Mihailo Lalic (1914-92).
A native of Montenegro, Mihailo Lalic was born in Trepaa, near
Andrijevica. As a law student at the University of Belgrade, he was
often imprisoned for his communist activities. He fought as a partisan
in World War II and spent time in a prisoner-of-war camp. After the war
he occupied many positions as an editor and journalist. He died in
Herceg Novi in 1992.
His first book of short slories, Izvidnica (The Reconnaissance
Patrol), appeared in 1948, but it was not until a series of
novels--Svadba (The Wedding, 1950), Zlo proljece (The Evil Spring,
1953), Raskid (The Break, 1955), Hajka (The Chase, 1960), and his best
work Lelejska gora (Leleja Mountain, 1957, 1962)--that he received
universal recognition as one of the best living Serbian writers. He was
a one-theme writer--the last war and the fratricidal struggle between
the partisans and their opponents in Montenegro. But Lalic was not
concerned with the realistic depiction of war as much as he was with
man's behavior toward his fellow man. In Lelejska gora he follows
the odyssey of a partisan leader left behind enemy lines and hunted like
a wild animal, until he is freed of all restraints and concerns that
civilization had imposed upon him, and is faced with the problem of
naked existence. Some of his other works are short stories--Prvi snijeg
(The First Snow, 1951), Gosti (Guests, 1967), Poslednje brdo (The Last
Hill, 1967)--and the novel Pramen tame (A Patch of Darkness, 1970).