a half a century. But, the human comprehension of time is destined for an onthological and cognitive boundary.
Farewell, Srećko! You are in an immediate closeness to the eternal light! Let it shine on you until resurrection! You delivered your soul to the reality. Let the angels take you to heaven, rest in peace!
A speech given during the funeral held at the
Crematorium of Zagreb on 15th April 2009.
Dr SREĆKO LIPOVČAN was born in Zagreb in 1942. He was a research adviser at the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, a tenured university professor, editor and publisher, a translator and nonfictionist. He finished the Classical Gymnasium in Zagreb, studied at the Faculty of Law, but then also at the Faculty of Humanistic and Social Sciences, where he graduated in History from the Department of History in 1969. In Cologne and West Berlin he studied the German language, Slavic Studies, the History of Southeastern Europe and Byzantine Studies. He attained postgraduate degrees — a master's and doctoral degree (Humanistic studies, field: philology) — at the Faculty of Humanistic and Social Sciences with the doctoral thesis on the “Young Ujević and His Prose”. At the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, Dr Lipovčan was firstly a senior assistant, while later he was appointed the senior research associate and then science counsellor in 2003 and 2006, precisely by the Council of the Faculty of Humanistic and Social Sciences in Zagreb. In the Croatian Studies programme, University of Zagreb, he held lectures on “Mediji i hrvatska kultura” (“The Media and Croatian Culture” at Croatian Studies), “Publicistika” (“Nonfiction”) and “Nakladništvo” (“Publishing”, at Journalistic Studies / Communicology). He researched cultural and political issues of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, the history of the media, particularly Croatian journalism and nonfiction. He published more than sixty scientific and scholarly works, partook in some forty scientific and scholarly conferences in Croatia and abroad. He prepared, in other words edited more than a hundred and fifty books. In 1992, he founded the publishing house Erasmus naklada (works from the field of science and arts, in Croatian and world languages). He developed the projects for and co-organised great cultural exhibitions: “Discovering the Glagolitic Script” (Dublin, 2000/01), and “Tri pisma — tri jezika” (“Three Scripts — Three Languages”, Berlin, 2002; Bruxelles, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe, 2004). As a professional journalist and nonfictionist — (theatre and literary critic) since 1962 (with Studentski list, Polet, Telegram, Prolog, Kolo, Vijenac, etc), a journalist and editor on radio stations in Cologne and West Berlin (“Deutsche Welle”, “Westdeutscher Rundfunk”, “Sender Freies Berlin”) — he published more than a thousand texts, especially of a cultural nature.
He was a member of the Croatian Journalists’ Association (from 1968 to 1997 he was a member of the Executive Board), the Croatian Writers’ Association (deputy president from 2003 to 2008), and a founding member of the Croatian Association of Theatre Critics and Theoreticians. He was the editor-in-chief of the journal for international literary relations Most ][ The Bridge and the journal for social and humanistic studies Pilar, published by the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences. He was a member of the Council of the Union of Publishers and Booksellers, Cultural Council for International Cultural Collaboration and European Integration, and THE ISO VELIKANOVIĆ AWARD Committee for literary translation (both with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia).
A considerable number of Lipovčan’s works is dispersed among periodicals, while here we should particularly focus on the four books that were published during the last decade of the author’s life:
Mladi Ujević, politički angažman i rana proza (1909. -1919.) / The Young Ujević, Political Involvement and Early Prose (1909 -1919)
A book combines the two fundamental Lipovčan’s abilities: historical and literary-scholarly. Regarding the first, it analyses TIN UJEVIĆ’s political activity, which — in the then circumstances — follows the path from the Party-of-Right ideology to the integral Yugoslavianism. Regarding the second ability, Dr Lipovčan analyses Ujević’s prose oeuvre (all his commentaries, criticisms, polemics and essays), and both are combined in an integral scholarly project. Having presented almost all the then researches on the most prominent Croatian poet, Lipovčan managed to “pick up the threads” of his political involvement (the then unsolved mystery!) just before and during the First World War. As opposed to the rare historical analyses (for example GROSS, ŠEPIĆ), as opposed to the historically educated literaryscholarly analyses (VAUPOTIĆ, PAVLETIĆ, JELČIĆ), Lipovčan combined both components of the problem: Ujević’s biographically readable stations of the winding road as well as literary realised texts that emerged from a dynamic yet egotistic self.
The first part of the book is entitled “Politički angažman” (“Political Involvement”). In it are reconstructed the stations of the road, as well as general political circumstances during the last years of the “long trip” of Croatian lands in the Habsburg Monarchy. Therefore, the disintegration of the Monarchy and the “new world” which was to be a Yugoslavia guided by Serbia. UjeviE’s reality is the real context of his writing. With the objectivity of a historian, Srećko Lipovčan reconstructs Ujević’s — verifiable by facts — actions. They were taken within the network of the then Greater Serbia agitators in Croatia (DIMITRIJE MITRINOVIĆ,
VELIMIR RAJIĆ, MILAN PRIBIČEVIĆ) and the cryptic-Oryuna young Croatian intellectuals (ČERINA, IVO VOJNOVIĆ, MEŠTROVIĆ), while the strings — Lipovčan proves it with the documents found once in the Archive of Serbia — were pulled by the secret Serbian diplomacy. Within such network of events Ujević functioned as a perfectly organised participant: he left on conspirative assignments for particular places, maintained contacts, spent time in prison, followed the secret instructions of his order-issuing authorities, and in the end emigrated with entirely determined aims and assignments and in the service of — at first not particularly noticeable — a Gara?aninean idea of the future state. When the young agitator — more of an anarchist than an activist, guided by a wellorganised strategy — realised that the Croatian idea of the future federative creation would not be accepted (the so-called SUPILO’s syndrome), his political involvement ended, fruitlessly and sadly. The war ended, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established, while of Ujević — a young man fanatically loyal to Yugoslavianism — only fragments remained. With a scholarly precision, the author records all the stations of that road to a “non-being”, and surprises the professional public with numerous - the then unknown - documents from the aforementioned sources. But, to a literary scholar, Lipovčan’s literary-scholar analysis of Ujević’s “inner” expression, thus, his prose and his poetic work, will be of equal, if not greater, importance. The author identifies Ujević’s linguistic mirror, the author’s personal style and has subjected him to the analysis of the modern textual (discursive) morphology, more precisely, the issue of “the forms of expression”, as they had been — as a theoretical blueprint and model — elaborated by the German theoretician of prose HORST BELKE. Lipovčan has taken — as a starting point — his nomenclature and the theoretical outlines of the forms of expression, made an accurate list of all Ujević’s chiefly nonfiction texts, and classified them according to the acquired patterns in order to reach his fundamental three-way division. Namely, according to Lipovčan’s claims and evidence, Ujević wrote: 1. texts with informative-appellative function (report, commented report, commentary, treatise, tractate, obituary, speech, polemic), 2. texts with the function of evaluation (essay, feuilleton, criticism); 3. texts with an autobiographic function (diary, autobiography, confessional memories). In the thus far discussions and editions on Ujević classified as mainly of the same kind, Ujević’s texts — for the first time in Croatian theory and history of literature — happen to be found in the context of varied types of discourses in the basic semiotic arrangement. Thus, they are “proceeded” to further literary-theoretical analyses. According to Lipovčan, by the nature of his literary makeup and “social” involvement, Ujević searched for his own solution of the basic controversy of the Croatian region of the period: culture vs. politics. That controversy is constantly on the author’s mind. He wrote a book of a high scientific value: the then, by far the most competent, scholarly work on Tin Ujević.
Mediji — Druga zbilja? / The Media — Another Reality?
The title with a question mark does not suggest — as one would expect — a possible “phenomenological reduction” to the “essence of the problem”, but it refers to the commented upon and problematised relationship between the written and the electronical media towards the social reality. In short, the “reality” (the life itself) is sometimes easily ignored, modified or entirely changed by “another reality” (the media), which is why such a relationship — to an observer and theoretician — offers the “change of their status” as actually an (un)natural fact.
The book consists of three parts: 1. “Teorijski aspekti” / “Theoretical Aspects”); 2. “Praktički aspekti (modeli interpretacija)” / “Practical Aspects (Models of Interpretations”) and 3. “Prilozi” / “Supplements”. If we neglect — for this report - the less important third group (it, namely, includes the comprehensive biographical facts related to the author), the two large groups are related — approximately — as literary-theoretical and critical discourse in the science of literature.
Theoretical aspects are presented in the four chapters: “Medijske industrije na početku novog tisućljeća: umjetno stvaranje istog” / “The Media Industries at the Beginning of the New Millennium: The Artificial Creation of the Same”; “Prinos analizi temeljnih odnosa medija i kulture u hrvatskom društvu” / “A Contribution to the Analysis of the Fundamental Relationships Between the Media and Culture in Croatian Society”; “Literarni uporabni oblici medijskog izražavanja” / “Literary Forms of the Media Expression” and “Hrvatska publicistika, nacrt za jednu samostalnu filološku disciplinu / “Croatian Nonfiction, an Outline for an Independent Philological Discipline”. The author commences, as appropriate, with the role of the “media industry” in contemporary Croatian society, then he offers the framework of analysis and the methodological approach. That approach — the thus far entirely unknown and atypical in Croatian mediaology — is based on the idea of functional linguistics (BÜHLER, particularly JAKOBSON, MUKARˇOVSKY´), thus, the forms of expression of journalism, analogous to the literary forms of expression (Horst Belke) are presented mainly with regard to two fundamental dominant functions: the function of informing (report, presentation, treatise, tractate, scholarly-popular work, dialogue, interview, talk, panel-discussion, reportage and a piece of news) and the function of evaluation (review, commented report, commentary, editorial, criticism, essay, feuilleton, polemic). Then follows the historical sequence of the alteration of analysed forms in the history of Croatian journalism (thus, Lipovčan will say, “Croatian modernity”), in which fifteen best nonfiction works (each individually presented by the author in sequence from MARKO MARULIĆ, JANKO DRAŠKOVIĆ, ANTE STARČEVIĆ to FRANJO TUĐMAN) played a crucial role in the creation of the historical energy of the related periods.
The practical aspects of the author’s book concern the historical realisations of the nonfiction expression in Croatian literature and in “pure” nonfiction. The introductory studies are analysed with regard to the presented theoretical aspects of the work of Tin Ujević, LJUDEVIT FARKAŠ VUKOTINOVIĆ (the founder of the Croatian feuilleton) and ANTUN GUSTAV MATOŠ. Then follows the chapter “Udruge” (“Associations”) in which Lipovčan offers a precise (chronological and analytical) history of the Croatian Journalists’ Association since it was established in 1910 to its disintegration, namely “self-drowning” in 1921. The treatise offers particularly significant aspects of the activities of the founder, official, and industrious worker MILAN GRLOVIĆ, whose personality was obviously much more significant than it had been known. Then, in the two concluding chapters, the history of Zora dalmatinska of Zadar is presented — the history that is related to the then historical occurrences in Zadar, Dalmatia and the entire Croatia — and the best recent theoretical and historical works on Croatian nonfiction (VLASTA ŠVOGER, JOSIP BRLEKOVIĆ, BOŽIDAR NOVAK and STJEPAN MALOVIĆ).
With its structure, the book Mediji — druga zbilja represents — the first in Croatia — an attempt to present the mediaology in accord with the theoretical ideas of linguistics and the science of literature, and to — in a certain historical reference — emphasise the prominence of those personalities, associations and works that earned nonfiction — as a special activity — the status of an authentic cultural proclamation on the given historical boundary of the Croatian society. To our knowledge, the book is an obligatory textbook for students of journalism.
Stoljeće povjestica / A Century of Historical Epics
The title precisely suggests the methodological and critical intention of the collected texts by a historian and a reputable expert on literature. Taken over from the fundamental poetics — where povjestica (for instance in ŠENOA) denotes approximately a “story in verse on a certain historical incident”, in other words, more modernly and non-transparently a “historical epic” — the title covers via negationis the two implied contents:
1. understanding history in a certain “poetic” way (presentation of what could have happened, at a certain point the author mentions the famous ARISTOTLE’s definition of tragedy), and
2. a critical attitude towards the caught historiography.
Methodologically, Lipovčan intends to cast light onto the state of historiography which the once young well-informed man came across. Critically, he unrelentlessly engages in polemics with works which — guided precisely by mythology, in other words ideology, volens nolens — depart from the basic historically-scholarly and historiographic tasks: to reconstruct past events sine ira et studio, define the directions of their lines of force, and analyse the then attitudes on the same subject.
The book consists of a series of twenty-three scholarly and nonfiction texts which are divided by the author into three groups: 1. “Ogledi i studije” / “Essays and Studies”; 2. “Zapisi s povodom” / “Notes with a Motive”; 3. “Polemičke rasprave” / “Polemics”. It is — in actual fact — an (auto)critical and anthological selection from a plethora of Lipovčan’s shorter and longer texts that — varying in kind, from journalistic articles to some sixty scholarly essays and studies — were at one time published in journals, almanacs, anthologies and dailies in the course of almost forty years, more precisely: from 1967 to 2005. In that sense, this selection should be considered to be a digest from Lipovčan’s prolific nonfiction activity, which he was not only involved in in his homeland, but also within the framework of reputable German scholarly institutions (universities, institutions, radio stations). Thus, the texts reveal not only the wide range of his interests regarding Croatian history and its historiography — as the given scheme of the book also suggests — but also the full maturation from a young, busy journalist, a scholarly candidate, to a literary theoretician and a reputable university lecturer of history.
The focus of interest of Lipovčan’s essays, treatises, presentations and polemics is the Croatian history during the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, therefore the time of “modernisation” (Lipovčan’s term!) of Croatian public life, but also, particularly its interpreters. Among the author’s commentaries, one can also find those on the personal views of the directly involved protagonists (I. MEŠTROVIĆ, S. PRIBIČEVIĆ, A. TRUMBIE, F. SUPILO, M. TRIPALO), the living and yet the “silent” historical reality (for instance, the Croatian National Revival, surrounded by the terms Illyrism, Slavicism, Croatism, Yugoslavianism), in particular certain interpreters guided by mythical or ideological images of Croatian history (for instance VIKTOR NOVAK, VASA ĆUBRILOVIĆ), or those other ones guided by the idea of penetration into the essence of the real historical lines of force (for instance Franjo Tuđman, IVO PERIĆ, ALOIS MOCK, DRAGUTIN PAVLIČEVIĆ).
As a writer, Lipovčan includes the three components, crucially important for every serious spiritually- historical work: supreme knowledge of his subject and a suitable approach, the logic that protects him from (frequently necessary) falling into contradictions, and the easiness of writing which — nevertheless — avoids “literary” metaphors, with a special effort at the scholarly-stylistic, i.e. strictly discursive organisation of the text. Such features enable the reader to read — with relative ease — arguments on more intricate parts of Croatian history, on its not easily discernible social and personal relations, especially illusions or, occasionally, insane false claims. However, Lipovčan’s discourse enables us an insight into a certain “progress” of Croatian super-individual nonfiction style: from (the youthful, but also Hegelian) confusion in the 1960s to the crystal brevity and clarity of the present day. It is also a contribution to the history of the syntax of the Croatian language!
Vrijeme nevremena / The Time of Tempest
Book of “collected essays, critical notes and polemics on the theatre and literature”. A comprehensive “retrospective” of Lipovčan’s critical and nonfiction activity during some forty years, comprises essays on the theatre, essays on literature, “chronicle of the theatre” and mainly philologically precise “notes on literature”.
Just as Lipovčan — in the thus far presented books — proves himself to be an excellent literary-scholarly expert, theoretician of the media culture, or a historian — in his book Vrijeme nevremena, with a retrospective series of the chiefly theatre-critical and literary-critical texts — he proves himself to be an exceptional theatrologist, as witnessed by an extraordinarily good reception of the book in the theatre circles as well as by a logical consequence, i.e. THE JULIJE BENEČIĆ AWARD for the best literary-critical book of the year 2006. Lipovčan’s critical discourse implies an entity of the functional relationships of a theatre or a literary phenomenon, which means that his commentary focuses mainly on the performance or the text as such, and then on the unavoidable historical givens of its emergence, and finally on the topical social context in which the theatre work was performed or published. It also concerns literary/literary-critical works that were his starting point and his subject.
Over the course of more than four decades, Srećko Lipovčan was a very diligent and publicly noticed (at first) nonfictionist, then (approaching the present) a scholar of an exceptionally interdisciplinary profile. In him, the literary scholar, historian, theatre and literary critic, and culturologist creatively meet. The contemporary nomenclature of science would probably classify him as a representative of cultural studies, in the way in which these are spread across the globe, particularly in the Anglo-American world. In our European terms, the late omniscient Lipovčan would be — with regard to his overall work — best qualified as the omniscient scholar, the versatile author and the culturologist. ][
by Ante Stamač
Trenutačni broj članova: 523
Zaključno sa datumom: 13. 11. 2018.