The critical observations and remarks that Miroslav Krleža (1893‒1981) made on the Renaissance thinker Marko Marulić (1450–1524) may be traced throughout Krleža’s work, from 1926 to his last days in 1981.
Marulić and his writings were often subject to Krleža’s sharp criticism, as evidenced by the following statements: in Marulić’s De institutione bene vivendi per exempla sanctorum there is “no high value;” the influence of Humanist education and “the knowledge of the classics and Renaissance writers” failed to make any “deeper mark in Marulić’s work;” Marulić should be viewed “as a Counter-Reformist.”
By contrast, Krleža’s assessment of Marulić also includes numerous remarks on the great significance of Marulić’s work, notably with regard to the Croatian literary history, as well as the recognition and later shaping of the Croatian national consciuousness and the definition of the Croatian identity. Among these remarks are also the following: Marulić is a monument of “our book;” he is one of the writers who should be credited with the founding of literature written “in the genuine vernacular;” he is among the “ten-fifteen” most brilliant names of “our literary history;” he is among the more important exponents of “our own Humanist literature;” in his works he promoted “the struggle against the Ottoman crescent,” and thus warned about the menace to “the Croatian national substance;” he is one of the writers who deserves to have a monument erected or a plaque posted in his honour in Zagreb.
The abovementioned list of Krleža’s main remarks on Marko Marulić shapes a profoundly different perception of Krleža’s attitude towards Marulić from that generally prevailing among the scholars. Apparently, this list testifies that Krleža made numerous remarks which underline an invaluable role of Marulić’s work: 1. in the history of Croatian literature, poetry and Croatian language; 2. in the expression of Croatian national consciousness; 3. in the shaping of Croatian identity.
Abstract: Balić, D. Miroslav Krleža’s assessment of Marko Marulić and his opus. // Prilozi za istraživanje hrvatske filozofske baštine 42, 2(2016), 353-420.