Writing tip

 

My wish in this post is simply to say all the writers that they should not follow writing tips, for they are creating a mass of monotonous and uninteresting works, made by the same design and form.

The real trick is: Don’t follow their rules. Ignore them, like they, in the matter of fact, ignore you.

Writing is an art, and like any art, it has to constantly break rules, not to follow it.

So with hell with all those guidelines and people telling you how to write your novel, how to create a character, how to use language, wich style of writing is for criminal or for a romantic novel.

Writing is about liberating yourself, is one of the ways to express your feelings. And, if your wish is to be a writer, then probably you already are a writer. You should spread your true and unique style,  be a trendsetter and not allow that someone else fills its budget on your confusion and modesty while setting trends of writing for you.

You have the message you want to share, you know what you want to be heard from your work, and only you can deliver it. And of course, no one is the greatest critique of its work then writer himself. You don’t need recognition from established institutions in the present. Your goal is to be recognized by the better, future humanity, which consciously or unconsciously you help to create through your work. 

There is no real money if you are true, but then again: Do you write because the fire inside of you burns you so hard that you simply must, or you write to have leisure and comfortable life?

But who am I exactly to tell you anything. I really know nothing more than just to share with you thins kind of tip I find useful not just for writing (for I am not a writer), but any kind of art, or profession.

With Love,
Mazzora

 

 

Ivo Andrić: The Bridge on the Drina

original: Na Drini Ćuprija

“Nothing binds people more as collectively and happily survived misfortune”.

The Bridge on the Drina (original: Na Drini Ćuprija), is a historical novel and it revolves around the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad, which spans the Drina River and stands as a silent witness to history from its construction by the Ottomans in the mid-16th century until its partial destruction during World War I.

It is a story, long four centuries, with special attention given to the lives, destinies, and relations of the local inhabitants, especially Serbs and Bosnian Muslims, during the first the Ottoman and later Austro-Hungarian occupation.

A story talks about a boy Serb, who was taken from his mother from a vicinity of Višegrad by the Ottomans. He was one of many Christian boys to experience such fate, which was a custom of Ottoman Empire that ruled over the Balkans for 500 years. Afterward, he is being converted to Islam and his name was changed to Mehmed, later becoming known as Mehmed Paša Sokolović. Ar the age of 60 he becomes the Grand Vizier, but he remains haunted by the memory of being forcibly taken from his mother. He orders the construction of a bridge at the part of the river where the two became separated and from where river prevented his mother from proceeding to follow him.

Construction of bridge lasted for 5 years and had replaced the unreliable ferry transport that was once the only mean of crossing the river. Also, the bridge becomes an important link between Bosnia Eyalet and the rest of the Ottoman Empire.

During a construction strikes and sabotages of building site were held as a protest as the poor working conditions. But after it was made, it became a very important moment in the lives of the local residents.

A century later, when the Habsburg Monarchy occupies much of northern Balkans, therefore tears it from the hands of Ottomans, the empire is triggered causing a town, so called caravanserai, to be disused.

Unlike the caravanserai, bridge stayed standing for centuries without any maintenance.

And although seems that cultural and religious differences can, in the region of Balkan, never be overcome, residents of Višegrad (a town that grew by the almighty bridge) even though their differences, when a Drina flooded, stood in solidarity with one another.

In the 19th century first nationalist tensions arise, with the outbreak of the First Serbian Uprising. Consequently, Turks constructed a blockhouse on the bridge where they slaughtered suspected rebels. With a continuous decline of Ottoman Empire and increasing power of Austria – Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro gain their full independence in the year of 1878, and Bosnia becomes occupied by Habsburg monarchy that turned it into a protectorate. A region of Bosnia faces a tremendous shock by numerous changes and reforms that were introduced due to a new rule. Bosnia is being flooded by people from all parts of Austria-Hungary, opening new businesses and bringing the customs of their native regions with them. With new, much better road connections, slowly bridge over the Drina starts to lose its strategic importance. Children of Višegrad goes to school in Sarajevo, some even to different parts of Austria-Hungary like Vienna, bringing back home new social and cultural ideas from abroad, among them the concepts of trade unions and socialism.

Eventually, tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia became such that Austria-Hungary found Serbs as a serious obstacle in a conquest of the eastern Balkans. Finally, in Balkan wars, in the years of 1912 – 1913, Ottomans were almost completely forced from the region, which made relations between Austra-Hungary and Serbia to decline even further.

June 1914, Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which launches series of events that lead to the outbreak of World War I.

Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.

In Višegrad, the non-Serb population was encouraged to fight against town’s Serb residents. And the bridge of Višegrad regained its importance while it served for transportation of material and soldiers which prepared an attack on Serbia. But as Austria-Hungary’s invasion being swiftly repulsed, Serbian advanced across the Drina. Serbs urged Austria-Hungarians to evacuate Višegrad and destroyed portions of the bridge.

“Nothing binds people more as collectively and happily survived misfortune”.

 

Bridge_on_the_Drina,_1915

The partially destroyed bridge, 1915

In 1961, Andrić was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and therefore gained international recognition. The Bridge on the Drina remains his best-known work.

Filmmaker Emir Kusturica plans on making a cinematic adaptation of the novel, for which he constructed a mock-town named after Andrić, not far from the bridge, which was reconstructed after World War I and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Hereby I invite you to read the book online:

http://www.unz.org/Pub/NobelPrizeLibrary-1971v01-00125

Thank you for reading,

With love,
Mazzora

 

 

Ivo Andrić

“If people would know how little brain is ruling the world, they would die of fear.”

“Between the fear that something would happen and the hope that still it wouldn’t, there is much more space than one thinks. On that narrow, hard, bare and dark space a lot of us spend their lives.”

“Searching for what I need, and I don’t even know precisely what that is, I was going from a man to a man, and I saw that all of them together have less than me who has nothing, and that I left to each one of them a bit of that what  I don’t have and I’ve been searching for.”

“Sadness is also a kind of defense.”

“One shouldn’t be afraid of humans. Well, I am not afraid of the humans, but of what is inhuman in them.”

“I gave it to life. I was not defeated but outplayed.”

“Lands of great discoveries are also lands of great injustices.”

“What can and doesn’t have to be always, at the end, surrenders to something that has to be.”

“There is no rule without revolts and conspiracies, even as there is no property without work and worry.”

“What doesn’t hurt – is not life; what doesn’t pass – is not happiness.”

“There comes a time when a man finds himself in front of a dark uncrossable abyss, which he himself has spent years digging. He cannot go forward and has no way back. Words have failed, tears won’t help, and who would he call out to? He can’t even remember his own name. Then the man sees that on this god’s green earth there is but one true suffering: the torment of guilty conscience.”

“When I am not desperate, I am worthless.”

“Of everything that man erects and builds in his urge for living nothing is in my eyes better and more valuable than bridges. They are more important than houses, more sacred than shrines. Belonging to everyone and being equal to everyone, useful, always built with a sense, on the spot where most human needs are crossing, the are more durable than other buildings and they do not serve for anything secret or bad.”

“What does your sorrow do while you’re sleeping? It is awake and waiting. And, when it loses patience, it wakes me up.”

ivo-andric

Ivo Andrić was a Yugoslav novelist, poet, and short story writer born in Travnik while his mother Katarina was in the town visiting relatives. His father Antun died when he was 2 years old.

Widowed and penniless, Katarina took little Ivo to Višegrad and placed him into the care of her sister in law Ana and brother in law Ivan Matković, a police officer. While didn’t have any children and they agreed to raiseIvo as their own child.

Country where Andrić was raised changed a little since the Ottoman period. Eastern and Western culture intermingled in Bosnia to a far greater extent than anywhere else in the Balkan. Andrić start to love and cherish Višegrad which he refered to as his real home. Višegrad was a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional town, a home mainly of Serbs and Bosnian Muslims, customs of which he closely observed and will be detailed in his works.

When he was six years old Andrić began primary school which he later remebered as the happiest day of his life. In the autumn of 1902 he continue his schooling in Sarajevo, while he received a three-year scholarship from a Croat Cultural group called Napredak (eng.: Progress). Sarajevo, at that time, was deluged with people from all parts of Austria – Hungary, thus exposing Andrić to numerous languages that could be heard in restaurants, cafes, and streets.

Culturally, the city was bragging with German art, architecture, and also curriculum in educational institutions was designed to reflect this. Andrić disagreed with it saying:

»All that came, at secondary school and university, was rough, crude, automatic, without concern, faith, humanity, warmth or love«.

He later had difficulties with mathematics, therefore repeated 6th grade and naturally lost his scholarship. But he was brilliant in languages, particularly Latin, Greek, German, and literature. He felt destined to be a writer, although he never received much encouragement from his family.

Nevertheless, in the year of 1911 he published his first two poems, in the journal Bosanska vila (Bosnian Fairy). That was the same year when he was elected to be the first president of the Serbo-Croat Progressive Movement. Movement promoted unity and friendship between Serb and Croat youth, that opposed the Austro – Hungarian occupation. Despite that, the movement was hated by Serb and Croat nationalists, who called them as »traitors to their nations«. However, Andrić continue to reject the Austro – Hungarians, and later joined to a South Slav student movement Young Bosnia.

Next year, Andrić went to University of Zagreb, for which he received a scholarship. While he regularly participated in demonstrations, he began to be reprimanded by the university. After finishing his 2 semesters there, he transferred to the Univerity of Vienna. There he joined South Slav students in promoting the cause of Yugoslav unity. But city climate was not good for Andrić’s health, therefore he asked to leave Vienna on medical grounds and to continue his studies elsewhere, although some believe that in fact he has been taking part in a protest of South Slav students that were boycotting German – speaking universities. However, his request was approved and Andrić move to finish his studies in Krakow.

WWI

It was June 28th when Andrić heard that good friend of his Gavrilo Princip, has assassinated Franz Ferdinand. Andrić decided to leave Krakow and to return to Bosnia, but instead, he ended up spending his summer in Split where his close friend, poet and fellow South Slav nationalist Vladimir Čerina, awaited the World War II, caused by the assassination of Archduke.

Despite he had nothing to do with assassination plot, that summer Andrič was arrested and imprisoned in Split. Later he was transferred to a prison in Šibenik, and he ended up in Maribor prison, where, plagued by tuberculosis, he spent time mainly reading, talking to his cellmates and learning languages.

Due to lack of evidence, he was released from prison on March the 20th 1915. The authorities exiled him to the village of Ovčarevo, near Travnik, where he was placed under the supervision of local Franciscan monks. Afterward, he was transferred to a prison in Zenica.

Ivo Andrić was in 1917 declared as a political threat by the Austro – Hungarian Army, therefore was he exempted from armed military service but was obliged to serve a non-combat unit until February 1918. After Charles I declared a general amnesty for all of Austria-Hungary’s political prisoners, Andrić visited Višegrad, where he reunited with several school friends. He remained there until July when he was meant to be mobilized. But due to his poor health, Andrić was placed to a Sarajevo hospital and so avoided service. From Sarajevo hospital, he was placed in a Reserve hospital in Zenica for a treatment that lasted for several months. Afterward, when in Zagreb, Andrić again fell seriously ill and sought treatment at the Sisters of Mercy hospital, which had become a gathering place for dissidents and former political prisoners.

Despite the fact that he was so ill in the beginning of 1918 that many of his friends thought he is about to die, he healed and recovered in the spring of the same year in Krapina, writing a book of prose poetry Ex Ponto, that was published in July. Ex Ponto was his first book.

BETWEEN THE WARS

By 1919, Andrić acquired his undergraduate degree in South Slavic history and literature at the University of Zagreb. And by mid-1919 he realized that he will be unable to financially support himself, his aging mother, aunt, and uncle, therefore he started to send his appeals to his friend for help in securing a government job more frequently. In September 1919, he was offered a secretarial position at the Ministry of Religion, which Andrić accepted. In late October, he left for Belgrade, but soon felt discontented with his job, so he asked for a transfer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In February, his request was granted and was assigned to the Foreign Ministry’s mission at the Vatican. However he soon requested another assignment, because of lack of time for writing he felt in Vatican, so in November, he was transferred to Bucharest. Although his health was bad, he felt happy there. His consular duties there did not require much effort, so he was able to focus on writing. Andrić requested for reassignment two more times and was once transferred to the consulate in Trieste, and later to Graz, where he soon enrolled at the University of Graz and began working on his doctoral dissertation in Slavic studies. On the 13th of July, Andrić received his Ph.D. In his doctor thesis, entitled The Development of Spiritual Life in Bosnia Under the Influence of Turkish rule (original: Die Entwicklung des geistigen Lebens in Bosnien unter der Einwirkung der türkischen Herrschaft ) he characterized the Ottoman occupation as a yoke that still loomed over Bosnia. For him, the effect of Turkish rule was absolutely negative. »The Turks could bring no cultural content or sense of higher mission, even to those South Slavs who accepted Islam«, he wrote.

In the year of 1924, he published his first collection of short stories for which he received a prize from Serbian Royal Academy. Two years later he was assigned to the consulate in Marseille and in December of 1926 transferred to the Yugoslav embassy in Paris. His time in France was marked by loneliness and sorrow, for that was a period when all members of his family died. He closed himself in the Paris archives, going through the reports of the French consulate in Travnik from 1809 – 14. That was a material he will later use to create one of his future novels: Travnička hronika (Travnik Chronicle).

Andrić was in April 1928 sent to Madrid, where he wrote essays on Simón Bolívar and Francisco Goya, and started to work on the novel Prokleta avlika (The Damned Yard). He was further transfered to Belgium, Luxembuourg and in 1930, he was placed in Switzerland as part of Yugoslavia’s permanent delegation to the League of Nations in Geneva. He returned to Belgrade in the year of 1933, and became an assistant to Milan Stojadinović, Yugoslavia’s Prime Minister adn Foreign Minister.

WWII

By that time Andrić was serving his duty in Germany, and although Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact behind his back, he Andrić had to give his signature as an ambassador in Berlin. Afterward, he wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking to be relieved of his duties and used some of his influence he had and attempted, unsuccessfully, to assist Polish prisoners following the German invasion of Poland in 1939. Before Germany invaded his country, Andrić was offered to evacuate to neutral Switzerland. He declined and was, in early June of 1941, taken to now German Belgrade where they kept him under close surveillance. Andrić refused to receive any pension or cooperate in any way with the puppet government the Germans had installed in both Serbia and Croatia. He closed himself in the apartment and dedicated all his time and energy to writing. In that period two of his best works were created: Na Drini ćuprija (The Bridge on the Drina) and Travnička hronika. In the year of 1944, Andrić was forced to leave his friend’s apartment due to a bombing of Belgrade. He joined a column of refugees while watching all those people, accompanied by their children, spouses, and parents, carrying, saving and helping each other, he felt deeply ashamed:

»I looked myself up and down, and saw I was saving only myself and my overcoat.«

He returned to his apartment and refuse to leave, even though the heavy bombing. That October, the Red Army and the Partisans rescued the Belgrade of a German invasion.

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Ivo Andrić infront of the Bridge over Drina which his famous novel refers to.

AFTER WAR

Due to his service to a former royal government, his relationship with the communist was full of doubts. However, in the year of 1945, he published Na Drini Ćuprija, which Travnička hronika and Gospođica (The Young Lady) followed. Communists proclaimed Na Drini Ćuprija as a classic of Yugoslav literature and as Andrić’s magnum opus.

A year that followed, Andrić was elected vice-president of the Society for the Cultural Cooperation of Yugoslavia with the Soviet Union and was named a president of the Yugoslav Writer’s Union. The following year, he became a member of the People’s Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

His work had a strong influence on writers such as Branko Ćopić, Vladan Desnica, Mihailo Lalić, and Meša Selimović.

In April 1950, Andrić became a deputy in the National Assembly of Yugoslavia and in the year of 1953 his career as a parliamentary deputy slowly came to and end.

Following year, he published novella Prokleta Avlija (The Damned Yard).

Although he believed that writer should never marry, he, in his 66th year, married Milica Babić, a costume designer at the National Theatre of Serbia.

NOBEL PRIZE

On the 26th October 1961, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature by the Swedish Academy. Documents released 50 years later revealed that the Nobel Committee had selected him over writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Frost, John Steinbeck and E.M.Forster.

“The epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from his country’s history”.

Nobel prize gave Andrić a global recognition, even though because of the health issues he was not able to participate promotional events being held in Europe and North America. Judging by the letters Andrić wrote at the time, he felt burdened by the attention and tried his best not to show it publicly. After receiving a Nobel prize, he was awarded multiple times by his own country.

DEATH

Wife of Ivo Andrić died in the year of 1968, and afterward, his health started steadily to worsen. He traveled a little and continued to write until 1974. In December 1974 he was taken to a Belgrade Hospital where he soon fell into a coma.

He died in the Military Medical Academy at 1:15 a.m. on 13 March 1975, aged 82.

INFLUENCE

German and Austrian
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Heinrich Heine
Friedrich Nietzsche
Franz Kafka
Rainer Maria  Rilke
Thomas Mann

French
Michel de Montaigne
Blaise Pascal
Gustave Flaubert
Victor Hugo
Guy de Maupassant

British
Thomas Carlyle
Walter Scott
Joseph Conrad

Spanish
Miguel de Cervantes

Italian
Giacomo Leopardi

Russian
Nikolay Chernyshevsky

Norway
Henrik Ibsen

American
Walt Whitman
Henry James

Czechoslovak
Tomaš Garrigue Masaryk

Yugoslavian
Karadžić
Njegoš
Aleksa Šantić
Fran Levstik
Josip Murn
Oton Župančič

Andrić was especially fond of Polish literature and stated that it had greatly influenced him and it appears that Kafka had an important influence on Andrić’s prose. His pholosophical outlook was strongly formed by the works of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.

However, his work was mainly influenced and inspired by the traditions of life in Bosnia and the complexity and cultural contrasts of the region’s Muslim, Serb and Croat inhabitats.

His two best known novels, Na Drini Ćuprija and Travnička Hronika, put the Ottoman Bosnian’s oriental leaning in contrast to the Western Atmosphere – introduced in Na Drini Ćuprija by the Austro – Hungarians, and in the Travnička Hronika by the French.

In his work he uses many so-called Turkisms. Those are words that origin from Turkish, Arabic or Persian language, that found their way into the languages of the South Slavs during Ottoman rule.

Na Drini Ćuprija remains his most famous work, and it still represents all sorts of correlation between the fromer country and the rest of the world, as it served as a bridge during a Cold War between East and West.

When recieved a Nobel prize Andrić described Yugoslavia as one

»which, at break-neck speed and at the cost of great sacrifices and prodigious efforts, is trying in all fields, including the field of culture, to make up for those things of which it has been deprived by a singularly turbulent and hostile past.”

In his view, the conflicting postition of Yugoslavia and its multiple ethnic groups could be overcome by knowing one’s history. Knowing the history of the region would help future generations avoid the mistakes of the past.

He expressed hope that these »differences could be bridged and histories demystified«.

AFTER DEATH

Because of his life and his work Andrić remains one of the most controversial figures of the Region of former Yugoslavia. Following the disintegration of the country in the early 1990s, Andrić works were blacklisted in Croatia under the President Franjo Tuđman. Also, because he self-identified himself as a Serb, many Bosniak and Croat literary establishments have come to reject or limit his association with their literature. Andrić remains a controversial topic in Croatia. And Bosniaks, during the 1950s, accused him of everything from plagiarism to being a Serb nationalist. Some even called for his Nobel Prize to be taken from him. In early 1992, a Bosniak nationalist in Višegrad destroyed a statue of Andrić with a sledgehammer.

20 years later, in 2012, filmmaker Emir Kusturica unveiled another statue of Andrić in Višegrad, as a part of a town called Andrićgrad, which is sponsored by a filmmaker himself.

Andrićgrad was officially inaugurated in June 2014, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

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WORK of IVO ANDRIĆ

  • 1918 Ex Ponto. Književni jug, Zagreb (poems)
  • 1920 Nemiri. Sv. Kugli, Zagreb (poems)
  • 1920 Put Alije Đerzeleza. S. B. Cvijanović, Belgrade (novella)
  • 1924 Pripovetke I. Srpska književna zadruga, Belgrade (short story collection)
  • 1931 Pripovetke. Srpska književna zadruga, Belgrade (short story collection)
  • 1936 Pripovetke II. Srpska književna zadruga, Belgrade (short story collection)
  • 1945 Izabrane pripovetke. Svjetlost, Sarajevo (short story collection)
  • 1945 Na Drini ćuprija. Prosveta, Belgrade (novel)
  • 1945 Travnička hronika. Državni izdavački zavod Jugoslavije, Belgrade (novel)
  • 1945 Gospođica. Svjetlost, Belgrade (novella)
  • 1947 Most na Žepi: Pripovetke. Prosveta, Belgrade (short story collection)
  • 1947 Pripovijetke. Matica Hrvatska, Zagreb (short story collection)
  • 1948 Nove pripovetke. Kultura, Belgrade (short story collection)
  • 1948 Priča o vezirovom slonu. Nakladni zavod Hrvatske, Zagreb (novella)
  • 1949 Priča o kmetu Simanu. Novo pokoljenje, Zagreb (short story)
  • 1952 Pod gradićem: Pripovetke o životu bosanskog sela. Seljačka knjiga, Sarajevo (short story collection)
  • 1954 Prokleta avlija. Matica srpska, Novi Sad (novella)
  • 1958 Panorama. Prosveta, Belgrade (short story)
  • 1960 Priča o vezirovom slonu, i druge pripovetke. Rad, Belgrade (short story collection)
  • 1966 Ljubav u kasabi: Pripovetke. Nolit, Belgrade (short story collection)
  • 1968 Aska i vuk: Pripovetke. Prosveta, Belgrade (short story collection)
  • 1976 Eseji i kritike. Svjetlost, Sarajevo (essays; posthumous)
  • 2000 Pisma (1912–1973): Privatna pošta. Matica srpska, Novi Sad (private correspondence; posthumous)