22 February 1935|
Subotica, Danube Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
|Died||15 October 1989
|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer|
Danilo Kiš (Serbian Cyrillic: Данило Киш; 22 February 1935 – 15 October 1989) was a Serbian and Yugoslavian novelist, short story writer and poet who wrote in Serbo-Croatian, member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Kiš was influenced by Bruno Schulz, Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges and Ivo Andrić, among other authors. His most famous works include A Tomb for Boris Davidovich and The Encyclopedia of the Dead.
Life and work
Danilo Kiš was born in Subotica, Danube Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now Serbia). He was the son of Eduard Kiš (Kis Ede), a Hungarian-speaking Jewish railway inspector, and Milica Kiš, an Eastern Orthodox Montenegrin (born Dragićević) from Cetinje (now Montenegro). His father was born in Austria-Hungary with a surname Kon, but changed it to Kis as part of Magyarization, a widely implemented practice at the time. During the Second World War, Danilo's father along with several other family members, were killed in various Nazi camps. His mother took him and his older sister Danica to Hungary for the duration of the war. After the end of the war, the family moved to Cetinje, Montenegro, Yugoslavia, where Kiš graduated from high school in 1954.
Kiš studied literature at the University of Belgrade, and graduated in 1958 as the first student to be awarded a degree in comparative literature. He was a prominent member of the Vidici magazine, where he worked until 1960. In 1962 he published his first two novels, Mansarda and Psalam 44. For his 1973 novel Peščanik (Hourglass), Kiš received the prestigious NIN Award, but returned it a few years later due to a political dispute.
During the following years, Kiš received a great number of national and international awards for his prose and poetry.
He lived in Belgrade until the last decade of his life, when he lived in Paris as well Belgrade. For a number of years he worked as a lecturer elsewhere in France.
Kiš was married to Mirjana Miočinović from 1962 to 1981. After their separation, he lived with Pascale Delpech until his early death from lung cancer in Paris.
In May 1989, with his friend, director Aleksandar Mandić, Kiš made the four-episode TV series Goli Život about the lives of two Jewish women. The shooting took place in Israel. The program was broadcast after his death, in the spring of 1990. This was the last work by Kiš.
- Mansarda: satirična poema (The Garret), 1962 (novel)
- Psalm 44, 1962 (novel)
- Bašta, pepeo (Garden, Ashes), 1965 (novel)
- Rani jadi: za decu i osetljive (Early Sorrows: For Children and Sensitive Readers), 1970 (short stories)
- Peščanik (Hourglass), 1972 (novel)
- Po-etika, 1972 (essay)
- Po-etika, knjiga druga, 1974 (interviews)
- Grobnica za Borisa Davidoviča: sedam poglavlja jedne zajedničke povesti (A Tomb for Boris Davidovich), 1976 (short stories)
- Čas anatomije, 1978 (book-essay about writing and politics in the Balkans)
- Noć i magla, 1983 (drama)
- Homo poeticus, 1983 (essays and interviews)
- Enciklopedija mrtvih (The Encyclopedia of the Dead), 1983 (short stories)
- Gorki talog iskustva, 1990 (interviews)
- Život, literatura, 1990 (interviews and essays)
- Pesme i prepevi, 1992 (poetry)
- Lauta i ožiljci, 1994 (short stories)
- Skladište, 1995 (texts)
- Varia, 1995 (essays, articles and short stories)
- Pesme, Elektra, 1995 (poetry and an adaptation from the drama Elektra)
Goli Život 1989-90, host in documentary TV series
- Garden, Ashes (1975, William J. Hannaher)
- Early Sorrows: For Children and Sensitive Readers (1998, Michael Henry Heim)
- Hourglass (1990, Ralph Manheim)
- A Tomb for Boris Davidovich (1978, Duška Mikić-Mitchell)
- The Encyclopedia of the Dead (1989, Michael Henry Heim)
- Homo Poeticus: Essays and Interviews (1995, Ralph Manheim, Michael Henry Heim, Francis Jones)
- Mansarda (2008, John K. Cox)
- Psalm 44 (2012, John K. Cox)
- The Lute and the Scars (2012, John K. Cox)
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (October 2011)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Danilo Kiš.|
- A dedicated website (in Serbian) 
- An essay by Aleksandar Hemon 
- An interview 
- An article on Kiš and Borges 
- Danilo Kiš' personal library on LibraryThing 
- "A Conversation with Danilo Kis" by Brendan Lemon, a 1984 interview 
- Danilo Kis poems including some translations