‘Some roads unfold before us / Without a beaten track’: Unearthing Bosnia’s Romantic Spirit through the Hasanaginica and Mak Dizdar’s Stone Sleeper

  • Maja Pašović


Although characterized by a mixture of diverse influences, spanning from the Greek and Roman to Eastern and modern elements initially coming with the rule of Austria-Hungary, the literary tradition of Bosnia-Herzegovina experienced a rather late flowering. If Romanticism comes later to continental Europe than to Britain, it comes later yet to the South Slavic region. The literature of Bosnia-Herzegovina still embodies an uncharted territory for numerous scholars and researchers the world over, partly due to the number of political and social systems the country went through in the span of only a few centuries, but even more so, because of the tendency to characterize the works of Bosnian authors as anything but Bosnian. According to Muhamed Filipović, in ‘The Bosnian Spirit in Literature — What Is It?’, ‘the literature of Bosniaks was either interpreted as being Serbian or Croatian or dismissed as oriental — strange and alien to the national spirit’. Bosnian Romanticism serves as a particularly complex case study for the European Romantic emphasis on national identity, and exemplifies the difficulties of defining a distinct tradition out of such a syncretic heritage.


Thirteenth Century Balkan Peninsula Twelfth Century Artistic Success Beaten Track 
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© Maja Pašović 2015

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  • Maja Pašović

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