ANDRIĆISM: An Aesthetics for Genocide Cover Image
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ANDRIĆISM: An Aesthetics for Genocide
ANDRIĆISM: An Aesthetics for Genocide

Author(s): Rusmir Mahmutćehajić
Subject(s): Fiction, Social history, Islam studies, Bosnian Literature, Culture and social structure , Social differentiation, Nationalism Studies, Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Religion, Wars in Jugoslavia
Published by: SAGE Publications Ltd
Keywords: Andrić; Bosnia; aesthetics; ethics; anti-Muslimism;

Summary/Abstract: Andrić’s fiction is closely identified with Bosnia and often taken for a faithful reflection of that country’s culture, social relations, and tragic history. Rather than reflecting Bosnian pluralism, however, his oeuvre undermines its very metaphysical underpinnings, in part because his works are so firmly rooted in the European experience of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From the perspective of a dominant modernity, certain cultures and peoples came to be presented as un-European, Oriental, and essentially foreign. Bosnia, which had always been a religiously plural society, now became one where ideological models excluded its Muslim inhabitants. In line with longstanding European practice, Andrić drew an image of the Bosnian Muslim as Turk and the Turk as Bosnian Muslim, converting the real content of Bosnian society into a plastic material for the ideologues of homogenous societies to use in modelling external and internal enemies that were essentially identical. This process required as its precondition the destruction of that enemy through a process described as the social and cultural liberation of the Christian subject. Over time, this exclusion took on forms now termed genocide. In creating this image, Andrić deployed narrative techniques whose function may fairly be characterized as the aesthetic dissimulation of our ethical responsibilities towards the other and the different. Such elements from his oeuvre have been used in the nationalist ideologies anti-Muslimism serves as a building block. In this paper, certain aspects of the ideological reading and interpretation of Andrić’s oeuvre are presented.

  • Issue Year: 27/2013
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 619-667
  • Page Count: 49
  • Language: English