1 / 1990
Janja Žitnik Serafin

The Delay in Slovene Publication of The Eagle and the Roots

The paper treats the circumstances which have resulted in an eighteen-year delay in publication of the Slovene edition of The Eagle and the Roots, the last book by the Slovene-American author Louis Adamic. It initially explains that the Slovene edition is an authentic translation of the unabridged American edition and not a much censored version, as general opinion would wrongly have it. The opinions of some of the author’s contemporaries on the reasons for the delay in publication of the Slovene edition and a comment upon the supposition that Adamic was killed by agents o f the Yugoslav government are followed by an insight into the disagreement between Adamic and the Yugoslav political leadership in the years 1949-51. First presented are the obstacles which lay in the way of Adamic’s cooperation with the Yugoslavs regarding the preparation o f a Slovene and a partial Serbo-Croatian translation of the book The Eagle and the Roots. The author identifies the reasons why Adamic’s text was unacceptable in Yugoslavia during the 1950’s by offering a short review of the most disputable political aspects and of the methodological approaches in this, Adamic’s last book. They are: Adamic’s viewpoint about the Yugoslav-Soviet split and about the necessity for economic aid from the United States to Yugoslavia; his indirect criticism of privileges given to Yugoslav state dignitaries; his view of the justification for existing government property in Yugoslavia; and his stressing of the need for internal democratization in the country, including the delivery of more information to both domestic and foreign publics - matters which, in that system , one could not discuss openly in a literary work intended for a broad readership. Besides that, some people were upset by Adamic’s free interpretation of his discussions with Yugoslav politicians and other public workers and by his peculiar approach to the biography of president Tito. It is possible, however, that further research could prove that all these elements are only secondary factors in the sudden »distance« our politicians took soon after Louis Adamic’s last return to the United States.