The Macedonian Novel Analysis

The Macedonian novel

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Macedonian literature was officially recognized only after World War II, although it has existed in a subterranean fashion for centuries. Given that Macedonian literature bypassed entire literary movements and had no tradition of its own on which to draw, it is not surprising that the novel would take some time to appear. After the first novel—Selo zad sedumte jaseni (1953; the village behind the ash trees), by Slavko Janevski (1920-2000)—the Macedonian novelists not only asserted themselves fully but also caught up, to a large degree, with other Yugoslav writers. Understandably, the novelists dealt at first with basic changes in Macedonian society, especially the village, after the war. Soon, however, they began to probe more deeply the inner world of their characters and experiment with more advanced approaches to the novel. While there is no single dominant figure, several novelists, especially among the younger writers, have written promising works that can take their place alongside other achievements in South Slav long fiction.

In retrospect, several common features are discernible among South Slav novelists. They all started rather late because of the specific developments of their societies. For that reason, they lagged behind the developments in other world literatures. They were spurred on, at the beginning, by other literatures, mostly those of Western Europe, but they also tried to express the indigenous narrative tradition rooted...

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The Macedonian Novel Bibliography

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Barac, Antun. A History of Yugoslav Literature. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1973. Solid overview, written by a leading literary historian, traces the development of the Yugoslav novel. Dated but still valuable.

Bogert, Ralph. The Writer as Naysayer: Miroslav Krlema and the Aesthetic of Interwar Central Europe. Columbus, Ohio: Slavica, 1991. Presents wide-reaching references to the literature, including long fiction, of Yugoslavia as seen through analysis of the works of the greatest contemporary Croatian writer.

Eekman, Thomas. Yugoslav Literature, 1945-1975. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1978. Complementary volume to Antun Barac’s work discusses the main Yugoslav novelists and novels of the three decades after World War II.

Hawkesworth, Celia, ed. A History of Central European Women’s Writing. New York: Palgrave, 2001. Collection of essays from this emerging field of study begins with the writings of women in medieval Bohemia and continues through 1990. Explores major authors and themes as well as the growing feminist movement.

Holý, Jirí. Writers Under Siege: Czech Literature Since 1945. Brighton, England: Sussex Academic Press, 2007. Chronologically arranged overview includes biographical sketches of the most important writers, a list of Czech literature anthologies in English, and a bibliography of secondary works in English and in Czech.

Mihailovich, Vasa D., ed. South Slavic Writers Before World War II. Vol. 147 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research, 1995.

_______. South Slavic Writers Since World War II. Vol. 181 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research, 1997. This and the preceding volume offer extensive biographies and expert critical analyses of all important Southeast European novelists, written by the best scholars in the field.

Petro, Peter. A History of Slovak Literature. Buffalo, N.Y.: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1995. Provides an overview of the literature from the Great Moravian period, around 800, to modern writers in 1990. Includes a bibliography of criticism in English.

Poganik, Joe. Twentieth Century Slovene Literature. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Milan Simi, 1989. A leading Slovene literary historian presents a thorough survey of Slovene literature of the twentieth century.

Vucinich, Wayne, ed. Ivo Andri Revisited: The Bridge Still Stands. Berkeley, Calif.: International and Area Studies Publications, 1995. Collection of scholarly essays addresses various aspects of Andri’s works, with emphasis on the novels.

Zagajewski, Adam, ed. Polish Writers on Writing. San Antonio, Tex.: Trinity University Press, 2007. Collection of pieces by twenty-five twentieth century Polish authors focuses on the art of writing.