The Great War

Aleksandar Gatalica

Translated by Will Firth

Istros Books



ISBN: 9781908236203


Publication date: 1 November 2014



The Great War is a novel that comprehensively and passionately narrates a number of stories covering the duration of World War One, starting with the year 1914 – the year that truly marked the beginning of the 20th century. Following the destinies of over seventy characters, on all warring sides, Gatalica depicts the experiences of winners and losers, generals and opera singers, soldiers and spies; including the British spy, Oswald Rayner, the Russian mystic Rasputin, and Field Marshal Boroievich von Boina of the Austro-Hungarian army. The stories themselves are various but equally important: here we find joyful as well as tragic destinies, along with examples of exceptional heroism, which collectively manage to grasp the atmosphere of the entire epoch. Yet The Great War never becomes a chronicle, or a typical historical novel; above all it is a work of art that uses historic events as means to tell many fantastic stories, with unbelievable and unthinkable convolutions. It is commendable in its breadth, its vision and its relevance to modern history.

Aleksandar Gatalica is a prolific author, editor and translator (from ancient Greek). His prose work has won him just about every literary award in modern Serbia, and he has published 11 titles. His distinguished professional career has seen him editor of pages on world literature for Serbian newspapers, as well as Serbian PEN Centre editions and the National Broadcast Network. Presently, Gatalica holds the position of the General Manager of the Foundation of the Serbian National Library.