Muslim or Non-Muslim Book. Atheist as a Dervish, Muslim as an Eternee Cover Image
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Muslimanska ili nemuslimanska knjiga. Ateist kao derviš, musliman kao vječnik
Muslim or Non-Muslim Book. Atheist as a Dervish, Muslim as an Eternee

Author(s): Amela Ljevo-Ovčina
Subject(s): South Slavic Languages
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: identity; novel; Islam; interpretation; literary translation; religion;
Summary/Abstract: The Dervish and the Death, by Meša Selimović, is one of the few internationally recognized novels written by a Bosnian. It was published in 1966, and since has been translated into many languages. This novel is a unique inside story on Muslims in Bosnia, a culturally atmospheric narrative about a dervish’s loss of ideology which becomes a universal metaphor for the fight between a man and the ideological system.At the time The Dervish and the Death was published, Muslims, one of the six most prominent South Slavic ethnic and religious groups in Yugoslavia, were not officially recognized until 1971. Being already famous, Meša Selimović, born as a Muslim, a partisan in the Second World War, and a communist, declared himself as a Serb. The war in the 1990s was waged, mostly against Bosniaks and Bosnia, fueled by a stereotype that misrepresented the Muslim identity as Turks, a people who, as a traditional enemy, are danger for Europe. During this period a few Bosniak scholars tried to strengthen national identity by interpreting The Dervish and the Death as an Islamic novel. Nedžad Ibrišimović, excellent but less succesfull writer than Selimović, wrote an essay about the contradictions in the way Selimović treats Islamic values through his dervish’s view on religion, the Koran, etc., underlining that the novel is well written, the best in Bosnia, but it is not an Islamic book (it is, according to him, even anti-Islamic).This work gives a better picture of the whole issue of the identity of Bosniaks, their attitude towards religion, literature and simplifications of Bosnia inside and outside the country.

  • Page Range: 187-204
  • Page Count: 18
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: Croatian