Luka Ostojić was born in Croatia in 1987. He graduated with a degree in Sociology and Comparative Literature from the University of Zagreb. He has published literary texts, criticism, and political commentary in several magazines and web publications (Kulturpunkt, Booksa.hr, Filmonaut, Zarez). Currently, he's an executive editor of a cultural magazine Zarez and editor of the literary website Booksa.hr.
Where do you write? Do you have any writing rituals?
Since I also work as a journalist, I am used to tight deadlines and unusual writing conditions. So I can work anywhere, anytime, in any seating position, as long as there is coffee. However, before writing I tend to write up my ideas in little clouds and connect them together, so my sketchbook resembles comic book conversations.
What are you reading now? Do you read literature that has been translated from other languages or just Croatian books?
In school we read lots of literature from other countries, so nowadays I also often read translated literature. That is necessary because Croatian literary production is not that big, plus we have some really good translators. Right now I am reading The Time: Night by Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, a depressing and hilarious short novel about one dysfunctional Russian family.
Do you have a favorite English writer?
My favorite English-speaking writer is definitely Kurt Vonnegut because of his wild imagination, interesting structure and specific atmosphere, which is sad and skeptical about humanity, but very warm at the same time.
What makes Croatian writing unique?
Even though Croatia is a really small country and not many people write (or read, for that matter), it is really interesting to see so many extremely different writers and books. You can find almost any genre and almost any approach – from traditional writing to edgy experiments, from “great novels” to hermetic poetry. I think this is the case because we read a lot of foreign literature, which gives us diverse and rich influences. On the other hand, that might not be so unique because it's likely that every country’s literature is complex, but we are presented other national literatures as unique literary scenes, as anthologies and theories (when they are probably not), so our impression is simplified.