Ivo Andrić

First short paper due

Ivo Andrić (1892–1975), Yugoslavia

Ivo Andrić was born in Travnik, Bosnia, in a Croatian family (his first name “Ivo” is a diminutive form of “Ivan”), he spent much of his childhood in Višegrad (on the river Drina) and went on to study literature and history in Zagreb, Vienna, Kraków and Graz. Thus he began his intellectual life in the Austro-Hungarian sphere of influence. His first publications were also in Zagreb. After the First World War he entered the Yugoslav diplomatic service and began to self-identify as a Serb. He was the Yugoslav ambassador in Berlin when Nazi Germany attacked Yugoslavia. He spent the war in Belgrade, writing; the three novels he published in quick succession after the war established his reputation as one of the foremost Yugoslav authors, and this status was cemented when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961.

The Bridge on the Drina (Na Drini ćuprija), written during World War II, was published in 1945. It was the first of Andrić’s great novels and many still consider it his best. The English translation by Lovett Edwards was first published in 1959.


Questions for reading:

Other books by Andrić:


Works about Andrić:

There are numerous sites about Andrić on the web: let me know if you fund anything especially interesting.

You might be interested in comparing The Bridge on the Drina to Meša Selimović's Death and the Dervish, where the Muslim community is central, or to works by a more recent Serbian novelist, Borislav Pekić: The Time of Miracles or The Houses of Belgrade. For a survey of stories by recent Serbian writers, see Radmila J. Gorup and Nadežda Obradović The Prince of Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Serbian Short Stories.