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Abstract Jelena Baki?

Three women writers from Montenegro in the 19th Century

Due to the historical and political situation in Montenegro in the 19th century, opportunities for the development of culture were limited. Montenegro, independent in 1878, had been a strongly patriarchal and warrior society for centuries. Literature, mostly in the hands of men, was the privilege of the few. Women’s position in Montenegro was very difficult and there were few opportunities for education or obtaining literature. Three women from Montenegro who lived in a period of historical transition and cultural change in the 19th century and who lived and wrote abroad in Italy and France were Ana Maria Marovi? (1815 – 1887), Jelena Petrovi? Njegoš (Elena di Savoia) (1873-1952) and Divna Vekovi? (1886-1944).

In this colloquium I will try to examine from a gender perspective the double marginalisation and the absense of their work in Montenegro. From a less developed country they went to the more developed world where they had the possibility to not only write but also publish. Their work came back to Montenegro from the European literary space, but almost one century later. Ana Maria Marovi?’s verses were translated from Italian into Serbian in 1997, since the many self-translated works of Divna Vekovi? in French and the few poems of Jelena Savojska which exist only in Russian and Italian had been almost forgotten in Montenegro.

AsK, October 2012

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