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The Bridge on the Drina (1945)

af Ivo Andrić

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

Serier: Bosnian Trilogy (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
2,343666,494 (4.17)1 / 287
"A hardcover edition of Nobel Prize-winning author Ivo Andric's historical novel about the Balkans, first published in 1945, translated from the Serbo-Croatian by Lovett F. Edwards, with a new introduction by Misha Glenny, a bibliography, and a chronology of the author's life and times"--
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Indlæser...

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Ӕ
  AnkaraLibrary | Feb 23, 2024 |
Really, really great book. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
La ciudad de Visegrad (Bosnia), situada a orillas del río Drina, tuvo un momento de esplendor en la Edad Media por constituir un puente de tránsito entre el mundo cristiano y el islámico.

Esta novela recoge la historia de esa comunidad plural y conflictiva, tomando como pretexto narrativo el gran puente de piedra que cruza el río, lugar de encuentro y paseo para sus habitantes. La larga crónica abarca desde el siglo XVI hasta principios del XX, y nos da cuenta de las tensiones y enfrentamientos que se suceden y heredan de generación en generación.

Reseña:
"Sabiduría en estado puro."
El País

"Basta con leer la esplendida novela Un puente sobre el Drina, de Ivo Andric, el único premio Nobel de Literatura yugolasvo, para darse cuenta de la pervivencia de los terribles fantasmas del pasado en los espíritus balcánicos."
Miguel Çngel Villena, El País

"Un magnífico fresco del pasado."
Mercedes Monmany, Letras Libres
  ferperezm | Feb 9, 2023 |
Translation Tuesdays: The Bridge on the Drina, by Ivo Adrić

A series dedicated to literature in translation whether classic or contemporary.

Originally published in 1945 as Na Drini Ĉuprija
Translated from the Serbo-Croat by Lovett F. Edwards
A Signet Classic from 1967

Yugoslavian literature, much like the nation forged in the aftermath of the First World War, stands unique in the field of European literature. The Bridge on the Drina, by Ivo Adrić, the 1961 Nobel Prize-winner, functions as an experiment in literary modernism and as a kind of ur-text for Yugoslavian literature itself. Encompassing four centuries in a chronicle of daily life and political upheaval, Drina follows the lives of the villages of Višegrad from 1571, when the bridge was constructed, to 1914, when it was destroyed.

The novel, despite its small size – my Signet Classic is a 334-page pocket paperback (minus the Translator’s Foreword and the Afterword by John Simon) – contains a cavalcade of miniature portraits and literary styles. It begins in the mode of a creation myth, telling of legendary figures and tall tales told and retold by the villagers of Višegrad. By the end, the novel has ensconced itself into a more realistic mode, replete with individual struggles against economic and sociopolitical forces, reminiscent of French writers like Balzac and Zola. Yet the transitions from medieval to early modern to modern societies come across as seamless.

Andrić paints these portraits and the changing times with an atmospheric brush, mannered and ornate, yet not distracting or self-consciously “clever” in its execution. In the opening chapters, he tells the story of a little boy who would grow up to the Sultan’s Vizier. Looking back on the town, the boy, taken as tribute and later to be raised as a Janissary, the author recreates the boy’s mental state:

“He surely forgot too the crossing of the Drina at Višegrad, the bare banks on which travellers shivered with cold and uncertainty, the slow and worm-eaten ferry, the strange ferryman, and the hungry ravens above the troubled waters. But that feeling of discomfort which had remained in him had never completely disappeared. On the other hand, with years and with age it appeared more and more often; always the same black pain which cut into the breast with that special well-known childhood pang which was clearly distinguishable from all the ills and pains that life later brought to him. With closed eyes, the Vezir would wait until that black knife-like pang passed and the pain diminished.”

The novel explores the tense coexistence of the Bosnian and Turkish communities. The brutal rule of the Ottoman Turk is contrasted to the bureaucratic petty tyrannies of the empire of Austria-Hungary. In both cases, Višegrad exists in a liminal space, as a kind of outlier of both empires. But geopolitics and the processes of imperial rule remain distant and abstract. Only in rare cases do the tendrils of political power impinge on the community and the bridge. Mostly it is everyday life. Weddings and funerals, trade to and fro across the bridge, and idle hours spent on the bridge’s kapia. (While the characters and manners may seem exotic to an American reader, the kapia’s social scene could be seen as akin to Sam’s bar on Cheers.)

In what would otherwise be a momentous occasion, the handoff of Višegrad from Ottoman to Austrian rule is handled with a serio-comic anticlimax. Several chapters beforehand, the villages speak in hushed voices about rebellions and insurgencies against Ottoman rule. Each successive rebellion and its attendant quashing seem like a desperate attempt to push back a powerful and inevitable wave. But in the end, the Ottomans leave and the Austrians arrive with minor ceremony and a proclamation nailed to the bridge.

Drina mirrors Yugoslavia’s idiosyncratic political position in the Cold War hegemony. Created in the aftermath of the First World War and stitching together various ethnic groups (Bosnians, Serbs, Croats, etc.) and different religious communities (Christian and Muslim), it shook off the shackles of Nazi Occupation by embracing Communist rule. But Yugoslavia had been under Ottoman and Austrian rule for centuries, always a pawn in some imperial chess game. Yugoslavia under the dictator Joseph Tito sided with the Soviets but didn’t become a “satellite state.” It was Communist but wasn’t a member of the Warsaw Pact, instead becoming part of the Non-Aligned Movement. Drina reveals not necessarily the political background, although Ottoman and Austrian tyrannies are exposed for what they were, law and order wrapped up in false promises and cheap rhetoric. It also serves as a prophecy for the fragmentation and violence that will follow the dissolution of the Iron Curtain.

After the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Bosnian nationalist, the mood turns ugly and Austrian rule sloughs off its hypocritical benevolence, since the Hapsburg officer corps remained a German-speaking body, its ethnic chauvinism camouflaged in military pomp and ceremony. Andrič’s novel, told in a masterful and modernist interpretation of the national epic, reveals the trials and tribulations of Višegrad’s people, with the bridge as the central unifying symbol, seeing the various ethnic and religious communities with a humanizing eye for detail. In these days of political division, an increasing normalization of political violence, and the relentless doublespeak of political campaigns, Drina shows how centuries of tense co-existence can reveal itself in the hearts and minds of individual villagers. The bridge is shown as universal and eternal … until it isn’t, blown apart by retreating troops of an ossified decadent empire.

https://driftlessareareview.com/2022/11/15/translation-tuesdays-the-bridge-on-th... ( )
  kswolff | Dec 10, 2022 |
“The common people remember and tell of what they are able to grasp and what they are able to transform into legend. Anything else passes them by without deeper trace, with the dumb indifference of nameless natural phenomena, which do not touch the imagination or remain in the memory. This hard and long building process was for them a foreign task undertaken at another’s expense. Only when, as the fruit of this effort, the great bridge arose, men began to remember details and to embroider the creation of a real, skillfully built and lasting bridge with fabulous tales which they well knew how to weave and to remember.”

Published in 1945, this book chronicles the historic forces that changed the lives of people living in Višegrad, Bosnia, where the bridge was built by the Ottoman Empire in the mid-16th century. The story spans hundreds of years (1500s to 1914). The bridge is wide, and contains a kapia in the center, where people can sit and chat. Over time, the bridge becomes both a community meeting place and a focal point for conflicts.

The narrative is centered around the enduring presence of the bridge. The characters come and go. Some are followed over several chapters and others disappear quickly. Their stories incorporate political, social, cultural, religious, and economic changes that occur during their lifetimes. The Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian occupations, Bosnian and Herzegovinian rebellions, and Austrian annexation are incorporated into the narrative. It also portrays the fallout after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Be aware that it contains a particularly gruesome description of torture and execution.

The book is beautifully written using descriptive language. I read the English translation from Serbo-Croatian by Lovett F. Edwards. It is easy to envision the bridge, the town, and the surrounding landscapes. It is a book to read gradually in order to fully digest the content. It is a wonderful example of an author using fiction to inform readers about history.

Memorable quotes:

“But misfortunes do not last forever (this they have in common with joys) but pass away or are at least diminished and become lost in oblivion. Life on the kapia always renews itself despite everything and the bridge does not change with the years or with the centuries or with the most painful turns in human affairs. All these pass over it, even as the unquiet waters pass beneath its smooth and perfect arches.”

“Every human generation has its own illusions with regard to civilization; some believe they are taking part in its upsurge, others that they are witnesses of its extinction. In fact, it always both flames and smolders and is extinguished, according to the place and the angle of view.”
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Andrić, IvoForfatterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Doolaard, A. denForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Dorado Cadilla, JairoOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Edwards, Lovett F.Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Glenny, MishaIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
McNeill, William H.Introduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Meriggi, BrunoOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Munari, BrunoOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Sangster-Warnaars, C.W.Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Sinervo, AiraOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Sinervo, ElviOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Vermeulen-Dijamant, K.Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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"A hardcover edition of Nobel Prize-winning author Ivo Andric's historical novel about the Balkans, first published in 1945, translated from the Serbo-Croatian by Lovett F. Edwards, with a new introduction by Misha Glenny, a bibliography, and a chronology of the author's life and times"--

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