Vjenceslav Novak

Vjenceslav Novak ( born September 17, 1859 in Senj, † September 20, 1905 in Zagreb) was a Croatian music teacher, journalist, translator and writer. He is regarded as an outstanding representative of the Croatian realism.


For his short life - he died at age 46 of tuberculosis - Novak created a very extensive body of work preceding narrative prose. He took with keen powers of observation, a socially critical view angle. Slavko Batušić and Ivo Frangeš hereby agree, Novak had dedicated the first Croatian writers, with sympathy, the fate unfortunately flatted people and the misery of the recently produced proletariat.

Studied music in Prague

Novak, paternal Czech origin, was initially (1879-1884) worked as an elementary school teacher in his home town of Senj. During this time he performed with the first publications in appearance. After studying music in Prague (theory and organ), he was (1887 ) a music teacher at the College of Education in Zagreb. From 1892 he was teacher there. The music remained his life Novak's second great appeal. He collected traditional church hymns, published, among others, the first Croatian harmony (1890), created Organ Preludes and other works that have gone largely lost, however. Novak's records it is thanks to this, are remained that the text and the melody of the famous Croatian folk song Vila Velebita receive. As a storyteller or playwright Novak took place during his lifetime, only a small resonance. He had a large family and suffered frequently strapped for cash. This is also the reason that Novak was often under his literary level: because he was forced to supplement his meager teacher's salary by " immature " prose works.

Photographic objectivity

For Kindler's New Glossary literature Novak created his most compelling work with the 1899 published novel The last Stipanićs, which depicts the demise of a patrician family of Senj. Despite being almost " photographic objectivity " (for " compassionate narration " ) had the author been able to make mental developments credible. However, he was not always " the danger of sentimentality " escaped.

In German there are works by Novak not yet available. About the cited reference, the literature on Novak is quite extensive, but rarely written in English or even German. The most complete list of literature by and about Novak 's Milorad Živančević in leksikon Pisaca Jugoslavije, Novi Sad 1997.