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The Croatian culture in the European context

Mislav Ježić

Puni tekst: hrvatski PDF 1.070 Kb

str. 45-59

preuzimanja: 450



The article deals with the frequently propounded argument about the Croatian culture as being entirely European. If it is so much European, what then is Croatian in it? In the first part, it is shown how a series of the components and characteristics of the Croatian culture, especially literature, was influenced by the situation prevailing on the borders of the former Western and Eastern Roman Empire, as vvell as the Slavic, Roman and German speaking areas, the Mediterranean in general, Central Europe, as well as Islam in the Turkish Empire. In the second part, examples are given about interconnectedness of various components of the European culture in the Croatian humanistic and Renaissance literature in Latin, Old-Slavic and Croatian languages. It is shown how much Antique and biblical motives and themes in Humanism and Renaissance are mutually tied. On the other hand, it is demonstrated to what degree the Croatian language Renaissance poetry belongs to the same context as the Latin humanistic poetry and how it relies on this. Without this, it cannot be well understood. Of course, there are also contemporary European components in this poetry, such as Petrarchism, or the inspiration by Tasso and Sannazar. The third part gives a brief account of the European determinants in the recent Croatian literature up to the present time. The article as a whole argues that all the elements of European culture in the Croatian literature have been Antique, biblical and contemporary, but that they have all been successfully integrated into a distinctive Croatian tradition. Without bearing this fact in mind, the works of Croatian poets and writers cannot be properly understood. When they are understood as such, as both European and Croatian, provided that they are individually valuable, it becomes obvious that they represent a contribution to the European culture.

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