On the Hard Road to Modernisation: Notes on Censorship in the Balkans in the 18th–19th Century Cover Image
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По трудния път на модернизацията: бележки върху цензурата на Балканите през ХVІІІ–ХІХ век
On the Hard Road to Modernisation: Notes on Censorship in the Balkans in the 18th–19th Century

Author(s): Nadia Danova
Subject(s): History
Published by: Асоциация Клио
Keywords: The Balkans; modernization processes; the Ottoman Empire; book publishing; censorship

Summary/Abstract: The study is dedicated to one of the most serious obstacles encountered by the modernization processes in the Balkans. Different examples are analysed which allow one to judge about the criteria and methods of censorship applied in the Balkans. The quoted data reveal the wide scope of the register of indicators on the basis of which a book could fall in the category of “unwanted” or “forbidden” books. The principle of legitimacy and status quo is practically upheld in all quoted cases, regardless of whether it is a matter of the Ottoman Empire or the independent Balkan states. Censorship limitations are an additional reason determining the geography of book publishing in the Balkans, a geography which shows that the books which contributed to the modernization of Balkan societies could have been published mainly in European centres related to the economic activity of Balkan merchants. Albeit fragmentary, the quoted examples allow one to judge that only if one takes into account the detaining role of censorship one could have an adequate view of the complex of conditions determining the development of publishing in the Balkans. The censorship applied by the Sublime Porte and the governments of the independent Balkan states, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church Commission obliges scholars to be very careful when analyzing the ideology of the people who lived in the 18th and the 19th century in the cases when archival material is insufficient.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 81-105
  • Page Count: 25
  • Language: Bulgarian