Andrić's (Magic) Realism in the Novel The Bridge on the Drina

Marijana Bošnjak & Tina Varga Oswald, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia, ID LLCE2018-416;   Abstract: More than being a certain genre, magic realism is a stylistic form marked by the aspiration to understand the paradox of connecting the opposites. In other words, the concept of magic realism is a mix of the real and the unreal, realistic and imaginative, historical and mythological in the fast-paced narrative rhythm. Hence, the notion of magic realism is suitable for marking the reality based on mythical foundations, in which no one is surprised by the constant presence of the supernatural. In Croatian literature, the 1920s and 1930s were marked by the revival of a realistic novel with a profound social function. However, this paper aims to show that Andrić's novel The Bridge on the Drina (1945) deviates from the traditional realistic novel and the tendency towards aesthetic narration and stylistic diversity that contribute to the complexity of the structure. Namely, Andrić's novel manifests features of magic realism in two cases: first, the construction of the novel reveals the collective consciousness and fate of a nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the tragic historical circumstances connected to the arrival of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, at the same time revealing the myth and demythologizing the past. On the other hand, this critical novel is a product of the lucid consciousness of a European intellectual, who looks into the development of a specific nation. With this, Andrić's novel justified that vision of magic realism drawn by Latin American writers whose magic was not a product of a random or spontaneous, but rather of a culturally-determined choice.


Keywords: Ivo Andrić, magic realism, Austro-Hungarian Monarchy