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How to Quiet a Vampire: A Sotie (Writings from an Unbound Europe) Paperback – February 5, 2003


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Book Description

Published to acclaim in 1977, this controversial novel of ideas follows Konrad Rutkowski-professor of medieval history and former Gestapo officer-as he returns to the scene of his war crimes determined to renounce, or perhaps justify, his Nazi past. In a series of letters to a brother-in-law, Rutkowski lays out his ambivalent reactions to war and unthinkable violence, connecting his own swirling ideas to those of some of the major figures of European thought: Plato, St. Augustine, Descartes, Nietzsche, Freud, and others.
But the novel is more than an intellectual meditation. Pekiƒ was himself a frequent political agitator and occasional prisoner, and he drew on his first hand knowledge of police methods and life under totalitarianism to paint a chilling portrait of an intellectual acting as a tool of repression. At the same time he questions whether Rutkowski's ideology puts him outside the philosophical tradition he so admires-or if the line separating it from totalitarianism is not as clear as we like to think.

About the Author

Borislav Pekic was born in 1930 in Podgorica, Yugoslavia. Arrested in 1948 for terrorism, armed rebellion, and espionage after the theft of a few typewriters and mimeographs, Pekiƒ spent five years in prison, where he began to write. He worked as a screenwriter and editor of a literary journal before publishing his first novel at age thirty-five. Constant trouble with the authorities led him to emigrate to London in the early 1970s. His novels include The Houses of Belgrade (1994) and The Time of Miracles (1994), both published by Northwestern University Press. He died of cancer in 1992 in London.
Stephen M. Dickey is an assistant professor of Slavic linguistics at the University of Virginia. He co-translated Meša Selimoviƒ's Death and the Dervish (Northwestern, 1996).
Bogdan Rakic is a visiting associate professor of Slavic Literature at Indiana University. He co-translated Meša Selimoviƒ's Death and the Dervish (Northwestern, 1996) and edited In a Foreign Harbor (Slavica, 2000). He is currently working on Borislav Pekiƒ's literary biography.

More About the Author

Borislav Pekic is considered one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century, continually attracting the attention of literary scholars and the public at large. His thorough knowledge of the long tradition of European thought from Plato to Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Martin Heidegger, together with the artistic affiliation with his literary peers--Thomas Mann, James Joyce, Aldous Huxley, Samuel Beckett, George Orwell, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn--has greatly helped reintegrate Serbian literature into major European trends.

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