Skender Kulenović (2 September 1910 – 25 January 1978) was a Bosnian poet, novelist and dramatist.
|Born||2 September 1910|
Bosanski Petrovac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary
|Died||25 January 1978 (aged 67)|
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Skender Kulenović was born in 1910 in the Bosnian town of Bosanski Petrovac (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), to Bosnian Muslim parents. Kulenović hailed from the landowning Bey family, one of the richest and oldest in Bosnia. However, in 1921, his family became impoverished due to the agrarian reforms brought in by the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia and they moved to the central Bosnian town of Travnik, his mother's birthplace. In Travnik, Kulenović completed his high school education at the local Jesuit Grammar School. There he wrote his first poems, culminating in the publication of a set of sonnets (Ocvale primule) in 1927. He then went to Zagreb to study law. In Zagreb, he became inspired by leftist ideas, joining the League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia (SKOJ) in 1933 and the Yugoslav Communist Party (KPJ) in 1935. He would give up his law studies and begin to focus on writing. In 1937, he co-founded the left-wing journal Putokaz (Signpost) with Hasan Kikić and Safet Krupić, which became a forum for discussing various socio-economic issues.
In late 1939 or early 1940, Skender Kulenović was expelled from the KPJ for having refused to sign an open letter criticising the government and advocating autonomy for Bosnia and Herzegovina – a decision which prevented him from publishing in many of the journals he had worked with until then. In 1940 he married his first wife, Ana Prokop.
In 1941, at the outbreak of World War II after Yugoslavia was invaded, Kulenović was still in Zagreb. He joined Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslav Partisans and was transferred to the Bosnian Krajina region where he served as a member of the First Partisan Detachment. He engaged in literary work, edited the newspapers Krajiški partizan, Bosanski udarnik, Glas and Oslobođenje, and gave speeches promoting the struggle for liberation and advocating for brotherhood and unity between Muslims and Serbs. His best works were arguably written during this time, including three of his most popular poems: Stojanka majka Knežopoljka (1942), Pisma Jove Stanivuka (1942) and Ševa (1943). The folk-epic Stojanka majka Knežopoljka references the Kozara Offensive and subsequent persecution of the Serbian population, describing the pain of a mother who lost her three sons. According to the writer Jasmin Agić, Pisma Jove Stanivuka and Ševa represented the foundation of the "revolutionary heroism" theme that would become present in Kulenović's writings.
In 1945, Skender Kulenović was appointed Drama Director of the National Theatre in newly liberated Sarajevo. He married his second wife, Vera Crvenčanin, a film director. The postwar years he devoted largely to drama and journalism: he wrote several successful theatre plays, but also a number of short stories, essays and poems, and edited various literary and non-literary journals. He edited Novo doba, Pregled, Književne novine and Nova misao. His comedies Djelidba (The Division) and Večera (The Dinner) touched on ethnic and societal divisions, which was a taboo in the tightly controlled Yugoslav communist government at the time. His refusal to abide by the rules led Kulenović to fall out of favor with authorities and move to the city of Mostar.
In 1959 he published “Stećak”, the first of his forty Sonnets. He also traveled to Egypt, which inspired a series of travelogues – and, later, the sonnet Vaze (Vases). 1968 saw the publication of the first twenty Soneti (Sonnets). Soneti II, the second set of twenty sonnets, followed in 1974. In 1977 his novel Ponornica (Lost River) appeared.
He died in Belgrade in January 1978 of heart failure.
Kulenović's life story is in many ways typical of a Bosnian-born intellectual of the Yugoslav age: born into a Bosnian Muslim family, educated in the Catholic tradition and living in the Serbian capital. Just as his political ethos was one of pan-Yugoslav unity in Tito's communism, so his cultural roots were embedded in the Ottoman, Croatian and Serbian traditions equally. Some Bosniaks and Serbs categorise him as a Bosniak poet and a Serbian poet respectively – a tendency which, the Sarajevo critic Ivan Lovrenović claims, "diminishes and degrades" the status of Kulenović and writers like him.
The historian Pål Kolstø cites Kulenović and Meša Selimović as among the prominent Bosnian writers with a "stubborn Yugoslav or mixed Yugoslav-ethnic identity" which makes it difficult to incorporate or define their works along any one particular line. His literary work is a part of common heritage of Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins and Bosniaks.
- Stojanka majka Knežopoljka (1942)
- Pisma Jove Stanivuka (1942)
- Ševa (1943)
- Djelidba, Večera, A šta sad ? (1947)
- Soneti I (1968)
- Divanhana (1972)
- Soneti II (1974)
- Gromovo đule (1975)
- Ponornica (1977)
- Kulenović, Skender (2003) Skender Kulenović. Translated by Francis R. Jones. Modern Poetry in Translation New Series/22: 61–69.
- Kulenović, Skender (2007) Soneti / Sonnets. Special Gala Edition of Forum Bosnae, 41/07. Bilingual edition, with English translations by Francis R. Jones, artwork by Mersad Berber, and afterwords by Francis R. Jones and Rusmir Mahmutćehajić.
- ^ a b c Holton, Milne; Mihailovich, Vasa D. (1988). Serbian Poetry from the Beginnings to the Present. Yale Center for International and Area Studies. pp. 304–305.
Skender Kulenović (1910–78).. a Bosnian (he was born in Bosanski Petrovac to Muslim parents in 1910)..[he] was educated in the gymnasium at Travnik, in the very heart of Bosnia and then went to Zagreb to study law.
- ^ a b c Deretić, Jovan (1987). "Novi realizam". Kratka istorija srpske književnosti (in Serbo-Croatian) (Second ed.). Beogradski izdavačko-grafički zavod. pp. 297–298. ISBN 9788613000600.
Dok se većina pesnika boraca, sazrevši u toku rata, iskazala kasnije, Skender Kulenović (1910-1978) svoja najbolja dela napisao je u NOB-u. Poreklom Krajišnik, iz osiromašene begovske porodice, on je još kao student ušao u zagrebački krug socijalnih pisaca. U njegovoj poeziji gospodare dva suprotna oblika, sonet i poema, prvi stegnut, minijaturan, plod kontrolisane pesničke namere, drugi slobodan, otvoren, žanrovski hibridan, romantičarski izvoran. Sonete je pisao na početku i na kraju svoje pesničke karijere, dok iz ratnih godina potiču tri njegove poeme: Stojanka majka Knežopoljka (1942), Pisma Jova Stanivuka (1942) i Ševa (napisana 1943). One su potekle s narodnih usmenih vrela. Najbolja, najslavnija od njih Stojanka majka Knežopoljka jezički je oblikovana po modelu narodne tužbalice. Ali ona je više poziv na osvetu, slavljenje slobode i života, nego jadikovka majke što je izgubila tri sina u neprijateljskoj ofanzivi. Vizija pobede izvire iz iskonske vere čoveka u obnoviteljsku snagu prirode, u neuništivost života. Raskošno obilje žive materije, plodnost njiva, snaga muških mišića i bujnost ženskih grudi, sve se to izlilo i u jezik poeme, svež, neiscrpan, kao izvor koji neprekidno ističe, a nikada ne gubi vodu.
- ^ a b c d e f g Agić, Jasmin (21 October 2018). "Skendera Kulenovića mrze jer je napisao 'Stojanku majku Knežopoljku'". Al Jazeera Balkans.
- ^ a b c d e "Rođen Skender Kulenović (02. septembar 1910.)". historija.ba.
- ^ The Wall in My Head: Words and Images from the Fall of the Iron Curtain. Open Letter Books. 2009. p. 224. ISBN 9781934824238.
- ^ Duraković, Enes (1974). "Skender Kulenovic Before the War Poems Summary". Godišnjak Odjeljenja za književnost (in Serbo-Croatian). Institut za jezik i književnost u Sarajevu. Odjeljenje za književnost. 3–4: 326.
Skender Kulenović started his literary career when he was seventeen in the school almanac Hrvaska vila. This was in Travnik in 1927. Five sonnets under the common title Ocvale primule..
- ^ Ključanin, Zilhad (2004). Lice svjetlosti: pobožni i sinkretizirani elementi u bošnjačkoj poeziji XX vijeka. GIK "OKO". p. 176. ISBN 9789958430916.
Skender Kulenović (1910. - 1978.) u međuratnom je periodu objavio ciklus od pet soneta Ocvale primule (kao srednješkolac, u đačkom listu u Travniku, 1927.)
- ^ Duraković, Enes (1983). Pjesništvo Skendera Kulenovića (in Serbo-Croatian). Veselin Masleša. p. 27.
Na takvu odluku presudno je utjecao njegov odlazak na studij prava u Zagreb, 1931. godine, gdje se veoma brzo zamijenili su sada revolucionarni zanosi i Kulenović već 1933, postaje član SKOJ - a, a član KPJ 1935. godine.
- ^ Lovrenović, Ivan (2001). Bosnia: A Cultural History. Saqi Books. p. 168. ISBN 9780863569463.
- ^ Frucht, Richard C. (2005). Eastern Europe, Volume 3. ABC-CLIO. p. 674. ISBN 9781576078006.
- ^ Rubin, Don; Nagy, Péter; Rouyer, Philippe, eds. (2001). The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Europe. Taylor & Francis. pp. 145, 151. ISBN 9780415251570.
- ^ Lovrenović, Ivan (2002) Nacionalna pripadnost ili nacionalno vlasništvo (Ethno-national belonging or ethno-national property), Dani, 29 March 2002.
- ^ Kolstø, Pål (2016). Strategies of Symbolic Nation-building in South Eastern Europe. Routledge. p. 83. ISBN 9781317049364.
- ^ S. Rančić, Dunja (2022). Oblikovanje kanona srpske poezije u antologijama Bogdana Popovića, Zorana Mišića i Miodraga Pavlovića. Belgrade: University of Belgrade. p. 134.
- Miljanović, Mira (2000) Pjesnička ponornica: Skender Kulenović devedeset godina od rođenja (Poetic Lost River: Skender Kulenović Ninety Years after his Birth). Sarajevo: Preporod.