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Journey to Russia
Journey to Russia

Journey to Russia

By Miroslav Krleža, Introduction by Dragana Obradovic, Translated by Will Firth


244 Pages, 5.5 x 8.25

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $18.95 (US $18.95) (CA $24.95)

Publication Date: April 2021

ISBN 9789533510293

Rights: US, CA, UK & EUR

Sandorf Passage (Apr 2021)


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When Miroslav Krleža traveled through Russia for six months between the end of 1924 and the beginning of 1925, the celebrated Croatian writer was there to figure out what it all meant. The sprawling country was still coming to terms with the events of the 1917 revolution and reeling from Lenin’s death in January 1924. During this period of profound political and social transition, Krleža opened his senses to train stations, cities, and villages and collected wildly different Russian perspectives on their collective moment in history.Krleža’s impressionistic reportage of mass demonstrations and jubilant Orthodox Easter celebrations is informed by his preoccupation with the political, social, and psychological complexities of his environment. The result is a masterfully crafted modernist travelogue that resonates today as much as it did when first published in 1926.


"Krlezais a shrewd observer of man as social animal, and his wry, sardonic style fits cleanly into the Eastern European tradition of bureaucratic satire by the likes of Kafka, Karel Capek and Jaroslav Hasek " —Publishers Weekly on On the Edge of Reason

"A great Croatian writer is seen at his most animated and unsparing in a venomous satire . . . on political aggrandizement and xenophobia. . . . Much worth reading as an introduction to an unjustly neglected European master." —Kirkus Reviews on The Banquet in Blitva

“Miroslav Krleža is among the most neglected of the world’s great writers.” —The Antioch Review

"Miroslav Krleža's Journey to Russia is a book that ought to be some kind of immortal classic." —Nell Zink, Author of Doxology and The Wallcreeper

“Will Firth’s translation of Journey to Russia is a significant achievement not only because Krleža has been insufficiently translated into English, despite being the most important twentieth–century Croatian writer, but also because it is the first opportunity for readers to encounter Krleža as an essayist. He was a prolific literary critic and commentator, and Firth’s translation of Journey to Russia provides a sense of the author’s inseparable poetic and political concerns.” —From Dragana Obradovic’s Introduction


"[T]his is a book that includes everything that’s good about travel writing: descriptive power, deftly drawn portraits of local people, and the screeching wheels of a speeding train . . . [I]t remains a vital piece of history, shedding light on a rarely written-about period of turbulent promise." —Jonathan Bousfield, writer for the Rough Guides, Time Out Croatia, and Jutarnji list

"Miroslav Krleža’s 1926 travelogue Journey to Russia in Will Firth’s excellent translation comes as a welcome and exciting surprise... [T]his towering figure still remains relatively unknown outside of Croatia’s literary culture and largely excluded from the international canons of high modernism... [T]he promise of Will Firth’s careful translation is that this modernist gem will finally become more visible and legible outside of Croatia’s borders." —Journal of Croatian Studies

Author Biography

Regarded as the most important twentieth-century Croatian author, Miroslav Krleža (1893-1981) wrote modernist poems, plays, novels, and essays that, in the words of Susan Sontag, protested "against the normality of delusion and cruelty,” and earned him comparisons to Honore de Balzac, Emile Zola, and James Joyce. His novels The Return of Philip Latinowicz and On the Edge of Reason have both been translated into English. Dragana Obradovic is an Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto. Will Firth was born in 1965 in Newcastle, Australia. He studied German and Slavic languages in Canberra, Zagreb, and Moscow. Since 1991 he has lived in Berlin, where he works as a translator of literature and the humanities—from Russian, Macedonian, and all variants of the “language with many names,” aka Serbo-Croatian. In 2005–07 he translated for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Firth is a member of professional associations in Germany (VdÜ) and Britain (Translators Association).