Jump to: navigation, search

As a madwoman, I have no country - Milica Stojadinovi? Srpkinja and the „national feeling“

by Biljana Doj?inovi?

In this paper I will begin from the contemporary history, the 90s of the 20th century, when the romantization of the ’great past’ was used for the political aims, and when women writers reacted by a number of fictional text in which they subverted the images of the ’great men’. Their specific strategies used for displaying the dishonesty of these images will be the clue for understanding the relation towards the national problem by a woman writer in 19th century, namely, Milica Stojadinovi? Srpkinja.

Milica Stojadinovi? Srpkinja (1828-78), was born in Bukovac, in Srem, which at the time was part of Austro-Hungarian empire. While very young, she became famous for her fervent patriotic poetry, which spoke about national awakening and gained her the nickname meaning Serbian woman. Later on, however, she was forgotten and died in misery.

Self-identified with the national concept, she wrote a book of poetry which was reissued three times in her life. Ironically, her most memorable work has been a diary, a mixture of controlled confession, folklore pieces, translations, observations, etc., which could be read as a specifically “womans’s text”. The opposition of her patriotic poems, evaluated as of a rather poor quality, and the beautiful, but equally marginalized, diary opens the issue of being betrayed by both contemporaries as well as the successors. On this opposition of good and not so good literature, I want to discuss the possibility of rereading her poetry in new light, as well as of rereading the canon of national literature as a social project in which “a madwoman” has no place.

AsK, September 2012

Personal tools