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Writing war, writing memory: the representation of the recent past and the construction of cultural memory in contemporary Bosnian prose

Stijn Vervaet UGent (2011) NEOHELICON. 38(1). p.1-17
abstract
Focusing on the work of Miljenko Jergović, Nenad Veličković, Alma Lazarevska, and Saša Stanišić, this paper examines how the representation of the recent past intertwines with the construction of collective memory in contemporary Bosnian prose. The author argues that a first, significant function of recent Bosnian literature consisted of not only witnessing the horror of the Bosnian war but also turning historical events into sites of memory. This is especially true for the literature about the wars of the nineties – the siege of Sarajevo, Srebrenica, etc. However, the involvement of Bosnian authors with the recent past – in prose written during the war as well as in more recent works – proves to be more complex and seems to be indicative of a growing interest in and reflexivity upon the ways in which collective and individual memory are constructed. This paper suggests that the interest in memory/remembering the recent past has been accelerated by the war and the social and political turmoil of the nineties. This liminal situation urged writers firstly to represent the horrors of the recent past in order to prevent them from falling into oblivion. Secondly, because war emerged as a kind of turning point, a radical break between past and present, writers were compelled to reflect on the processes of remembering and oblivion and on the ways identity is constituted by a strange and often unpredictable interplay of both.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Nenad Velickovic, Miljenko Jergovic, Cultural memory, War fiction, Contemporary Bosnian prose, Alma Lazarevska, Sasa Stanisic
journal title
NEOHELICON
Neohelicon
volume
38
issue
1
pages
1 - 17
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000290493900001
ISSN
0324-4652
DOI
10.1007/s11059-010-0076-3
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1092896
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1092896
date created
2010-12-27 14:29:49
date last changed
2013-01-09 10:42:59
@article{1092896,
  abstract     = {Focusing on the work of Miljenko Jergovi\'{c}, Nenad Veli\v{c}kovi\'{c}, Alma Lazarevska, and Sa\v{s}a Stani\v{s}i\'{c}, this paper examines how the representation of the recent past intertwines with the construction of collective memory in contemporary Bosnian prose. The author argues that a first, significant function of recent Bosnian literature consisted of not only witnessing the horror of the Bosnian war but also turning historical events into sites of memory. This is especially true for the literature about the wars of the nineties -- the siege of Sarajevo, Srebrenica, etc. However, the involvement of Bosnian authors with the recent past -- in prose written during the war as well as in more recent works -- proves to be more complex and seems to be indicative of a growing interest in and reflexivity upon the ways in which collective and individual memory are constructed. This paper suggests that the interest in memory/remembering the recent past has been accelerated by the war and the social and political turmoil of the nineties. This liminal situation urged writers firstly to represent the horrors of the recent past in order to prevent them from falling into oblivion. Secondly,  because war emerged as a kind of turning point, a radical break between past and present, writers were compelled to reflect on the processes of remembering and oblivion and on the ways identity is constituted by a strange and often unpredictable interplay of both.},
  author       = {Vervaet, Stijn},
  issn         = {0324-4652},
  journal      = {NEOHELICON},
  keyword      = {Nenad Velickovic,Miljenko Jergovic,Cultural memory,War fiction,Contemporary Bosnian prose,Alma Lazarevska,Sasa Stanisic},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--17},
  title        = {Writing war, writing memory: the representation of the recent past and the construction of cultural memory in contemporary Bosnian prose},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11059-010-0076-3},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2011},
}

Chicago
Vervaet, Stijn. 2011. “Writing War, Writing Memory: The Representation of the Recent Past and the Construction of Cultural Memory in Contemporary Bosnian Prose.” Neohelicon 38 (1): 1–17.
APA
Vervaet, Stijn. (2011). Writing war, writing memory: the representation of the recent past and the construction of cultural memory in contemporary Bosnian prose. NEOHELICON, 38(1), 1–17.
Vancouver
1.
Vervaet S. Writing war, writing memory: the representation of the recent past and the construction of cultural memory in contemporary Bosnian prose. NEOHELICON. 2011;38(1):1–17.
MLA
Vervaet, Stijn. “Writing War, Writing Memory: The Representation of the Recent Past and the Construction of Cultural Memory in Contemporary Bosnian Prose.” NEOHELICON 38.1 (2011): 1–17. Print.