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Gottlieb, Hinko

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1886-1948) Croatian poet, author, editor and lawyer whose sf novel set in World War Two, The Key to the Great Gate (manuscript trans Fred Bolman and Ruth Morris from the Serbo-Croat 1947), was first composed in an Italian concentration camp (the manuscript was destroyed and had to be reconstructed later). An imprisoned Scientist, having learned how to expand and contract the Einsteinian spacetime continuum, dazzles and befuddles his Nazi guards, gradually becoming an effective symbol of human dignity and the freedom of the spirit – consistent with the underlying burden of the twentieth-century genre of the Prison Novel, whose two poles are Incarceration and Escape. The book is also funny, in a fashion possibly evocative, for readers not familiar with Serbo-Croat literature, of writers like Karel Čapek. [JC]

Hinko Gottlieb

born Austria-Hungary (now Croatia): 1886

died Israel: 1948


  • The Key to the Great Gate (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1947) [no published version of "Kljuc od veilikih vrate" has been sourced: English publication almost certainly trans by Fred DeWolfe Bolman and Ruth Morris from a Serbo-Croat manuscript: illus/hb/Sam Fischer]


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