Bosnian Chronicle: A Novel by Ivo Andric

By Ivo Andric

From Library magazine review:
This novel, the 1st quantity in Nobel Prize winner Andric's Bosnian trilogy, debuted in 1963. LJ 's reviewer heaped upon it excessive compliment, discovering it "rich with humanity and the humor that includes wisdom" ( LJ 11/1/63). The plot explores the lives of the population of the town of Travnik within the early years of the nineteenth century. With Bosnia a lot within the information nowadays, this continues to be "an crucial addition for all fiction collections."

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Sample text

In a low voice D’Avenat informed the Consul that the Sultan’s emissary had died that night. Daville got up abruptly and pushed away the breakfast tray. D’Avenat, not budging from where he stood or changing his voice, met his agitated questioning with terse, barely intelligible replies. On the previous afternoon, the emissary, who lately had not been in the best of health, had suddenly felt unwell. He had taken a warm bath and gone to bed and had died suddenly dur­ ing the night, before anyone knew what was going on or could help him.

The town elders made promises to the Vizier, the Vizier made prom­ ises to the Consul, the Consul to the officers, that there would be no more hostility from the populace; but when the officers set out again the next day, they usually walked into such a hor­ net’s nest in the next small town that they turned around and marched back to Travnik more indignant than ever. In vain Daville wrote to his government about the real senti­ ments of the local Turks and about the helpless attempts of the Vizier to restrain them and impose his will.

In vain did the French authorities in Dalmatia print friendly proclamations to the Turkish population. The posters, written in a high-flown, literary Turkish, were hardly read; and if anyone took the trouble to read them, he could not understand them. No appeal made any headway against the ingrained mistrust of the entire Moslem population, which had no desire to read or hear or look at anything and acted solely from its deep instinct of self-preservation and of hatred toward these foreigners and unbelievers who had advanced to their frontiers and were be­ ginning to enter their country.

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