Yugoslav Literature as a Post-Imperial Constellation

Stijn Vervaet's contribution to the book "Yugoslav Literature: The Past, Present and Future of a Contested Notion" investigates the multifaceted interweaving of Yugoslav literatures.

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Photo: Čigoja Štampa

Shedding new light on the Yugoslav literature

During the 1960s, there was a lively debate in Yugoslavia about the possibility of writing the history of Yugoslav literature. The theses of one of the participants in that debate, Svetozar Petrovic, seem relevant today, especially his remarks on the multiple intertwining, bilingualism and peripheral position of Yugoslav literatures. Continuing the discussion, this paper demonstrates how examining two interconnected constellations – imperial heritage and multilingualism – can shed new light on the multifaceted interweaving of Yugoslav literatures.

A post-imperial constellation

In his contribution, Stijn Vervaet gives two examples to illustrate his thesis on Yugoslav literature as a post-imperial constellation: (1) the connection between cultural nationalism, the standardization of language, and the emergence of national literature in the Slovenian South and (2) the multilingualism of Yugoslav modernists.


This paper is available in the book "Yugoslav Literature: The Past, Present and Future of a Contested Notion" edited by Adrijana Marčetić et al.

By Stijn Vervaet
Published Apr. 25, 2020 8:49 PM - Last modified Aug. 4, 2022 10:59 AM