Predrag Matvejević

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Predrag Matvejević
Predrag Matvejević on Subversive Festival.jpg
Predrag Matvejević on Subversive Festival
Born (1932-10-07)7 October 1932
Mostar, Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Predrag Matvejević (born 1932) is a Bosnian Croat writer known for his writing as well as for his political activism. His book Mediterranean Breviary: A Cultural Landscape has been a bestseller in many European countries, and has been translated into more than 20 languages.


Predrag Matvejević was born in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the time Kingdom of Yugoslavia) to a Croat mother and a Russian father.[1] He attended Gimnazija "Aleksa Šantić" in Mostar before enrolling in the University of Sarajevo.

Matvejević emigrated to France in 1991, but from 1994 to 2008 he lived in Italy. He became a naturalised Italian citizen.

Matvejević taught at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle (New Sorbonne) in Paris as well as in the Sapienza in Rome.[2] He is the past President and now a lifelong honorary Vice-President of the PEN International. Additionally, he is a member of the World Political Forum founded by Mikhail Gorbachev.

He is a member of the advisory board of the left-wing magazine Novi Plamen.[3]

Conviction for defamation[edit]

In November 2001, Predrag Matvejević published an essay-length article titled "Our Talibans" in Jutarnji list. In that article he accused some writers of warmongering during the Yugoslav Wars, among them Mile Pešorda, a Croatian writer. Mile Pešorda filed a lawsuit against him and the trial was started in March 2003. On November 2, 2005 Matvejević was found guilty on the charge of defamation. He was sentenced to five months' probation and ordered to publish the verdict at his own cost in Jutarnji list and to pay 5,000 kuna (circa $1000) of trial costs. Matvejević did not appeal. He made a statement that an appeal would signify an acknowledgment of the verdict and the ones who issued it. On December 20, 2005, the verdict was upheld by an appeals court.[4][5][6]

Works (incomplete)[edit]

(Most of his books have appeared in Croatian, Italian and French editions)

  • Sartre (essay, 1965)
  • Razgovori s Krležom (1969, with several reprints up to 1987)
  • Prema novom kulturnom stvaralaštvu (1975)
  • Književnost i njezina društvena funkcija (1977)
  • Te vjetrenjače (1977)
  • Jugoslavenstvo danas (Beograd, 1984)
  • Otvorena pisma (1985)
  • Mediteranski brevijar (1987)[7]
  • Istočni epistolar (1995)
  • Gospodari rata i mira (with V. Stevanović and Z. Dizdarević, 2000)
  • Druga Venecija (2002)
  • Le monde «ex» - Confessions (Paris, 1966)
  • Pour une poétique de l'événement (Paris, 1979)
  • La Méditerranée et l'Europe - Leçons au College de France (Paris, 1998)
  • L'Ile-Méditerranée (Paris, 2000)
  • Epistolario dell’altra Europa (Garzanti, Milan 1992)
  • Sarajevo (Motta, Milan 1995)
  • Ex Jugoslavia. Diario di una guerra (Magma, Milan 1995)
  • Tra asilo ed esilio (Meltemi, Rome 1998)
  • Il Mediterraneo e l’Europa (Garzanti, Milan 1998)
  • I signori della guerra (Garazanti, Milan 1999)
  • Un’Europa maledetta (Baldini e Castoldi, Milan 2005)


  1. ^ "Predrag Matvejevic' Official Homepage". 2005-11-05. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  2. ^ Kordić, Snježana (2013). "Kozmopolit o jeziku" [Cosmopolitan about language] (PDF). Književna republika (in Croatian) (Zagreb) 11 (4-6): 94. ISSN 1334-1057. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  3. ^ O Novom Plamenu (Retrieved on 2008-10-02).
  4. ^ Piše: utorak, 20.12.2005. 12:43 (2005-12-20). "Presuda Predragu Matvejeviću postala pravomoćnom -". Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  5. ^ "Legalis - hrvatski pravni portal". 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  6. ^ Pravosudni autogol (Croatian)
  7. ^ Written in Croatian, this book has been reprinted many times and translated into more than twenty languages