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The committee that awarded the Nobel prize for literature to Ivo Andric in 1961 cited the epic force of The Bridge on the Drina, first published in Serbo-Croat in 1945, as justification for its award. The award was indeed justified if, as I believe, The Bridge on the Drina is one of the most perceptive, resonant, and well-wrought works of fiction written in the twentieth century. But the epic comparison seems strained. At any rate, if the work is epic, it remains an epic without a hero. The bridge, both in its inception and at its destruction, is central to the book, but can scarcely be called a hero. It is, rather, a symbol of the establishment and the overthrown in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. That civilization was Ottoman - radically alien to, and a conscious rival of, both Orthodox Russia and the civilization of western Europe. It was predominantly Turkish and Moslem, but also embraced Christian and Jewish communities, along with such outlaw elements as Gypsies. All find a place in Andric's book, and with an economy of means that is all but magical, he presents the reader with a thoroughly credible portrait of the birth and death of Ottoman civilization as experienced in his native land of Bosnia.
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Book Description Dereta, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P118673466369