The Macedonian novel
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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