Milan Vlajčić on The 20th Century LibraryAn article entitled „Ivan Čolović's Century'', by Milan Vlajčić, was published in the April 18, 2011 issue of the Belgrade daily newspaper Blic:
''Orpheus'', ''Metamorphoses'', ''Constellations''... these are the names of brilliant book collections which for decades have been enriching select libraries and broadening the intellectual horizons of succeeding generations. They have long since fallen under the unslaught of the Yugo-wars, the desintegration of the Yugoslav federation, and the savage capitalism (in translation: transition from something to nothing). But, one of them is still standing, marking the fourtieth anniversary of its existence. It is called ''The 20th Century Library''. Its founder, publisher, and only editor is Ivan Čolović, PhD, an author of a score of brilliant sholarly books and collections of essays, a Herder Award recipient... It came into being as a sideline activity of the ''Stamenković Bros.'' People's University. Subsequently, uder various kinds of political and economic pressure, Čolović had to move his ''Century'' from one publishing company to the next. For the last twenty years it has been a cottage industry operation with fascinating results.
Under the heading of ''The 20th Century Library'', one could find names such as Edgar Morin, Maurice Nadeau, Roland Barthes, Erich Fromm, Miroslav Krleža, Caude Lévi - Strauss, or Jean - Michel Palmier. Always a surprising, uncompromising choice of precious reading for the intellectually curious, the edition has been an integral part of the intellectual biography of several generations. It has published 194 books to date, but none with state subsidies, or with the support of powers-that-be in today's Serbian culture. It is a bitter irony that one of the early inclusions in this collection was a volume of essays by Dobrica Ćosić, entitled ''Power and Fright'', which caused a number of people at ''Stamenković Bros.'' to be punished, and the municipal communist party secretary to be fired, while the signer of these lines almost lost his job at Politika daily paper for having defended the book in a public debate. Čolović has managed to rescue the edition from of the jaws of one Party politics and nurse it to where it is now. It was well worth the effort.
Milan Vlajčić, ''Ivan Čolović's Century'', in Blic Online, 04/18/2011.