Slavko Goldstein

Aug 22, 1928 - Sep 13, 2017(89)

Conflict on the literary left

Space of free speech...

During 1968, Goldstein began to engage in publishing. He became the editor-in-chief of the "Tstvarnost" publishing house. Through a conversation with Stanko Lasić, who lived near the office of the publishing house, Goldstein found out that he was working on the manuscript of the work "Conflict on the Literary Left".

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Little is known about how Goldstein and Lasić knew each other since childhood. They grew up together in Karlovac. Goldstein lived on Promenada in Vanište, while Lasić lived nearby. Soon they became war comrades. Namely, there were daily wars between the boys living in the center and the boys from Pekarska Street. Lasić always joined in the game and, side by side with Goldstein, fought against the "baker".

After hearing about Lasić's manuscript, Goldstein wanted to publish it. Its director Ivo Košutić refused. But Goldstein sees the need for democratization of the country and, together with Lasić, creates a new publishing house - "Liber", which was engaged in publishing reprints of important works of Croatian cultural heritage. The publishing house's first success was precisely Lasić's "Conflict on the Literary Left". The book did not see a second edition because the regime declared the publishing house nationalist and accused it of provocations. The house's reputation grew, and in 1975 academician Ivan Supek placed it under the university's protection, and it was renamed "Liber University Press". That publishing house was considered a space of free speech, and many authors who were banned and persecuted by the regime - Danilo Kiš, Veljko Mićunović, Joze Tomašević and others - published their books in that edition.

A brief break in the friendship between Lasić and Goldstein occurred when Lasić wrote a book about Krleža, which Krleža rejected with contempt. At that moment, between two friendships, Goldstein chose the one with Krleža, and he and Lasić did not speak for many years. But after the breakup of Yugoslavia and the establishment of a new state, their friendship was also renewed.

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