Tin Ujević

Jul 5, 1891 - Nov 12, 1955(64)

Matoš vs. Ujevic

The most famous (and funniest) Croatian polemic in art.

Since his arrival in Zagreb, Ujević has been hanging out with Matoš every day. Their fortress was the Bauer cafe, which was located on the corner of Ilica and Frankopanska. However, their friendship did not last long. Rebellious and averse to authority, Tin felt that Matoš had a patronizing attitude towards him. Matoš, although a frequent guest of the cafe, was already an established poet, unlike Tino, who was still waiting for his fame. However, this was not the cause of the breakup of a great friendship. It is more likely that the breakup of the relationship was decided by a difference in political opinion.

Paragraph image 1341

Ujević, like Matoš, was an ardent rightist since his high school days. However, during his studies, disappointed with Starčevićism, he turned to Yugoslav unitarism. Not long after arriving in Zagreb to study, he published a text in which he criticized the patriot August Harambašić, calling him a rhetorician instead of a great poet. Nationalist-oriented Matoš understood this as betrayal. That's when the famous lines appear in which Matoš complains about a certain "plagiarist", writing that "instead of students I got monkeys". Thus began the most entertaining polemic between two Croatian writers published in various magazines for many years.

Tin soon retaliated in kind, writing about Matoš as a "dying Caesar". He says of him that he is "a coward who dares to object only to young poets, while he writes about older ones under a pseudonym", "a crow adorned with the feathers of all birds", "the great master of all literary burglars and pickpockets with the comical gestures of a polemical emperor" and much more...

Matoš, of course, retaliates by writing that he, Huljević, and not Ujević, is actually a fakin literary parasite. The polemic continued until the two bored themselves and the entire literary world. Until the end of his life, Ujević tried to distance himself from Matoš, proving that he was never under his literary influence.

Matoš, on the other hand, was conciliatory and, knowing that the latter had eternally empty pockets, even offered to pay for "tours" in the Kazališna kavana cafe, where the latter moved with his new circle of followers. But Ujević had an exceptionally good memory when it suited him. He was determined in Ujević was stubborn in his rejection of Matoš, but he mentioned him in many of his works, mostly negatively. Ujević's obsession with Rabbi, as he called his teacher Matoš in better days, lasted his whole life.

Tributes Wall

Share this Memorial

View Memorial Share via email

Share Memories

Enrich the memorial with you story.

Memory Guardian

Dino Jerković

Remind me

You will receive a memo on new stories and anniversaries.

Read more stories


Life is much more than names and dates written in a stone.

Life is about memorable stories your loved ones left behind. Preserve memories on the most beautiful, secure, and easy-to-use digital memory platform out there.

3000+ Memory Guardians
150+ positive 5.0★ reviews
Ensuring eternity through blockchain
Google Play StoreApple Store
Download mobile app
©2024 Spiritus Memoria. All rights reserved.