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Dean Slavić orcid id ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 254 Kb


str. 165-190

preuzimanja: 325



According to Northrop Frye, 20th-century literature is marked by characters whose intelligence and capabilities are lesser than those of the average human. Typical such figures are the protagonists of Kafka’s and Beckett’s works, who lack even the most basic information regarding their own position – due to which the reader has the sense of looking down on scenes of bondage, frustration or absurdity. Vjenceslav Novak’s Tito Dorčić, from the eponymous novel, is a forerunner of this type of character. He is trapped by his own predisposition and social environment and becomes unhappy in the "better life" imposed on him by his father. He is utterly unsuccessful in his career as well as in his family life. 20th-century interpreters found the cause of Tito’s state, or the source for such a character, in Darwinist theories supposedly praised by the novel’s author; a more recent critic emphasises the psychoanalytic motifs. Both theories unconsciously bear witness to the reduced power of the action of the protagonist. The novel’s final scene, in which Tito Dorčić’s left leg is stuck in a crevice whilst the upper part of his body immersed in the sea is a metaphor of his entire life. The scapegoat mechanism, as proposed by René Girard, also explains the events in Tito Dorčić’s life: the social crisis is seemingly only slightly present, yet Tito is depicted as a person holding a position in the judicial administration which, because of his low intelligence, immorality and lack of cultural refinement, he does not deserve. He commits mistakes in his prosecutor’s work and is punished because an innocent person has been hanged. Tito had previously been marked by the collapse of his marriage. Eventually, he loses his job, falls into madness, which might also be an act of selfpunishment, and at the end, he dies. The text, or the narrator, kills him, in the last step in the long procedure of attacking the protagonist.

Ključne riječi

Tito Dorčić; ironic mode; the scapegoat mechanism

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