As noted in a previous post, Brideshead Revisited was recently translated into Croatian and published there earlier this year as Povratak u Brideshead. That translation was reviewed last week in the daily newspaper Glas Slavonije published in Osijek. This is the principal city of the easternmost part of Croatia, called Slavonia, and is quite remote from the parts of the country along or near the coast where Waugh was stationed in WWII.
The review by Zlatek Kramaric is entitled “Ljudski je sumnjati i neke ‘istine’ stalno propitivati!“, translated as “It is humanly questionable and some ‘truths’ constantly questioned!” Unfortunately, the quality of the translation of the review is rather poor. It begins by explaining that Waugh converted to Roman Catholicism “after disclosure” (“poslije objelodanjivanja“) of the novel. Whether that is a mistranslation or a mistake is difficult to determine without a better understanding of Croatian than possessed by your correspondent.
It is evident that the major part of the relatively detailed review concentrates on discussions based around two scenes at the end of the novel, from which lengthy excerpts are quoted. These are the scenes involving the visitations of the priest to the dying Lord Marchmain (Book Three, Chapter v) and the reception at Brideshead for Rex’s political friends (Book Three, Chapter iii). These discussions are followed by a concluding paragraph “GUŠTATI U ČITANJU” (translated as “The cold in reading” or perhaps “The dense in reading”) and by two appendices: one called Partisan Episode and the other Brideshead Film.
It is heartening that Waugh’s novel is receiving attention in foreign language markets. Possibly one of our readers may be able to offer a better understanding of this review in a comment as provided below.