|Birth Day:||October 9, 1892|
|Death Date:||Mar 13, 1975 (age 82)|
|Birth Place:||Travnik, Bosnia And Herzegovina|
As per our current Database, Ivo Andric died on Mar 13, 1975 (age 82).
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He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Graz in 1924. He was imprisoned during World War I because of his political affiliations; he was supportive of Yugoslavia.
Ivan Andrić was born in the village of Dolac, near Travnik, on 9 October 1892, while his mother, Katarina (née Pejić), was in the town visiting relatives. Andrić's parents were both Catholic Croats. He was his parents' only child. His father, Antun, was a struggling silversmith who resorted to working as a school janitor in Sarajevo, where he lived with his wife and infant son. At the age of 32, Antun died of tuberculosis, like most of his siblings. Andrić was only two years old at the time. Widowed and penniless, Andrić's mother took him to Višegrad and placed him in the care of her sister-in-law Ana and brother-in-law Ivan Matković, a police officer. The couple were financially stable but childless, so they agreed to look after the infant and brought him up as their own. Meanwhile, Andrić's mother returned to Sarajevo seeking employment.
In 1908, Austria-Hungary officially annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the chagrin of South Slav nationalists like Andrić. In late 1911, Andrić was elected the first president of the Serbo-Croat Progressive Movement (Serbo-Croatian Latin: Srpsko-Hrvatska Napredna Organizacija; SHNO), a Sarajevo-based secret society that promoted unity and friendship between Serb and Croat youth and opposed the Austro-Hungarian occupation. Its members were vehemently criticized by both Serb and Croat nationalists, who dismissed them as "traitors to their nations". Unfazed, Andrić continued agitating against the Austro-Hungarians. On 28 February 1912, he spoke before a crowd of 100 student protesters at Sarajevo's railway station, urging them to continue their demonstrations. The Austro-Hungarian police later began harassing and prosecuting SHNO members. Ten were expelled from their schools or penalized in some other way, though Andrić himself escaped punishment. Andrić also joined the South Slav student movement known as Young Bosnia, becoming one of its most prominent members.
Andrić felt he was destined to become a writer. He began writing in secondary school, but received little encouragement from his mother. He recalled that when he showed her one of his first works, she replied: "Did you write this? What did you do that for?" Andrić published his first two poems in 1911 in a journal called Bosanska vila (Bosnian Fairy), which promoted Serbo-Croat unity. At the time, he was still a secondary school student. Prior to World War I, his poems, essays, reviews, and translations appeared in journals such as Vihor (Whirlwind), Savremenik (The Contemporary), Hrvatski pokret (The Croatian Movement), and Književne novine (Literary News). One of Andrić's favorite literary forms was lyrical reflective prose, and many of his essays and shorter pieces are prose poems. The historian Wayne S. Vucinich describes Andrić's poetry from this period as "subjective and mostly melancholic". Andrić's translations of August Strindberg, Walt Whitman, and a number of Slovene authors also appeared around this time.
In 1912, Andrić registered at the University of Zagreb, having received a scholarship from an educational foundation in Sarajevo. He enrolled in the department of mathematics and natural sciences because these were the only fields for which scholarships were offered, but was able to take some courses in Croatian literature. Andrić was well received by South Slav nationalists there, and regularly participated in on-campus demonstrations. This led to his being reprimanded by the university. In 1913, after completing two semesters in Zagreb, Andrić transferred to the University of Vienna, where he resumed his studies. While in Vienna, he joined South Slav students in promoting the cause of Yugoslav unity and worked closely with two Yugoslav student societies, the Serbian cultural society Zora (Dawn) and the Croatian student club Zvonimir, which shared his views on "integral Yugoslavism" (the eventual assimilation of all South Slav cultures into one).
Despite finding like-minded students in Vienna, the city's climate took a toll on Andrić's health. He contracted tuberculosis and became seriously ill, then asked to leave Vienna on medical grounds and continue his studies elsewhere, though Hawkesworth believes he may actually have been taking part in a protest of South Slav students that were boycotting German-speaking universities and transferring to Slavic ones. For a time, Andrić had considered transferring to a school in Russia but ultimately decided to complete his fourth semester at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. He transferred in early 1914. Andrić started his literary career as a poet. In 1914, he was one of the contributors to Hrvatska mlada lirika (Croatian Youth Lyrics) and continued to publish translations, poems and reviews.
On 28 June 1914, Andrić learned of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. The assassin was Gavrilo Princip, a Young Bosnian and close friend of Andrić who had been one of the first to join the SHNO in 1911. Upon hearing the news, Andrić decided to leave Kraków and return to Bosnia. He travelled by train to Zagreb, and in mid-July, departed for the coastal city of Split with his friend, the poet and fellow South Slav nationalist Vladimir Čerina. Andrić and Čerina spent the rest of July at the latter's summer home. As the month progressed, the two became increasingly uneasy about the escalating political crisis that followed the Archduke's assassination and eventually led to the outbreak of World War I. They then went to Rijeka, where Čerina left Andrić without explanation, only saying he urgently needed to go to Italy. Several days later, Andrić learned that Čerina was being sought by the police.
By the following year, the case against Andrić was dropped due to lack of evidence, and he was released from prison on 20 March 1915. The authorities exiled him to the village of Ovčarevo, near Travnik. He arrived there on 22 March and was placed under the supervision of local Franciscan friars. Andrić soon befriended the friar Alojzije Perčinlić and began researching the history of Bosnia's Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities under Ottoman rule. Andrić lived in the parish headquarters, and the Franciscans gave him access to the monastery chronicles. In return, he assisted the parish priest and taught religious songs to pupils at the monastery school. Andrić's mother soon came to visit him and offered to serve as the parish priest's housekeeper. "Mother is very happy," Andrić wrote. "It has been three whole years since she saw me. And she can't grasp all that has happened to me in that time, nor the whole of my crazy, cursed existence. She cries, kisses me and laughs in turn. Like a mother."
Andrić was later transferred to a prison in Zenica, where Perčinlić regularly visited him. The Austro-Hungarian Army declared Andrić a political threat in March 1917 and exempted him from armed service. He was thus registered with a non-combat unit until February of the following year. On 2 July 1917, Emperor Charles declared a general amnesty for all of Austria-Hungary's political prisoners. His freedom of movement restored, Andrić visited Višegrad and reunited with several of his school friends. He remained in Višegrad until late July, when he was mobilized. Because of his poor health, Andrić was admitted to a Sarajevo hospital and thus avoided service. He was then transferred to the Reservospital in Zenica, where he received treatment for several months before continuing to Zagreb. There, Andrić again fell seriously ill and sought treatment at the Sisters of Mercy hospital, which had become a gathering place for dissidents and former political prisoners.
In January 1918, Andrić joined several South Slav nationalists in editing a short-lived pan-Yugoslav periodical called Književni jug (Literary South). Here and in other periodicals, Andrić published book reviews, plays, verse, and translations. Over the course of several months in early 1918, Andrić's health began to deteriorate, and his friends believed he was nearing death. However, he recovered and spent the spring of 1918 in Krapina writing Ex ponto, a book of prose poetry that was published in July. It was his first book.
The end of World War I saw the disintegration of Austria-Hungary, which was replaced by a newly established South Slav state, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed Yugoslavia in 1929). In late 1918, Andrić re-enrolled at the University of Zagreb and resumed his studies. By January 1919, he fell ill again and was back in the hospital. Fellow writer Ivo Vojnović became worried for his friend's life and appealed to Andrić's old schoolteacher Tugomir Alaupović (who had just been appointed the new kingdom's Minister of Religious Affairs) to use his connections and help Andrić pay for treatment abroad. In February, Andrić wrote Alaupović and asked for help finding a government job in Belgrade. Eventually, Andrić chose to seek treatment in Split, where he stayed for the following six months. During his time on the Mediterranean coast, Andrić completed a second volume of prose poetry, titled Nemiri (Unrest), which was published the following year. By the time Andrić left, he had almost fully recovered, and quipped that he was cured by the "air, sun and figs." Troubled by news that his uncle was seriously ill, Andrić left Split in August and went to him in Višegrad. He returned to Zagreb two weeks later.
In the immediate aftermath of the war, Andrić's tendency to identify with Serbdom became increasingly apparent. In a correspondence dated December 1918, Vojnović described the young writer as "a Catholic ... a Serb from Bosnia." By 1919, Andrić had acquired his undergraduate degree in South Slavic history and literature at the University of Zagreb. He was perennially impoverished, and earned a meagre sum through his writing and editorial work. By mid-1919, he realized that he would be unable to financially support himself and his aging mother, aunt and uncle for much longer, and his appeals to Alaupović for help securing a government job became more frequent. In September 1919, Alaupović offered him a secretarial position at the Ministry of Religion, which Andrić accepted.
Andrić left Belgrade soon after, and reported for duty in late February. At this time, he published his first short story, Put Alije Đerzeleza (The Journey of Alija Đerzelez). He complained that the consulate was understaffed and that he did not have enough time to write. All evidence suggests he had a strong distaste for the ceremony and pomp that accompanied his work in the diplomatic service, but according to Hawkesworth, he endured it with "dignified good grace". Around this time, he began writing in the Ekavian dialect used in Serbia, and ceased writing in the Ijekavian dialect used in his native Bosnia. Andrić soon requested another assignment, and in November, he was transferred to Bucharest. Once again, his health deteriorated. Nevertheless, Andrić found his consular duties there did not require much effort, so he focused on writing, contributed articles to a Romanian journal and even had time to visit his family in Bosnia. In 1922, Andrić requested another reassignment. He was transferred to the consulate in Trieste, where he arrived on 9 December. The city's damp climate only caused Andrić's health to deteriorate further, and on his doctor's advice, he transferred to Graz in January 1923. He arrived in the city on 23 January, and was appointed vice-consul. Andrić soon enrolled at the University of Graz, resumed his schooling and began working on his doctoral dissertation in Slavic studies.
In August 1923, Andrić experienced an unexpected career setback. A law had been passed stipulating that all civil servants had to have a doctoral degree. As Andrić had not completed his dissertation, he was informed that his employment would be terminated. Andrić's well-connected friends intervened on his behalf and appealed to Foreign Minister Momčilo Ninčić, citing Andrić's diplomatic and linguistic abilities. In February 1924, the Foreign Ministry decided to retain Andrić as a day worker with the salary of a vice-consul. This gave him the opportunity to complete his Ph.D. Three months later, on 24 May, Andrić submitted his dissertation to a committee of examiners at the University of Graz, who gave it their approval. This allowed Andrić to take the examinations necessary for his Ph.D to be confirmed. He passed both his exams, and on 13 July, received his Ph.D. The committee of examiners recommended that Andrić's dissertation be published. Andrić chose the title Die Entwicklung des geistigen Lebens in Bosnien unter der Einwirkung der türkischen Herrschaft (The Development of Spiritual Life in Bosnia Under the Influence of Turkish Rule). In it, he characterized the Ottoman occupation as a yoke that still loomed over Bosnia. "The effect of Turkish rule was absolutely negative," he wrote. "The Turks could bring no cultural content or sense of higher mission, even to those South Slavs who accepted Islam."
Several days after receiving his Ph.D, Andrić wrote the Foreign Minister asking to be reinstated and submitted a copy of his dissertation, university documents and a medical certification that deemed him to be in good health. In September, the Foreign Ministry granted his request. Andrić stayed in Graz until 31 October, when he was assigned to the Foreign Ministry's Belgrade headquarters. During the two years he was in Belgrade, Andrić spent much of his time writing. His first collection of short stories was published in 1924, and he received a prize from the Serbian Royal Academy (of which he became a full-fledged member in February 1926). In October 1926, he was assigned to the consulate in Marseille and again appointed vice-consul. On 9 December 1926, he was transferred to the Yugoslav embassy in Paris. Andrić's time in France was marked by increasing loneliness and isolation. His uncle had died in 1924, his mother the following year, and upon arriving in France, he was informed that his aunt had died as well. "Apart from official contacts," he wrote Alaupović, "I have no company whatever." Andrić spent much of his time in the Paris archives poring over the reports of the French consulate in Travnik between 1809 and 1814, material he would use in Travnička hronika (Travnik Chronicle), one of his future novels.
In April 1928, Andrić was posted to Madrid as vice-consul. While there, he wrote essays on Simón Bolívar and Francisco Goya, and began work on the novel Prokleta avlija (The Damned Yard). In June 1929, he was named secretary of the Yugoslav legation to Belgium and Luxembourg in Brussels. On 1 January 1930, he was sent to Switzerland as part of Yugoslavia's permanent delegation to the League of Nations in Geneva, and was named deputy delegate the following year. In 1933, Andrić returned to Belgrade; two years later, he was named head of the political department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On 5 November 1937, Andrić became assistant to Milan Stojadinović, Yugoslavia's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. That year, France decorated him with the Order of the Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour.
Andrić was appointed Yugoslavia's ambassador to Germany in late March or early April 1939. This appointment, Hawkesworth writes, shows that he was highly regarded by his country's leadership. Yugoslavia's King Alexander had been assassinated in Marseille in 1934. He was succeeded by his ten-year-old son Peter, and a regency council led by Peter's uncle Paul was established to rule in his place until he turned 18. Paul's government established closer economic and political ties with Germany. In March 1941, Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact, pledging support for Germany and Italy. Though the negotiations had occurred behind Andrić's back, in his capacity as ambassador he was obliged to attend the document's signing in Berlin. Andrić had previously been instructed to delay agreeing to the Axis powers' demands for as long as possible. He was highly critical of the move, and on 17 March, wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking to be relieved of his duties. Ten days later, a group of pro-Western Royal Yugoslav Air Force officers overthrew the regency and proclaimed Peter of age. This led to a breakdown in relations with Germany and prompted Adolf Hitler to order Yugoslavia's invasion. Given these circumstances, Andrić's position was an extremely difficult one. Nevertheless, he used the little influence he had and attempted unsuccessfully to assist Polish prisoners following the German invasion of Poland in September 1939.
Prior to their invasion of his country, the Germans had offered Andrić the opportunity to evacuate to neutral Switzerland. He declined on the basis that his staff would not be allowed to go with him. On 6 April 1941, the Germans and their allies invaded Yugoslavia. The country capitulated on 17 April and was subsequently partitioned between the Axis powers. In early June, Andrić and his staff were taken back to German-occupied Belgrade, where some were jailed. Andrić was retired from the diplomatic service, but refused to receive his pension or cooperate in any way with the puppet government that the Germans had installed in Serbia. He was spared jail, but the Germans kept him under close surveillance throughout the occupation. Because of his Croat heritage, they had offered him the chance to settle in Zagreb, then the capital of the fascist puppet state known as the Independent State of Croatia, but he declined. Andrić spent the following three years in a friend's Belgrade apartment in conditions that some biographers liken to house arrest. In August 1941, the puppet authorities in German-occupied Serbia issued the Appeal to the Serbian Nation, calling upon the country's inhabitants to abstain from the communist-led rebellion against the Germans; Andrić refused to sign. He directed most of his energies towards writing, and during this time completed two of his best known novels, Na Drini ćuprija (The Bridge on the Drina) and Travnička hronika.
In mid-1942, Andrić sent a message of sympathy to Draža Mihailović, the leader of the royalist Chetniks, one of two resistance movements vying for power in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia, the other being Josip Broz Tito's communist Partisans. In 1944, Andrić was forced to leave his friend's apartment during the Allied bombing of Belgrade and evacuate the city. As he joined a column of refugees, he became ashamed that he was fleeing by himself, in contrast to the masses of people accompanied by their children, spouses and infirm parents. "I looked myself up and down," he wrote, "and saw I was saving only myself and my overcoat." In the ensuing months, Andrić refused to leave the apartment, even during the heaviest bombing. That October, the Red Army and the Partisans drove the Germans out of Belgrade, and Tito proclaimed himself Yugoslavia's ruler.
Andrić initially had a precarious relationship with the communists because he had previously been an official in the royalist government. He returned to public life only once the Germans had been forced out of Belgrade. Na Drini ćuprija was published in March 1945. It was followed by Travnička hronika that September and Gospođica (The Young Lady) that November. Na Drini ćuprija came to be regarded as Andrić's magnum opus and was proclaimed a classic of Yugoslav literature by the communists. It chronicles the history of the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge and the town of Višegrad from the bridge's construction in the 16th century until the outbreak of World War I. The second novel, Travnička hronika, follows a French diplomat in Bosnia during the Napoleonic Wars. The third, Gospođica, revolves around the life of a Sarajevan woman. In the post-war period, Andrić also published several short story collections, some travel memoirs, and a number of essays on writers such as Vuk Karadžić, Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, and Petar Kočić.
In November 1946, Andrić was elected vice-president of the Society for the Cultural Cooperation of Yugoslavia with the Soviet Union. The same month, he was named president of the Yugoslav Writers' Union. The following year, he became a member of the People's Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1948, Andrić published a collection of short stories he had written during the war. His work came to influence writers such as Branko Ćopić, Vladan Desnica, Mihailo Lalić and Meša Selimović. In April 1950, Andrić became a deputy in the National Assembly of Yugoslavia. He was decorated by the Presidium of the National Assembly for his services to the Yugoslav people in 1952. In 1953, his career as a parliamentary deputy came to an end. The following year, Andrić published the novella Prokleta avlija (The Damned Yard), which tells of life in an Ottoman prison in Istanbul. That December, he was admitted into the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the country's ruling party. According to Hawkesworth, it is unlikely he joined the party out of ideological conviction, but rather to "serve his country as fully as possible".
On 27 September 1958, the 66-year-old Andrić married Milica Babić, a costume designer at the National Theatre of Serbia who was almost twenty years his junior. Earlier, he had announced it was "probably better" that a writer never marry. "He was perpetually persecuted by a kind of fear," a close friend recalled. "It seemed as though he had been born afraid, and that is why he married so late. He simply did not dare enter that area of life."
By the late 1950s, Andrić's works had been translated into a number of languages. On 26 October 1961, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature by the Swedish Academy. Documents released 50 years later revealed that the Nobel Committee had selected Andrić over writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Frost, John Steinbeck and E.M. Forster. The Committee cited "the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from his country's history". Once the news was announced, Andrić's Belgrade apartment was swarmed by reporters, and he publicly thanked the Nobel Committee for selecting him as the winner of that year's prize. Andrić donated the entirety of his prize money, which amounted to some 30 million dinars, and prescribed that it be used to purchase library books in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Nobel Prize ensured Andrić received global recognition. The following March, he fell ill while on a trip to Cairo and had to return to Belgrade for an operation. He was obliged to cancel all promotional events in Europe and North America, but his works continued to be reprinted and translated into numerous languages. Judging by letters he wrote at the time, Andrić felt burdened by the attention but did his best not to show it publicly. Upon receiving the Nobel Prize, the number of awards and honours bestowed upon him multiplied. He received the Order of the Republic in 1962, as well as 27 July Award of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the AVNOJ Award in 1967, and the Order of the Hero of Socialist Labour in 1972. In addition to being a member of the Yugoslav and Serbian academies of sciences and arts, he also became a correspondent of their Bosnian and Slovenian counterparts, and received honorary doctorates from the universities of Belgrade, Sarajevo and Kraków.
Andrić's wife died on 16 March 1968. His health deteriorated steadily and he travelled little in his final years. He continued to write until 1974, when his health took another turn for the worse. In December 1974, he was admitted to a Belgrade hospital. He soon fell into a coma, and died in the Military Medical Academy at 1:15 a.m. on 13 March 1975, aged 82. His remains were cremated, and on 24 April, the urn containing his ashes was buried at the Alley of Distinguished Citizens in Belgrade's New Cemetery. The ceremony was attended by about 10,000 residents of Belgrade.
Shortly before his death, Andrić stated that he wished for all his possessions to be preserved as part of an endowment to be used for "general cultural and humanitarian purposes". In March 1976, an administrative committee decided that the purpose of the endowment would be to promote the study of Andrić's work, as well as art and literature in general. The Ivo Andrić Endowment has since organized a number of international conferences, made grants to foreign scholars studying the writer's works and offered financial aid to cover the publication costs of books relating to Andrić. An annual yearbook, titled Sveske Zadužbine Ive Andrića (The Journals of the Ivo Andrić Endowment), is published by the organization. Andrić's will and testament stipulated that an award be given annually to the author of each subsequent year's best collection of short stories. The street that runs beside Belgrade's New Palace, now the seat of the President of Serbia, was posthumously named Andrićev venac (Andrić's Crescent) in his honour. It includes a life-sized statue of the writer. The flat in which Andrić spent his final years has been turned into a museum. Opened over a year after Andrić's death, it houses books, manuscripts, documents, photographs and personal belongings. Several of Serbia's other major cities, such as Novi Sad and Kragujevac, have streets named after Andrić. Streets in a number of cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, and Višegrad, also carry his name.
Bosniak scholars have objected to the ostensibly negative portrayal of Muslim characters in Andrić's works. During the 1950s, his most vocal Bosniak detractors accused him of being a plagiarist, homosexual and Serbian nationalist. Some went so far as to call for his Nobel Prize to be taken away. Most Bosniak criticism of his works appeared in the period immediately prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia and in the aftermath of the Bosnian War. In early 1992, a Bosniak nationalist in Višegrad destroyed a statue of Andrić with a sledgehammer. In 2009, Nezim Halilović, the imam of Sarajevo's King Fahd Mosque, derided Andrić as a "Chetnik ideologue" during a sermon. In 2012, the filmmaker Emir Kusturica and Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik unveiled another statue of Andrić in Višegrad, this time as part of the construction of an ethno-town called Andrićgrad, sponsored by Kusturica and the Government of Republika Srpska. Andrićgrad was officially inaugurated in June 2014, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.
Andrić remains the only writer from the former Yugoslavia to have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Given his use of the Ekavian dialect, and the fact that most of his novels and short stories were written in Belgrade, his works have become associated almost exclusively with Serbian literature. The Slavonic studies professor Bojan Aleksov characterizes Andrić as one of Serbian literature's two central pillars, the other being Njegoš. "The plasticity of his narrative," Moravcevich writes, "the depth of his psychological insight, and the universality of his symbolism remain unsurpassed in all of Serbian literature." Due to his self-identification as a Serb, many in the Bosniak and Croat literary establishments have come to "reject or limit Andrić's association with their literatures". Following Yugoslavia's disintegration in the early 1990s, Andrić's works were blacklisted in Croatia under President Franjo Tuđman. The Croatian historian and politician Ivo Banac characterizes Andrić as a writer who "missed the Chetnik train by a very small margin". Though Andrić remains a controversial figure in Croatia, the Croatian literary establishment largely rehabilitated his works following Tuđman's death in 1999.
Currently, Ivo Andric is 130 years, 1 months and 24 days old. Ivo Andric will celebrate 131st birthday on a Monday 9th of October 2023.
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