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Jelena Milinkovic

Elements of Woman’s Writings in Forgotten Stories
(about the prose of Leposava Mijuškovic)


This contribution analyzes the prose (four stories) of woman short story writer Leposava Mijuskovic in the early XXth century from the standpoint of modern theory. Leposava Mijuskovic published four stories, in for that time, very influent literary magazines such as Srpski književni glasnik [Serbian literary gazette], and the main and the most influent Serbian literary critic at that time Jovan Skerlic wrote highly about her works. We don’t know more about her life, and because of her early death she didn’t publish more stories, and she didn’t publish them in book form. Her stories were published only in the periodical press at the end of the XXth century when they were published in a book with the title Stories about a Soul.

The paper refers to the specifics of the text of this almost unknown and forgotten author who is dealing with, for that time, unusual topics, such as, for example, homosexuality, suicide, rebellious women, but in which we recognize traces of modern techniques such as automatic writing and fragmentation. This paper analyzes the themes present in the prose of Leposava Mijuskovic such as women’s role in society according to current norms, or deviant from them, marriage, normal sexuality and deviation from norms, normal and abnormal women’s activities, behavior of an unmarried woman, adultery, etc.

This research, regarding the position of this woman writer, aims to point to the specificity of the Serbian cultural heritage in relation to issues of women's writing and its reception, and thus the specific literary historical process, in which the existence of the forgotten authors in the literary past is the common phenomenon: those female authors wrote in the late XIXth and early XXth century, and their works are published (for the first time) in a form of a book at the end of the XXth century. This phenomenon is more present in Serbian literature than in literature and culture in West Europe because of the very specific political, cultural and historical situation in Serbian and another countries which had been for several centuries part of the Ottoman empire.

AsK, September 2012

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