Utopia—we all want our own, but who pays for it and at what price? Croatian poet Dubravka Oraić Tolić’s delivers a masterful, thought-provoking answer with exquisite language and imagery in the epic poem American Scream. As Columbus’s dream of reaching India was interrupted by the discovery of a new land, we too discover unexpected lands in pursuit of our dreams. Complementing American Scream is Palindrome Apocalypse—a palindrome that is artful in both technique and story—presented side-by-side with the Croatian original to preserve its visual effect. Together, Oraić Tolić’ poems:
- Explore dark themes of social and individual selfishness in pursuit of dreams and the unintended consequences of those efforts.
- Examine the tension between a nation’s dream of freedom and the outworking of that dream.
- Capture the heart of pre- and post-war Croatia, yet speak universally of the pain of bringing one’s visions to life.
Translated specifically for an American audience, Dubravka Oraić Tolić’s epic poetry gives English readers a glimpse into the literature and culture of a society largely unavailable to English-speakers.
Praise for The American Scream
“Dubravka Oraić Tolić goes beyond playing with language and textual contexts. Although reality and notions of home, country, people, nation, and life permeate her poetry, the thematic weight does not rest on the semantic deconstruction of concrete geographical-historical localities, but on their empowerment through words, metaphors and symbols as elements of the text and culture.” — Dr. Bernarda Katusić, University of Vienna
“Dubravka Oraić Tolić combines a wicked instinct for wordplay and verse form with passionate concern for the language and culture of Croatia. Each time I reread these poems I am freshly impressed by their depth, richness, and explosive potential. American Scream speaks to the reader at maximum volume!”
— Sibelan Forrester, Swarthmore College