When I took on the job of cataloguing the Mitrinović archive, I was looking forward to finding out more about the personality of the eccentric intellectual behind the collection. What was he like? How did his contemporaries see him?
Firstly, Mitrinović really looked the part of the exotic foreigner to those who met him. It sounds like a cliché, but as several commentators said it independently, it seems that Mitrinović really did have mesmerising eyes. He was tall with dark hair and eyebrows. Evidently he also had real presence, although the artist Paul Klee described him as having a “peasant face”!
Mitrinović clearly had powers of persuasion that were something to be reckoned with. I think of him borrowing £5 from a total stranger on the ferry to England when he arrived in the country, or persuading the Serbian Legation to employ him as a clerk in 1914, when he…
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