Ivo Andrić Biography


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Ivo Andri (AHN-dreech) was born on October 10, 1892, in Dolac, a small town near Travnik in central Bosnia, at that time a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Both of his parents were Catholics, which led to a long-standing controversy about whether he was a Serbian or a Croatian writer. After his father’s death, his mother moved with Ivo to Viegrad, a town on the Drina River with its famous bridge built in the sixteenth century. Andri attended elementary school in Viegrad, high school in Sarajevo, and universities in Zagreb, Vienna, and Krakow. As a student, he developed strong nationalistic feelings and joined Young Bosnia, a revolutionary movement the opposed the Austrian occupation of Bosnia. His political activism resulted in his being sentenced to a three-year term in prison, but he was released in 1917 because of poor health.

While in prison, he started his literary career by writing a book of prose poems, Ex Ponto (1918). Two years later, he published another book of prose poems, Nemiri (unrest). After World War I, Andri entered the diplomatic service of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1923 he was a vice consul in Graz, but his position was endangered because he had not finished his graduate work at the University of Sarajevo. He enrolled at the University of Graz and received his doctorate after writing his dissertation in German, Die Entwicklung des geistigen Lebens in Bosnien unter der Einwirkung der türkischen...

(The entire section is 485 words.)

Ivo Andrić Biography

(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Ivo Andri (AHN-dreech) is one of the greatest writers in the former Yugoslavia and the only Yugoslav recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was born in a small village near Travnik in Bosnia, the son of an impoverished silversmith, and he spent his early childhood in Sarajevo. After his father’s death he was sent to live in Viegrad, where he finished elementary school. Upon completing high school in Sarajevo, he studied Slavic literature and history at universities in Zagreb, Vienna, Kracow, and Graz. During World War I he was arrested by Austrian authorities as a Yugoslav nationalist, and the three years he spent in confinement almost ruined his health. In prison Andri wrote his first literary works, poems in prose that were collected in Ex Ponto and Nemiri (restlessness). After his country’s liberation and unification he entered the diplomatic service in 1921 and served in that capacity in Rome, Bucharest, Madrid, and Geneva; his last post was in Berlin at the time of Germany’s 1941 attack on Yugoslavia., Ivo[Andric, Ivo]}, Ivo[Andric, Ivo]}, Ivo[Andric, Ivo]}

Andri abandoned poetry in the early 1920’s and started writing short stories, eventually becoming the leading short-story writer in Yugoslav literature between the two world wars. The main features of his narrative style are discernible in his first stories, and there is relatively little change in his basic worldview or in his narrative technique during the five decades of his development. His early prose poems, as well as his later novels, reveal his predilection for storytelling.

The setting for Andri’s fiction is most frequently Bosnia, with its numerous races, nationalities, and religions, but the content of the writing by implication takes in the whole country and the world. Although Andri usually concentrates on the Islamic believers, he also portrays Christian characters. In his work Andri likes to dwell in the distant past, and in his use of minute detail he is scrupulously faithful to the historical sources. His focus on the past signifies not escape from the present but rather his keen understanding of the unity of time and space in the history of the Bosnian people.

In his stories Andri shows scores of disabled and mentally ill people as well...

(The entire section is 933 words.)

Ivo Andrić Biography

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Ivo Andri’s family origins embody that ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity of modern Yugoslavia that has always been one of the underlying subjects of his fiction. He was born in the tiny hamlet of Dolac in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina (then a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) on October 10, 1892. His father, a Serb of the Orthodox faith, was a poor coppersmith; his mother was a Croat and a Roman Catholic. When Ivo was an infant, his father died, and his mother took him to live with her parents in the eastern town of Viegrad, where he played on the bridge erected by the Turks that was later to be the location and subject of his greatest novel. A brilliant student, he had translated some of Walt Whitman’s poetry into Serbo-Croatian by the time he was nineteen. His education was interrupted by his political activities, however. As a youth he had joined Young Bosnia, an organization dedicated to creating an independent nation for the South Slavs. After another member of the organization assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, in 1914 (the event that precipitated World War I), Andri was arrested and imprisoned for three years.

Andri always said that his imprisonment forced him to mature rapidly, both as a writer and as a human being. He read extensively, especially the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, whose work gave substance to Andri’s already developing pessimism. Released from prison in 1917, he began to publish poetry he had written while incarcerated, joined the editorial staff of a literary journal, and resumed his academic career. During the next six years, Andri studied languages, philosophy, and history at universities in Poland, Austria, and Yugoslavia, earning a Ph.D. in history in 1923 from the University of Graz in Austria. His work on his doctoral thesis, a...

(The entire section is 758 words.)