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Miloš Crnjanski

Miloš Crnjanski

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Miloš Crnjanski was a poet of the expressionist wing of Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

n modernism, author, and a diplomat. From his beginnings as a journalist whose social-political stance was at one moment openly opposed to freedom and progress, he gradually arose to become a poet and romanticist.

Early years


Crnjanski was born in Csongrád
Csongrád
Csongrád is a town in Csongrád County in southern Hungary. Formerly, the city also had the alternate Slavic name of Černigrad, which, like the Hungarian version, means "Black Castle" or "Black Town".-History:...

, Hungary, to an impoverished family which moved in 1896 to Temesvár
Timisoara
Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

 (today Timişoara
Timisoara
Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

) where he grew up in a patriarchal-patriotic community with the implanted cult of Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 and Serbian heritage in his soul as a precious relic. One of the deepest and longest lasting sensations of his childhood were those with national and religious content: church school, St. Sava
Saint Sava
Saint Sava was a Serbian Prince and Orthodox monk, the first Archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian Church, the founder of Serbian law and literature, and a diplomat. Sava was born Rastko Nemanjić , the youngest son of Serbian Grand Župan Stefan Nemanja , and ruled the appanage of Hum briefly in...

 icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

, incense, the Serbian Orthodox cemetery with its burial ceremonies, evening stories and songs about Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, hajduk
Hajduk
Hajduk is a term most commonly referring to outlaws, highwaymen or freedom fighters in the Balkans, Central- and Eastern Europe....

s, and Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 oppression - all of it in a boy's emotions transferred into continual unrest, but also became an everlasting source of hope, joy, doubt, disappointment and rebelliousness. He completed the elementary school in Pančevo
Pancevo
Pančevo is a city and municipality located in the southern part of Serbian province of Vojvodina, 15 km northeast from Belgrade. In 2002, the city had a total population of 77,087, while municipality of Pančevo had 127,162 inhabitants. It is the administrative center of the South Banat...

, and Grammar school in Timişoara. Then he started attending the Export academy in Rijeka
Rijeka
Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third largest city in Croatia . It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,735 inhabitants...

 in 1912, and in the autumn of the following year he started studying in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

.

At the beginning of World War I, Crnjanski was persecuted as part of the general anti-Serbian retribution of Austria to Princip's
Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip was the Bosnian Serb who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914...

 assassination in Sarajevo, but instead of being sent to jail, he was drafted to army and sent to Galician frontline to fight against the Russians
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 where he was wounded in 1915. During most of these tragic war days, Crnjanski spent time alone in a Vienna war hospital, although just before the end of the war he was sent to the Italian front. In his memory, sights of the havoc of war were impressed unerasably. After the war, he completed his studies of art history and philosophy in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and graduated from the University of Belgrade
University of Belgrade
The University of Belgrade is the oldest and largest university of Serbia.Founded in 1808 as the Belgrade Higher School in revolutionary Serbia, by 1838 it merged with the Kragujevac-based departments into a single university...

 as one of the students of the famous literature critic Bogdan Popovic.

Middle years


Thirty million innocent young war dead found their place in the anti-war
Anti-war
An anti-war movement is a social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts. Many...

 verses of this unfortunate young soldier, ideas which he brought from the war, then to Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

 and to Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, where he stayed for the longest time. From this point on, Crnjanski lived like Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

's unfortunate hero, who returns to his poem Ithaca after his long odyssey. Odysseus
Odysseus
Odysseus or Ulysses was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in the Epic Cycle....

, this hero found a way to preserve the vital strength of life, unlike Crnjanski who (along with his generation) returned to their destroyed homeland with the feeling of tiredness and resignation. Both in his wartime and post-war verses, this tired poet wrote sincerely of his resignation and lost illusions.

From his ramble across bloody frontlines of Europe, Crnjanski returned to thoughts about the necessity of dispelling the false myths of the "eternal" values of civil ethics
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

. Both in poetry and life, he lives as a sentimental anarchist and tired defeatist who remembered sorrowfully the relics of his youth, now in his eyes discarded, bloodied, and spat upon. At the time he considered himself a member of progressive social forces and argued for socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

, but his rebellion from those days was only perhaps a strong reaction to the horrors of the recent wars.

The literary work of Miloš Crnjanski from that period was a significant contribution to the effort of his generation to find a new language and expression for new themes and concepts. With completely new verse, and a lot of emotional bitterness, he expressed his discord, in those days, he spoke about futility of war, pugently negated Kosovo battle
Battle of Kosovo
The Battle of Kosovo took place on St. Vitus' Day, June 15, 1389, between the army led by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović, and the invading army of the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of Sultan Murad I...

 myths and sarcastically mocked what he saw as the delusion of a "golden century" for mankind.

Using the strength of the compelling poet's word, he may have done away with many civil values, but he wasn't able to see or start something new from the ruins. Both the verse and prose of Crnjanski was strong during post-war years, as long as war-fuelled revolt lived on in him. In time, however, those feelings dwindled, and, Crnjanski still wandered and staggered, gradually growing closer to the ideals of Serbian bourgeoisie, afraid of the approaching proletarian revolution.

Late life


After war
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Crnjanski worked as a professor and journalist. In 1921 he married Vida Ruzic. In 1928 he had been appointed the cultural attaché to the embassy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

 in Berlin. When World War II began, he was in Rome. From there he went to London via Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, where he lived as an émigré from may of 1945 and didn't return to Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 until 1965. His last diplomatic service was as an advisor for the press in the government of Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

 and Ivan Subasic
Ivan Šubašic
Ivan Šubašić was a Croatian and Yugoslav politician, best known as the last Ban of Banovina of Croatia.He was born in Vukova Gorica, then in Austria-Hungary. He finished grammar and high school in Zagreb, and enrolled onto the Faculty of Theology at the University of Zagreb...

.

He died in Belgrade on November 30, 1977.

Poetry

  • Lyrics of Ithaca (1918)
  • Chosen verses (1954)
  • Lament over Belgrade (1965);

Novels

  • The Journal of Carnojevic
    The Journal of Carnojevic
    The Journal of Carnojevic is a lyrical novel by Miloš Crnjanski, which was first published in 1920. The narrator of the novel is Petar Rajic, who tell his story in which there is no clearly established narrative flow, nor are events connected by cause and effect.- External links :*...

     (Dnevnik o Čarnojeviću, 1921)
  • Migrations (Seobe, 1929)
  • Second book of Migrations (Seobe, knjiga druga, 1962)
  • Kap španske krvi (1970)
  • A Novel about London (Roman o Londonu, 1971)
  • Suzni krokodil
  • Kod Hiperborejaca
  • Podzemni klub (questionable)

Itineraries

  • Ljubav u Toskani (1930)
  • Knjiga o Nemačkoj (1931)
  • Pisma iz Pariza
  • U zemlji toreadora i sunca

Other

  • Sveta Vojvodina (1919)
  • Antologojia Kineske lirike, antology (1923)
  • Naše plaže na Jadranu (1927)
  • Boka Kotorska – Der golf von Kotor (1928)
  • Pesme starog Japana, antology (1928)
  • Sveti Sava (1934)
  • Sabarana dela (1966)
  • Stražilovo, poem (1973)
  • Knjiga o Mikelanđelu, posthumous (1981)
  • Embahade, posthumous (1985)
  • Naša nebesa

Lost work

  • Son of Don Kihot, novel
  • O ljubavi, drama
  • Gundulić, drama
  • Prokleti knez, drama
  • Juhahaha, comedy inspired by Peter I of Serbia
  • The Shoemakers of London, novel


Some of the works were destroyed by the author himself, while othe manuscript of the novel *Son of Don Kihot was lost on the way to the print house. Some of his works are saied to be stolen in London. He also wrote many essays, articles and other texts.

Migrations has been translated into English (Harvill 1994, ISBN 0002730049), but with the author's name transliterated as "Milos Tsernianski". Crnjanski wrote about forty texts about theater.

Crnjanski also founded the newspaper Putevi, with Marko Ristić (1922), and Ideje, a political paper (1934). He also published two books of eastern nations poetry anthology.

External links