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Biljana Doj?inovi?

East and West in Serbian Women’s Writing in the Early 20th Century:
Jelena Dimitrijevi?’s and Jelica Belovi? Bernadžikovska’s Routes


The paper will address the notion(s) of East and West in Serbian women’s literature at the beginning of the 20th century on the examples of Jelena Dimitrijevic and Jelica Belovi? Bernadžikovska. While Jelena Dimitrijevi? was describing lives of Turkish women in the Balkans in her Letters from Harems in Niš (1897) and the novel Nove (1912), Jelica Belovi? Bernadžikovska was moving back and forth from the Austro-Hungarian territory to Serbia, with a vision of a joint Southern Slavs’ country which was to be founded in 1918.

The specifity of the situation I want to concentrate on is that West and East were geographically very close to each other within the liminal place Serbia represented at the beginning of the 20th century. The routes and works connected to it in the case of these two women writers can be mutually compared in order to point out the specifities of the time. Their experience of being between two large empires – Ottoman and Austrian – opens up both theoretical and practical issues. On the theoretical level, there are the issues of orientalisation (Said) and balcanization (Todorova); on the practical level, there are issues of nationality, culture, literature, language etc. in cataloguing their work in databases, which need to be solved in the most inclusive ways in subsequent research.

Their routes in the period between 1881-1918 will also be graphically presented.

AsK, September 2012

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