Jump to: navigation, search

Magdalena Koch

Narrative transgressions in Serbian modernist women’s writings: „normal” and „abnormal” gender prose


I would like to present the problem of a new, innovative mechanism of narrative transgressions applied by Serbian female authors at the beginning of the 20th century. It was a completely new method of introducing a gendered literary discourse via narration. I am going to show it on the example of Isidora Sekuli?’s short prose text Nostalgia (from the book Fellow Travellers, 1913), of Milica Jankovi?’s story Little Heart or: The Notebook of an Unhappy Man (from the volume Confessions published in 1913) and of Jelena Dimitrijevi?’s short story The American Woman (from 1918). Writing these first person confessional narratives the Serbian women authors employed first-person masculine verb forms, thus showing that in literature gender can be a pure construct, a matter of convention and that the category of “normal” and “abnormal” female narrative mechanism is/can be a moot point. I want to interpret this phenomenon as a sort of literary game with the narrative mechanism. I would like to bring to the attention that it was a very productive, attractive and innovative literary strategy and that it was an important contribution of female authors to the Serbian modernist literature. This Serbian example of narrative transgression can be a good starting point for a wider discussion and comparison with the women’s narrations in other literatures/literary models.

AsK, September 2012

Personal tools