Serbian literature has the long tradition. The history of Serbian literature begins with the independent theological works from the Nemanjic era. The oldest surviving manuscript and the monument of old Serbian literature, written in Serbian language, is Miroslav’s Gospel, written in the eighties of the 12th century. Serbian literature is among the oldest ones out there. After enlightenment epoch of Serbian literature, next milestone is the era of romanticism. Serbian Romanticism Epoch is marked by Vuk Karadzic (reformer of Serbian alphabet) and his struggle for the affirmation of the Serbian language. All great Serbian writers of that era were supporters of Vuk’s idea and inspired by the folk poetry, which systematic collection was done by Vuk himself. In the epoch of Serbian realism dominate prose genres – novels and, in particular, short stories. If you are interested, and want to know more about Serbian literature, we will represent Top 10 Serbian books you have to read, as a start.
Top 10 Serbian books you have to read
The bridge on the Drina (original title: Na Drini Cuprija)
Probably the most popular one! The most interesting one! Winner among Top 10 Serbian books you have to read is Novel by famous Serbian writer who won the Nobel prize back in the 1961. Nobel Prize went to Ivo Andric for his remarkable story. Story which follows the idea, construction and history of Visegrad’s bridge on the Drina. The eternal story of life, religion, love and conflict in the Balkans. Brilliant character study, national and territorial specificities, Ivo Andric succeeds, in the very original way to summarize the historical memory but also to anticipate the ways of life in the never-stable Balkans. The book that, through the literary arts novels, the best and most accurately explains, in all beliefs and misconceptions of our culture.
Death and the Dervish (original title: Dervis i Smrt)
This novel is the most important work in the literary creation of Mesa Selimovic (writer), and significant work in our entire literature. He is special in style, language, philosophy of life, psychological analysis and technique of design engineering. Nurudin Ahmed (main character) reveals all obstacles to spiritual and moral turmoil inherent in a human being. Extremely well observed, the analytical, and respectful to himself, and to others as well, breaks up everything into smallest peaces and analyze them, as well as Mesa Selimovic while writing his masterpiece – Death and the Dervish. This art peace is among the Top 10 Serbian books you have to read.
Dictionary of the Khazars (original title: Hazarski Recnik)
Dictionary of the Khazars is lexicon – novel in 100,000 words (written in 1984. by famous serbian writer Milorad Pavic). Has been translated so far to more than thirty languages. As the best novel in Yugoslavia in 1984. novel won the NIN Award (prestigious Serbian award), and also the award “Roman Decade” (in 1992.). The New York Times ranked it among the seven most beautiful literary works published in the US in 1988. On the lists of bestsellers was the first in France and third in England. This novel tells about of those nations whose fate is uncertain and leads them to the disappearance, as happened with the Khazars, ancient and powerful tribe whose origins remain mystery. The Khazar empire, rival of Byzantine Empire, has disappeared from the historical scene of the world centuries ago along with the people who created it.
A guide to the Serbian Mentality (original title: Vodic kroz Srpski mentalitet)
Writing the columns and stories in newspapers and magazines, Belgrade painter and writer Momo Kapor has created an original and ironic parallel literary and realistically harsh and very interesting picture of the Serbians at the turn of the century: habits, traditions, history, ideology… Specific sense of humor, irony that often goes beyond the fate, a sense for details in which are contained the essence of things are just some of the many values of this book. Guide to the Serbian mentality is the best proof that no one can understand us better than our self’s in a very original way, why stubbornness and irrationality are dominant national characteristics. This book is an attempt to explain Serbian national characteristics closer to the reader who does not speak and does not read Serbian language or for whom the Serbs and the Serbian mentality is enigma.
King Radovan’s treasure (original title: Blago Cara Radovana)
The book of wisdom and beauty of the great Serbian poet, Jovan Ducic, is one of the most popular works of Serbian literature. Treasure of poetic and philosophical reflections of the issues of the destiny of every man. Source of knowledge and inspiration of life. The book that provoke to be read by generations of readers, provides support in difficult times and helps anyone who is immersed in it, to more easily find their way.
Signs by the roadside (original title: Znakovi Pored Puta)
In the form of a journal (another masterpiece of Ivo Andric), “Signs by the Roadside” is a series of short stories that can be written in the course of a single day, reflecting the writer’s mood at the time, opinion on a particular topic or person, an impression from a trip or a thought that preoccupied him. These texts are not organized chronologically, like a traditional journal, but rather according to the spontaneous activity of the Ivo’s soul.
Belgrade the eternal city (original title: Beograd Veciti Grad)
Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was destroyed more than 100 times. Belgrade is a city where even the Ottoman Turks learned to daydream when they are not in war. At the Zeleni venac (area near center of Belgrade), the Romans had their arena. Many people come to Belgrade for rest, to live, or to marry. One of them was Atila “Scourge of God”. Through the book writer Aleksandar Diklic swiped a multitude of emotional sentences through 27 unforgettable episodes that follow from the Neolithic period to the present day. In this book you can find everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Belgrade.
Hedgehog’s Home (original title: Jezeva Kucica)
Top 10 Serbian books you have to read? Jezeva Kucica is one of those. This book is a literal work dedicated to children by great writer Branko Copic written back in the 1949. It is also one of his most famous works. Book Hedgehog’s Home is defined as a poem or fable in verse. This work is epic and lyrical poem. The main character is Hedgehog, which is presented as a master builder and hunter who really values his modest home and sometimes courageous, to defend its position when others do not think so, and mock him. Beside him, the heroes of the poem are fox, wolf, bear and wild bear. Message of this work is to love, to be loved and appreciated other houses or lands, no matter what. Branko Copic said that this work is intended for “children and vulnerable souls”. This is a fable for children, which is rich in symbols and important features of the characters.
From immigrant to Inventor
The book consists of collected and selected works of Mihajlo Pupin. The selected works include Pupin’s monographs, patents that have brought him fame, lectures and articles, as well as those which testify about his political and national work. Mihajlo Pupin, during the life, was the holder of many awards and honorable PhD’s.
The Scent of Rain in the Balkans (original title: Miris Kise na Balkanu)
In an effort to portray the fate of a Jewish family from our soils, the author Mirjana Kuic is, in fact, went much further: she showed the inevitability of history can not be escaped. The Scent of Rain in the Balkans is a significant contribution to the meager Jewish literature in our culture, and gives the facts of turning points in the history of the local Jewish community, and at the same time turning points for our entire country to its history. Novel reflects the tragic tale of a Jewish family, then this novel turns into the narrow limits of such determination and its importance becomes much wider.
When you finish with Top 10 Serbian books you have to read check out for more in some of the Belgrade Bookstors or Public library. If you are not in Serbia check out on Amazon.