Na hrvatskom, molim In english, please

Personage > Antun Nemčić Gostovinski, Esq.

Antun Nemčić Gostovinski was born on January 14,1813, in Edde, Hungary, during his mother’s visit to some relatives. He spent his childhood in Ludbreg and Koprivnica. He finished a Gymnasium in Varaždin, and graduated in philosophy and law in Zagreb. His friends were Tomo Blažek and Ljudevit Gaj, the leaders of the Illyrian Movement. He began his legal career as a judge in Križevci, and in 1836 he was transferred to Moslavina and Osekovo, where he became an honorary judge. By that time he had already written some books, and made friends with a prominent author, Mirko Bogović. This was to be the beginning of a friendship for life. He was transferred to Ludbreg in 1840, where he stayed until 1840. In June, 1846 he was unanimously elected district judge in Novi Marof, becoming an "honorary judge". In 1848 he was elected a representative in Croatian Assembly, becoming a notary of Križevci County in April, 1849. He died while he was in Podravina on a business trip.A cultivated reader will immediately associate Antuna Nemčić’s name with a travelogue Putositnice (Travel Sketches). The very title itself, unusual, powerful, and even a bit bizarre, indicates that we are dealing with an artist of an extraordinary talent, and understanding of literary culture, making his writings truly exceptional compared to the monotonous writings of his contemporaries.

He started his literary career with poetry, as most of his contemporaries did. In 1851 his friend, Mirko Bogović, published Collected Poems of Antun Nemčić. His poems did not received such a wide critical acclaim as his prose. One of his most significant works is a travelogue Putositnice.

Putositnice (Travel Sketches) isn’t a kind of substitute for journalistic writing, but a work of prose with an authentic narrative form, different from a style of reporting. When reading Putositnice one does not notice only the events described, but also the way they are described. As Nemčić himself puts it, traveling can be compared to passing through a gallery displaying different paintings. Sometimes you pass coldly by those beautiful paintings, while stopping by those less beautiful. The same happens to a traveler, who often doesn’t record some gorgeous images in his mind, while those less significant or beautiful may impress him, and stick in his memory. Thus he writes about those images some other traveler might think unworthy of mention.

His travelogue displays a rich, vivid narrative style, whose main intention is not to convey a complicated plot or a clichéd "heartbreaking" story, but to present an authentic, linguistically rich, interpretation of events, which made Nemčić a pioneer in the 19th century literary writing. Putositnice represents a small, precious, jewel, of literary travel writing. Although in his works, such as Putositnice, unfinished Udes ljudski (Human Fate), and comedy Kvas bez kruha ili tko će biti veliki sudac (Barm without Bread or Who will be the Grand Judge, Nemčić uses expressions, phrases and lexical categories of Latin provenance, his works always have an interesting plot, authentic atmosphere, and characters, and language we all understand.

"Družba braće hrvatskog zmaja – zmajskog stola u Križevcima (Croatian Order of the Dragon)" initiated on 28th of May 2006 putting up a plaque in memory of Antun Nemčić in village Edde in Hungary where Nemčić was born. Notables from Croatia and Hungary attended the unveiling of the plaque, and mixed voice choir of Hrvatsko pjevačko društvo Kalnik performed the composition Domovini.

Antun Nemčić, 19th century portrait

Patriotic poem Domovini (To My Homeland) by Antun Nemčić, dating from 1845

main town square with the bust of Antun Nemčić, 1907

Bust of Antun Nemčić

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