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Crnjanski’s New Textuality: The Poetic Play Mask (1918)

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This essay is about the emergence of a new sensibility and a new textuality in Serbian Modernism/postmodernism, constituted by the poetic and prose works of Miloš Crnjanksi amongst other. A survey of earlier, 19th century Serbian prose and drama, demonstrates that the Modernist/postmodern poetics had its antecedents in the works of Jovan Sterija Popović and Đorđe Marković Koder, which demonstrates the continuity of Serbian literature through the all the phases inherent in European (French) literatures of the 19th and 20th century. Crnjanski’s early poetic play Mask is analysed through the sensibility of a new “world malaise” and the poetic principle of “Sumatraism” which make up Crnjanksi’s “Nihilism.” This is decoded as a sensibility close to the Absurd, which has consequences for the structure of Crnjanski’s subsequent works as well as for the development of Yugolsav/Serbian Modernism/postmodernism.

Affiliations: 1: Monash University,


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