Predrag Matvejević (7 October 1932 – 2 February 2017) was a Yugoslav writer and scholar. A literature scholar who taught at universities in Zagreb, Paris and Rome, he is best known for his 1987 non-fiction book Mediterranean: A Cultural Landscape, a seminal work of cultural history of the Mediterranean region which has been translated into more than 20 languages. Throughout his long academic career, he taught Slavic literature at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle from 1991 to 1994 and then moved on to the Sapienza University of Rome until 2007. Both in character and in his writing, he was committed to cross-cultural pollination and furthering understanding in our common humanity. His works have appeared in many European languages, with those in English being Sarajevo (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998); Mediterranean: A Cultural Landscape (University of California Press, 2000) and The Other Venice: Secrets of the City (Reaktion Books 2007).
His last work, Our Daily Bread, will be published by Istros in September 2020, in a translation by Christina Pribićević-Zorić.
Praise for the author:
“In the best possible way, Predrag personified the universal role of literature and the spirit of PEN International. Even under the dangerous political pressure, Predrag maintained his faith, humour and charms. . .. When he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature by a group of Italian writers, including Umberto Eco, Predrag was deeply moved, but commented that he had not deserved it.”
Remembering Predrag Matvejevic
Boris A. Novak, PEN International Vice-President
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