Eminent Croatian philosopher Edo Pivčević was at the National & University Library in Zagreb where he donated copies of the British-Croatian Review he founded in the UK.
Eminent Croatian philosopher Edo Pivčević was at the National & University Library in Zagreb on the 15th of October. He was accompanied by philosopher and physicist Stipe Kutleša. The two were received by Željka Lovrenčić, the head of the Croatica Abroad collection, and Jasenka Zajec, an advisor for international cooperation. Pivčević and Kutleša toured the Croatica Abroad collection and learned of its valuable holdings. Pivčević donated to the library all published issues of the British-Croatian Review, of which he is the founder, and the complete electronic editions in Portable Document Format covering seventeen volumes, compiled by Stan Granic. He launched the publication of the review in England in 1974. It features the publication and translation of various Croatian classics in their first ever English language translation by leading Slavic studies specialists at Cambridge and a Slavic studies institution in London. One issue featured Konrad von Grunenberg’s Dalmatian travelogue.
Edo Pivčević founded the British-Croatian Society in 1971. Its membership has included prominent society figures, the likes of British philosopher and close friend of Pivčević Alfred Jules Ayer, prominent journalist Auberon Waugh, the eldest son to writer Evelyn Waugh, who for a time served as president of the society.
Pivčević, a Croatian born philosopher of international renown, was born in 1931 in Omiš, a town on our southern seaboard, in the family of a wealthy merchant. His father died in 1942 and his mother was thrown in jail three years later by the OZNA (the secret police of communist Yugoslavia). She was imprisoned on multiple occasions until finally released, broken in spirit and body. At the age of eighteen Edo was expelled from the Classical Gymnasium (secondary school) in Split for having the audacity to question the status of Marxist-Leninist doctrine as the only valid theory. In spite of numerous challenges, he did go on, in 1954, to earn his degree in philosophy at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, whereupon he moved abroad. He earned doctorates at the University of Münster in 1958, and at the University of London in 1962. He worked as a teacher in Bristol from 1964, and from 1998 as a professor of philosophy at the University of Bristol. He has penned for the most part philosophical treatises. Among these are Irony as a Form of Existence in Søren Kierkegaard (1960), Husserl and Phenomenology (1970), The Concept of Reality (1986), Changes and Selves, (1990), What is Truth? (1997), and The Reason Why (2007). He also authored the stage play Herr Speer Comes Calling which explores human relationships in the environment of Hitler’s bunker in Berlin.
He has also donated many books, including first prints from the mid-sixteenth century he presented to the University of Split. These include the correspondence of Roman Catholic cardinal Pietro Bembo and supreme pontiff Leo X, Euclid’s bilingual Latin/Greek geometry textbook and Diogenes Laërtius’s Lives and Opinion of Eminent Philosophers.
Writer, photography: Željka Lovrenčić