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Long Biography


Zlatan Colakovic

Zlatan Čolaković and Murat Kurtagić.

Zlatan Colakovic

The Handle of a Ancient Sword



Zlatan Čolaković was born in Zagreb on February 13, 1955. He graduated with a degree in Comparative Literature and Philosophy (1979), finished his Masters (1982) and completed his doctorate in 1984, at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Philosophy. As a Fulbright scholar, from 1984-1988, he worked with Albert Lord at Harvard University in the Slavic division of Widener library. He lectured both at Harvard University and at Waterloo University in Ontario, Canada. While at Harvard, he worked on the Milman Parry Collection transcribing and editing texts from audio tapes of over 90,000 verses of Bosniac epic songs. At UCLA, in 1988, he held a public lecture based on his comprehensive article "South Slavic Muslim Epics, Problems of Collecting, Editing and Publishing" which was later printed in California Slavic Studies, vol. XIV (Los Angeles-Berkley-Oxford, 1992), in which he proved that there are a number of errors in the transcriptions of Harvard editions containing South Slavic epic songs. During 1989, he collected Bosniac epics on the field in Montenegro with his wife, Marina Rojc-Čolaković, and was the first scholar to collect full-length Bosniac traditional epic songs on film. In 1990, He moved to Canada where he conducted research on the corpus of oral epic transcriptions, which resulted in two large volumes and in his theory of Post-Tradition and the Post-Traditional Homer. As the editor and direct heir to the literary legacy of Enver Čolaković, he published many of his father's works Izabrane pjesme, novels Svijet, Lokljani, Iz Bosne o Bosni), and prepared Enver Čolaković's books for publication: Jedinac, Biblijske priče XX. stoljeća, Knjiga majci. In 1989, he published his book Three Eagles of the Tragic World (Tri orla tragičkoga svijeta) which encompasses all of the ancient Greek tragedies, a chapter on Aristotle's Poetics and The Mythic Story.


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