Bosnian Literature

Bosnian literature, the artistic literature of the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is shaped by four cultural contexts and their languages: Bosniak-Muslim, Serbian-Orthodox, Croatian-Catholic, Jewish-Sephardic. Since the beginning of the 1990s, v. a. the Bosniak component has been worked up and accentuated more strongly.

According to Youremailverifier, Slavic literature has existed since the Middle Ages, showing distinctive peculiarities in relation to both the Croatian-Glagolitic and the Serbian-Cyrillic tradition, e.g. B. a separate written form (Bosnian Cyrilliza, the Bosančica). From the vicinity of the Bosnian Church (Bogomils) only a few monuments have survived (»Hvalov rukopis«, »Mletački zbornik«). With the fall of the Kingdom of Bosnia (1463) and the subsequent formation of urban centers under the Ottomans, that cultural pluralism developed that shaped Bosnian literature in the following period and can be regarded as its special characteristic. Specific forms of medieval literature include: Church donor documents, inscriptions on seals and stone monuments in relief, the Stećci. In addition to a rich literature in oriental languages ​​(Turkish, Arabic, Persian), the v. a. used classical forms of poetry (e.g. Zijaija Mosrarac, † around 1584; Hasan Kaimija, † 1680; Mula Mustafa Šefki Bašeskija, * 1731, † 1809, »Ljetopis«), the literary endeavors of the Bosnian Franciscans and Serbs (especially in the Orthodox monasteries) began in Croatian and Serbian. After the arrival of the Sephardim, expelled from Spain, literature developed in Hebrew and Judéo-Español (David Pardo, 18th century). Aljamiadic literature (texts in vernacular, written in Arabic script, “arebica”, extended specifically for Slavonic), with its particular diversity in poetry, remained alive into the 20th century.

After the Austro-Hungarian occupation in 1878, a multifaceted multiliterative life arose, which v. a. played out in literary societies. Literary magazines such as “Nada”, “Bosanska vila” and “Zora” as well as the Muslim magazines “Behar” and “Biser” drew on a group of intellectuals who, thanks to their training in Europe, endeavored to incorporate the modern currents of the time into literature the region. Examples include: Poets such as the Croat S. S. Kranjčević, the Serbs J. Dučić and A. Šantić, the Muslims Safvet-Beg Bašagić-Redžepašić (* 1870, † 1934) and Musa Ćazim Ćatić (* 1878, † 1915). Serbian (P. Kočić; Svetozar Ćorović, * 1875, † 1919) and Muslim writers (Edhem Mulabdić, * 1862, † 1954) made contributions to realistic narrative literature. The movement of the »Mlada Bosna« (Young Bosnia), at the I. Andrić, Miloš Vidaković (* 1891, † 1915) and others. participated, was voted “Yugoslav”.

In the interwar period, narration was the most prolific genre. Enduring works created here, among other things. Andrić, I. Samokovlija (subtle prose of the Bosnian Sephardim), Ahmed Muradbegović (* 1898, † 1972), Hamza Humo (* 1895, † 1970)and B. Ćopić.

After 1945, Bosnian literature experienced its first mature phase in the mid-1960s: M. Selimović in his philosophically oriented narrative work, Ćamil Sijarić (* 1913, † 1989) in social novels and Derviš Sušić (* 1925, † 1990) in satirical works not only the peculiarities of the Bosnian world, but also concise generalizations that go beyond the specific reference. They were joined as narrators, dramatists and / or poets, among others. Skender Kulenović (* 1910, † 1978), Vitomir Lukić (* 1929, † 1991), Alija Isaković (* 1932, † 1997), Andelko Vuletić (* 1933), Tvrtko Kulenović (* 1935), Nedžad Ibrišmović (* 1940), Irfan Horozović (* 1947) and Mak Dizdar (* 1917, † 1971), whose sources of inspiration were Bosnian documents and texts (»Kameni spavač«, 1966; German »The stone sleeper«). Izet Sarajlić (* 1930, † 2002) with his laconic poems on time problems, Abdulah Sidran (* 1944) and from the younger generation S. Tontić and Ferida Duraković (* 1957) are representatives of an extremely complex lyric poetry.

After the outbreak of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, which led to the emigration of numerous authors (D. Karahasan, Tontić, etc.), young and committed authors who – even if they live and work in different countries in the region – spoke up. Participate in the cultural syncretism of Bosnia and Herzegovina and therefore not necessarily belong to just one of the national literatures: Alma Lazarevska (* 1957), Semezdin Mehmedonović (* 1960), Nedad Veličković (* 1962), Aleksandar Hemon (* 1964) and Miljenko Jergović (* 1969). Her artistically demanding works, which not only reflect the events of the war, met with widespread interest abroad.


Bosniaks, Bosnians, own name Bošnjaci, Names for the South Slav Muslims in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as war refugees also in the rest of Europe and in the USA, about 3 million; Today the term Bosnian or Bosanci is primarily used to refer to all residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so besides Bosniaks it also includes Serbs, Croats and members of ethnic minorities. – The Bosniaks are descendants of the Slavic population group who converted to Islam after the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia (1463) and Herzegovina (1482/83), primarily from the nobility and upper class, later farmers and urban classes (middle of the 17th century already more than 66% of the population). In the constant threat to the Ottoman border region, the Bosniaks were able to who the (initially only formal) Islamization was facilitated by their opposition to the Catholic (papacy) and Byzantine (Eastern Orthodox) Church, their distinct independence in culture (literature, including Bosnian epics; folk culture, customs) or oriental-Turkish ways of life (Housing, clothing, dance, music) to preserve and develop; not a few achieved important positions in the Ottoman service. After first, failed attempts by the administration of Austria-Hungary between 1878 and 1908 and 1918 and the reprisals against the Bosniaks and Croats by Serbian Četnici in the Croatian Ustaša state (1941-45), the Bosniaks were officially recognized as an ethnic group with their own nationality within 1963/68 Yugoslavia (“Bosnian Muslim” or “Bosniak nation” as “buffer nation”). In the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–95), the Bosniaks were the main victims of displacement, flight and crimes against the civilian population (especially in the battles around Sarajevo and in the Muslim enclaves of Bihać, Goražde and Srebrenica).

Bosnian Literature