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Luko Stulli and Literary Heritage of Dubrovnik

Stjepan Ćosić

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 152 Kb

str. 259-286

preuzimanja: 1.324



Writer, physician, scientist, poet, and translator, Luko Stulli (1772-1828) was one of the greatest exponents of late classicism in Dubrovnik. He belonged to a learned circle which marked the literary and intellectual history of the city at the turn of the 18th century, thus contributing to Dubrovnik being one of the last resorts of Latinism in Europe. He studied medicine and philosophy in Bologna (1792-1795), but was also educated in Florence, Rome, and Naples. Aside from his medical career, Stulli remained passionately devoted to writing all his life. The bulk of his miscellaneous and obscure literary work has been preserved in manuscript. Stulli’s literary view epitomized the classicistic stream in the cultural history of Dubrovnik. Apart from the classical authors, Stulli modelled himself on Ragusan Latinists and poets of the Roman Arcadia. At the beginning of the 19th century, however, the literary scene of Dubrovnik polarized on the problem of valorization of domestic literary heritage. Two distinctive cultural patterns prevailed among the Dubrovnik writers, characterized by those who stood on the position of elitism and cosmopolitanism of the Arcadian classicism, and their opponents who began to turn to the Croatian linguistic idiom, vernacular literature and the new poetic themes, characteristic of early Romanticism. Stulli based his literary work and translations in Latin and Italian on the criticism of Dubrovnik’s literary-linguistic moment and his judgement on the poetic impotence of the ÒIllyrianÓ language. Like all the Ragusan ÒpatriotsÓ of the day, he ascertains Dubrovnik’s leading position in culture, scholarship, and literature not only in the ÒIllyrian-speaking landsÓ but among all the Slavs. But according to Stulli, the main problem of Illyrian literature lies in the absence of the linguistic standards for the Slavs who have no national language or literature of their own, but resort to hundreds of different idioms.
The Slavic conglomerate is in need of a learned audience, as the one in Italy, and has no Òcorpo accademicoÓ to set the linguistic standards either. Stulli saw the solution in the intercultural shift towards more developed cultural circles, primarily towards that of the neighbouring Italy. Only through translations can the Ragusans present their literary achievements before the world audience. Unlike Ðuro Ferić, who, by means of translations, tried to draw the attention of the European Romantic circles towards Croatian literary production, Stulli was preparing ground for a wider reception of himself and his contemporaries who wrote in Latin and Italian through the presentation of the most famous Dubrovnik Latinist and translations of older Croatian writers. In fact, Stulli provides answers to complex integrational and cultural movements that thrived in Dubrovnik and in Dalmatia in the first three decades of the 19th century. His critical remarks are directed against many Ragusan intellectuals whose opinion on the linguistic or literary perspective of Dubrovnik differed from his. The adherents of this circle played a major role in the initial phase of the Croatian culturo-linguistic integration, some of whom were later directly involved in the Illyrian movement.

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