NO poem, record, note, story or novel … or anything else that came out under Andrić’s pen, caused so much controversial interpretation and anger among Bosnian Muslims as his doctoral dissertation, entitled: “Development of spiritual life in Bosnia under the influence Turkish rule “, written in 1924, in a kind of extortion and great haste.
For various reasons, Andrić did not allow the dissertation to be printed or translated from German into Serbian during his lifetime (this was done by the Endowment after Andrić’s death), nor did he ever comment on it orally or in writing, nor did he allow it to be included in his collection. works: almost, in a way, he did not even consider it his work, ie. he shrouded himself in deep silence for the rest of his life.
Let’s say, Andrić wrote and defended his dissertation in 1924, in a great time constraint and “under duress”! When in 1919. settled in Belgrade, Andrić got a job in the then Ministry of Religion, but soon moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After his first service in the embassies of the Vatican, Bucharest and Trieste, in January 1923 he was appointed vice-consul in Graz. It was then that the law was passed that state officials must have a diploma of a graduated faculty. Even before the war, Andrić started and interrupted his studies at three faculties: in Zagreb, Vienna and Krakow, because he was arrested and confined during the war. He returned to his studies at the Faculty of Arts (Philosophy) in Zagreb in 1917/1918. g., but again interrupts them quickly. Because, let’s say, in 1919 he moved and got a job in Belgrade. And when he was appointed vice-consul in Graz in 1923, he began, that is. continues, studies at the Faculty of Philosophy there. However, the mentioned law arrived, which was “faster” than the possibility of finishing school, and Ivo Andrić, not having a diploma, was fired from the civil service on December 31, 1923. Therefore, it was necessary to finish the faculty as soon as possible, in Graz, so that he could return, that is. stay in the service.
NOW, Andrić was faced with a new dilemma: whether to finish the faculty with a state exam and obtain a diploma of an ordinary high school teacher, professor, or a doctorate, for which, however, it was necessary to write and defend an appropriate dissertation. Andrić decided to get a doctorate for two reasons: it required fewer exam deadlines, the whole procedure was faster than the state exam, and in his and someone else’s ear the title of the title sounds nice: doctor of philosophy.
This academic title in Austria has a long and especially valued tradition, this doctorate is obtained by the candidate collecting the required number of certificates during eight semesters that he has successfully attended seminars for certain subjects – that is, to excel! But it is up to the professors to decide. Candidates who, like Andrić, interrupted their studies could count on the professor’s understanding of their case. Andrić then started the race against time. He submitted an application for the final exam, the so-called rigorosum, and for that final exam he chose two subjects: Slavic philology and the history of Austria. In addition to these two subjects, Andrić, like any other candidate, was obliged to pass an exam in philosophy, previously also in Latin, because that is how the name and tradition of the faculty are preserved. Andrić therefore received his doctorate in Slavic philology and Austrian history and philosophy, but his doctorate in philosophy, with its name and brilliance, covered those two, previous basic subjects.
WITHOUT TITLE IN FRONT OF NAME
ANDRIĆ, after passing his doctorate, almost never signed that title in front of his name and surname. Sometimes and sometimes he would be titled by others, in some correspondence, mostly diplomatic, but it is obvious that due to the spirit and echo of the dissertation he avoided publicly emphasizing his doctoral degree and thus draws attention to the dissertation. It was in his manner that he somehow hid what he was not satisfied with, simply pushed it under the carpet. He also did not have a good opinion of his first collection of poems “Unrest” … so he avoided including the second, better “Ex Ponto” in the collected or selected works, reprinted them or spoke about them publicly.
In Graz, IVO attended lectures on Slavic philology with Professor Heinrich Felix Schmidt, who was also his mentor. Schmidt was four years younger than Andrić, he had just been appointed professor in Graz, at the same time as Andrić was enrolling. Schmidt was from Leipzig, where he received his doctorate in 1922. His other professor on the doctoral exam was Raymond Friedrich Kaindl, much older than Schmidt. Kaindl was ideologically a great German, he advocated all-German unification under Vienna and not Berlin.
The exam in Slavic philology is scheduled for June 3, 1924, and the exam in another subject, the history of Austria, together with the exam in philosophy, with Professor Hugo Spitzer, for June 12. Andrić passed both exams with the best possible grade of “excellent”. The next day, a solemn promotion was held immediately. So is Ivan – Ivo Andrić, for whom prof. Schmidt wrote in the explanation that “he belongs to the old patrician family from Sarajevo”, which is not true at all, he became a doctor of philosophy; and he will take a “doctorate” in literary writing for the next twenty years, until the final exam: winning the Nobel Prize in 1961.
WHEN these dates are compared and the circumstances in which Andrić finds himself are taken into account, it is clear that the dissertation was written a little over half a year ago: in a hurry and under the need to obtain a diploma. And one more thing, in the literature of that time there were no works and books about the culture and spiritual development of Bosnia. Andrić is, therefore, the first to write a paper about it. That is why his dissertation, ie the thesis in it, is full of personal experiences of Bosnia, the Turkish occupation, Islam and social circumstances in general at that time. Andrić Dr. Ivo felt that history exists, lies or sleeps outside the documents, that historical events and processes can be reconstructed on the basis of details, legends, fragments … which with their power and author’s logic over them can strongly illuminate the spiritual space of Bosnia through centuries. Andrić was obviously forced to take such an approach and the concept of his dissertation: due to the lack of literature on the subject and his personal strong conviction that four and a half centuries of Bosnia under the Turks could be faithfully and truthfully depicted on the basis of oral memory of generations and a few stingy pop records.
At this point, however, the misunderstanding between Bosnian Muslims and Andrić began, that is, it flared up strongly because of the way Andrić formulated his thesis, at the beginning of the second chapter. (Otherwise, the thesis must be visibly emphasized at the very beginning of the dissertation text, in order to prove and prove everything written afterwards). This is Andrić’s thesis:
“It is crucial that Bosnia, at the most critical moment of its spiritual development, at a time when the turmoil of spiritual forces reached its peak, was conquered by an Asian, warrior people, whose social institutions and customs meant the negation of every Christian culture and whose faith – created under other climatic and social conditions and unsuitable for any adaptation – it interrupted the spiritual life of the country, distorted it and made that life something very special. “
TOMORROW: The spirit of Bosnia through the centuries
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