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Ivana Zivancevic-Sekerus

European Romanticism and Dragojla Jarnevi? (Croatia)


“Yes, my homeland is beautiful, but it is too small to hold me!” - the Croatian writer Dragojla Jarnevi? (1812-1875) wrote in her diary (kept between 1833 and 1874). She was formed in the Illyrian movement under the influence of the European Romanticism (Byron, Goethe, Schiller), and primarily the German authors (La Motte Fouqué, Zschokke). Until 1841, she wrote her diary in German, and afterwards in Croatian - in parallel translating the previously written pages in German to Croatian. This voluminous work of more than 1000 pages was put together for the first time and published in 2000 (by Irena Lukši?, Matica Hrvatska, Karlovac).

Jarnevi? published poems and short stories in several influential Croatian periodicals of that time (Danica ilirska, Kolo, Der Pilger, Neven, Glasonoša, Dragoljub), and she also published a number of articles on the education of young women (Slavjanski pedagog, Narod, Napredak, Narodne novine), as well as a collection of short stories entitled Domorodne poviesti (Homeland stories, 1843). Jarnevi? also wrote three plays, but only one chapter was published in 1918, the rest of the manuscripts was lost. Among other things, in her Diary are the notes from her journeys to Graz, Trieste and Venice (where she worked as an au-pair and a teacher in wealthy families). Above all, this work is a cultural and historical fresco of the time, showing the position of women in the Croatian society of that period.

SvD, March 2012

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