Mate Dolenc’s novel Morje v času mrka (Sea at Eclipse) is one of the most beautiful islands in the author’s literary archipelago. In this work, Dolenc succeeds in summoning to the page all of his acquaintances, friends, fictional and actual heroes as well as their creators, so that they may listen together and refresh an age-old tale that people never grow tired of: a story about love and the search for it, a story about the sea. The Adriatic Sea has played a crucial role in Dolenc’s personal and creative life. His endless fascination with this vast body of salt water appears in his literary works for both younger audiences and mature readers, and even in his academic publications. Sea at Eclipse is an intimate story about Val Sebald, an aging intellectual who became a fisherman many years ago, leaving behind the mainland and its shallow civilization. It tells of his life on an island, and the life he leads through the books that he brought with him to the island. It also delves into a long lost love and a new one, unattainable because of an age difference, and yet what leaves the greatest impression is his last battle with the “big fish.” Ultimately he catches the fish, but fails to bring it to shore.
Sea at Eclipse deals with themes of old age and death and is considered by many to be Dolenc’s best novel. Despite clear references to The Old Man and the Sea, Dolenc makes significant changes to Hemingway’s fable by placing it under the surface of the sea, by introducing erotic elements, and by using humor as the key feature of his writing. The novel has been translated into Croatian, Czech, and English. In 2008, Jure Pervanje directed a film version of Sea at Eclipse.
Original title: Morje v času mrka
Edited by: Alenka Jovanovski
Afterword: Alenka Jovanovski
Price: 18,00 EUR