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history, war, war crimes, violence, ideologies, mythology, good and evil as archetypes

Sveti boj

Holy Battle

by Vlado Žabot

Radovan Podolni, a doctoral student of history, following his supervisor's instructions, sets off for a former war zone to research the archives there and the border fortifications.  But with each step, the apparently clear task of uncovering the objective truth about the past becomes increasingly complex and dangerous. Radovan's academic perspective subsides beneath the weight of dreams and coincidences that disrupt his plans, until he finally realises that in reality the war is still not over. The spirit of those killed on the battlefield is still alive and is transferring its energy to the survivors who, trapped in ancient battles, fail to seek out the deeper reasons for the war. It is these reasons that are the main theme of the novel Holy Battle. With his characteristically picturesque and suggestive language, which shifts events to a semi-dormant, mythical time, Vlado Žabot fearlessly looks at the reverse side of the ideologies that have long striven to discern heroism in the demonic force of war.  Radovan uncovers the illusion that throughout history has driven the dialectic of victors and victims, when he sees in mankind the spiritual being that quenches its thirst in the imaginative and the mythical, even though it dons such a rational mask.  He finds the only possible way out of the circle of violence and achieves it when he takes upon himself the weight of the world.  

A masterfully written story of the circle of the violence of war and the subjective victory of an individual – for our time, for all times.