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Original scientific paper

Anthology "Croatian National Folk Songs in the Štokavian and Kajkavian Dialects" by Đuro Deželić

Ivan Zvonar ; Varaždin, Croatia

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page 126-160

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The manuscript of the anthology Hrvatske narodne pjesme puka Štokavsoga i Kajkavskoga [Croatian national folk songs in the Štokavian and Kajkavian dialects] by Đuro Deželić, kept today in the Ethnology Department of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts under number MH 186 is among the most comprehensive song books compiled soon after the Croatian National Revival. It was signed with one of the collector’s pseudonyms: I. St. Mirković I-nin. Deželić himself prepared it for press in 1859, but it was never printed. The comprehensive foreword tells of the geographic and linguistic area where the songs were collected, and about the manner of transcribing the texts. The author stressed that all efforts were made to exactly transcribe the songs as they were heard, and to list the numerous problems encountered in recording the songs, particularly those in the Kajkavian dialect. In the Kajkavian records, he used the sound ć (considering that the Kajkavian č was 'softer' that the Štokavian č but 'harder' than the sound ć), thereby stepping away from the post-revival practice of using only the letter č for both sounds. At the time of compiling the song, the letter đ was not in existence, and so Deželić used the compound sound gj instead, as was the practice of writers until the revival. Multiple issues arose with the Kajkavian vocalism, and only partial solutions were found. The manuscript was not original paginated. Almost ninety years later, pagination was added by Vinko Žganec, though unfortunately, this was quite careless. The anthology contains only texts, without musical notation, and is divided into two parts. The first includes the Štokavian songs, the second the Kajkavian songs. The Štokavian sections includes 155 records and the themes are somewhat narrower than the Kajkavian songs. Virtually all songs are of a romantic theme, and can be divided into pure lyricism, ballads
and romances. There is only one purely epic poem, Liepi ajduk [Lovely outlaw]. The Kajkavian section includes 203 records and the thematic range is significantly broader and more diverse than in the Štokavian section. However, the motifs are often intertwined through the Kajkavian and Štokavian sections, showing the literary diversity that dominated in the northern Croatian region since event he mid-19th century. Numerous motifs, however, surpass the linguistic and national borders, and so Deželić's records form an inseparable part of the overall Croatian as well as European verbal literary heritage. Considering the fact that Deželić recorded these songs as he heard them, and did not amend anything, the songs from his anthology form a reliable foundation for further study.


post-revival period; unpublished manuscript of songs; Štokavian and Kajkavian songs; thematic breadth and diversity

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