Institute for Balkan Studies
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Aspects of French Literature in the Belgrade Journal Delo
Abstract: In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the press in Serbia underwent a substantial change and began to reflect cultural trends in society. Delo, defined as a magazine for science, literature and social life, attracted a wide circle of contributors, intellectuals with different outlooks and views. Its editors and contributors, mostly educated and trained in European cultural centres, contributed to the creation of a climate conducive to the modernization of Serbian culture. This paper focuses on the role of French cultural and literary trends launched in the Delo, whose editors and contributors closely followed the leading French journals, translating and publishing the texts they deemed important for Serbia’s cultural development. French literature offered guidelines and models to the realist and naturalist movements, subsequently also to modernist and avant-garde tendencies in Serbian literature. The start of the journal in 1894 is associated with the Radical Party, but the Radical ideological influence on the journal was not as strong as might be expected. Choosing science, literature and social life as the journal’s areas of interest the founders and editors demonstrated their commitment to modernizing the young Serbian state and society by way of culture.
Keywords: Delo journal, Serbia, French culture and literature, Radical Party, Realism, Modernism, avant-garde, Serbian culture, modernization of Serbia