Njegoš and the Politics of Reading
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Until recently, Petar II Petrović Njegoš’s Gorski vijenac (1847) has typically been glorified as one of the greatest achievements of the South Slav national-romanticism, and thus represents the pride of Serbian and Montenegrin culture, in which it still occupies a privileged place in literary tradition and education. In the last twenty or so years, however, a number of its interpreters, such as Еsаd Bајtаl, Michael Sells, Alexander Greenawalt or Brаnimir Аnzulоvić, pinpointed its implicit genocidal subtext and emphasized the parallelism between the eradication of the converts and the Srebrenica massacre. What is more, Njegoš’s Gorski vijenac has relatively recently even been mentioned in the Hague Tribunal for the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. Namely, during the trial of Radovan Karadžić, the prosecutor Katrina Gustafson raised a claim that Njegoš in Gorski vijenac „celebrated the killing of Muslims, that is, converts“ and called for „the purification of our land from the... infidels“, i.e. to an ethnic cleansing of the Muslims. (Janković 2014) Most recently, a government proposal to introduce Njegoš’s day as a national holiday in Montenegro has spurred debates and protests from Muslim community, and was swiftly withdrawn. (Kadić 2016).
Keywords:Njegoš / nationalism / muslims / Serbia / Montenegro / converts
Source:Anzeiger für Slavische Philologie, 2016, XLIV, 107-122
- Graz : Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz Institut für Slawistik