Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Identity Representation in the Novels of Ivo Andri?

This event was held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live.

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Njegoš Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture at the East Central European Center for a talk with Tihomir Brajović (University of Belgrade/Hankuk University). Moderated by Aleksandar Bošković, Lecturer in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, and Co-director of the East Central European Center.

This lecture will focus on the artistic polyvalent treatment of identity issues in the historical novels of Ivo Andrić, the only Serbian and Yugoslav Nobel Prize winner for literature (1961). Andrić’s writes about Bosnian and West Balkan societies and communities during turbulent historical events and changes from the 18th century through the 20th century (the French Revolution, Napoleon’s conquests, First Serbian uprising, Balkan wars, World War I). Andrić’s style is considered realistic in the broadest sense of the term, but his skill in manipulating narrative perspectives, both individual and collective, make his novels immanently modern and highly interesting for interpretation. Through his juxtaposition of perspective, Andrić equally relativizes local and imperial identity understandings and worldviews, thus allowing attentive readers to assemble the semantic puzzle of the novel themselves. Some aspects of his novels also provide opportunities for a subversive understanding of political figures and circumstances.

Tihomir Brajović is professor of South Slavic comparative literature at the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Serbia. He is currently a visiting professor at Hankuk University for Foreign Studies in Seoul, Korea. Major books: Poetics of Genre (1995), Theory of Poetic Image (2000), Forms of Literary Modernism (2005), Identical Difference: Comparative-imagological Essay (2007), Oblivion and Repetition (2009), Fiction and Power: Essay on Ivo Andrić’s Subversive Imagination (2011), Comparative Identities: Serbian Literature Between European and South Slavic Context(2012), Narcissus Paradox (2013), Fever and Feat: Essay on Erotic Imagination in the Literary Work of Ivo Andrić(2015), Pedagogical fiction (2019).

Event Video