Ante Kovačić bigraphy, stories - Croatian writer

Ante Kovačić : biography

June 6, 1854 - March 10, 1889

Ante Kovačić (June 6, 1854 – March 10, 1889) was a Croatian writer who is best known for his work U registraturi.The Slavonic and East European review, Volume 70


Early life

Born to a family of Croatian peasants in Hrvatsko Zagorje, Kovačić made his way through law school to become an attorney. He was born in Celine Goričke, a village near Marija Gorica.. Ante is mentioned here.

His parents were Ana Vugrinec and Ivan Kovačić (1826 – 1906). They were married in Marija Gorica. Ivan was also called Janko and dreamed that Ante would become a priest.

In 1857, Ante and his parents went to Oplaznik.Kaj, Volume 2, Issues 1-6, page 12. A Croatian magazine.

Later life

Kovačić began to write in 1875. While his early works have Romantic tendencies, in later years he was influenced by Realist literature. His stories and novels often had strong satiric overtones and represent harsh criticism to injustice in Croatian society of his time. One of his novels, Među žabari, remained unfinished because citizens of Karlovac protested after reading its first paragraphs in a local newspaper.

The best known work of Ante Kovačić is semi-autobiographic novel U registraturi (1888). In it he expressed great deal of sympathy for common Croatian people, most notably peasants whom he saw as superior to snobbish citizenry.

Kovačić was known as a staunch supporter of Ante Starčević and his Croatian Party of Rights. As such he was bitterly opposed to Ivan Mažuranić and wrote literal travesty of Mažuranić’s poem The Death of Smail-aga Čengić.

In his later years, Kovačić began to show symptoms of mental disorder which gradually affected his work, including the last chapters of U registraturi.

U registraturi, combining biting social satire, naturalist descriptions of Croatian bureaucracy and peasantry, as well as fascination with the supernatural inherited from Romanticism, nevertheless remained the most powerful 19th century Croatian novel and one of the most enduring novels in Croatian history. In 1974 it was adapted into popular television mini-series starring Rade Šerbedžija.


Kovačić died of pneumonia in psychiatric hospital in Vrapče, Zagreb. He was insane at the moment of his death.

He was buried at Mirogoj Cemetery.Šicel, M. Kovačić. Zagreb, Globus, 1984. Biblioteka Portreti; Ante Kovačić: izbor poezije i proze.



  • Zagorski čudak
  • Fiškal
  • Smrt babe Čengićkinje
  • Baruničina ljubav
  • Među žabari
  • U registraturi


Kovačić’s wife was called Milka Hajdin. She bore him six children.Kaj, Volume 5, Issues 7-11

Ante and Milka were married in Mala Gorica.

Their daughters Olga and Marija were teachers, while their son Krešimir was a journalist, who died in 1960.

Ante had a sister or sister-in-law called Marica.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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