Prof. Peter D. Bubresko: American-Serbian literature

Peter D. Bubresko, native of Yugoslavia, is Associate Professor of French at Texas Tech University. He earned the B. A. in 1933 and the M. A. in 1935 from the Univeristy of Belgrade. He also studied at the University of Grenoble (1933-1934). Recipient of a scholarship from the French Goverment (1936-1939), he studied at Sorbonne. Under the guidance of Paul Van Thiegem, he prepared in Paris a doctoral thesis on Yovan Dutchich, a study interrupted by the war. Professor Bubresko taught seven years at the Junior College level in Yugoslavia and West Germany, and later in America in St. Olaf College (1960-1963). He has done graduate work in the Contemporary Franch Novel at Laval University (1963-1964) on a grant of the American Lutheran Church of America. Currently, Professor Bubresko is preparing for publication his critical study on "Yovan Dutchich and his Literary Heritage", written in French, and is working on a to be entitled "America Seen from France of Today". Editor of the weekly Liberty in Chicago, he has published articles and essays in American-Serbian dailies and reviews, and, in 1951 published (with Yovan Djonovich) three posthumous works of Yovan Dutchich, which appeared in Yugoslavia in 1969 in the collected works of Yovan Dutchich.

Prof. Peter D. Bubresko: American-Serbian literature

Peter D. Bubresko, native of Yugoslavia, is Associate Professor of French at Texas Tech University. He earned the B. A. in 1933 and the M. A. in 1935 from the Univeristy of Belgrade. He also studied at the University of Grenoble (1933-1934). Recipient of a scholarship from the French Goverment (1936-1939), he studied at Sorbonne. Under the guidance of Paul Van Thiegem, he prepared in Paris a doctoral thesis on Yovan Dutchich, a study interrupted by the war. Professor Bubresko taught seven years at the Junior College level in Yugoslavia and West Germany, and later in America in St. Olaf College (1960-1963). He has done graduate work in the Contemporary Franch Novel at Laval University (1963-1964) on a grant of the American Lutheran Church of America. Currently, Professor Bubresko is preparing for publication his critical study on "Yovan Dutchich and his Literary Heritage", written in French, and is working on a to be entitled "America Seen from France of Today". Editor of the weekly Liberty in Chicago, he has published articles and essays in American-Serbian dailies and reviews, and, in 1951 published (with Yovan Djonovich) three posthumous works of Yovan Dutchich, which appeared in Yugoslavia in 1969 in the collected works of Yovan Dutchich.

Peter D. Bubresko, native of Yugoslavia, is Associate Professor of French at Texas Tech University. He earned the B. A. in 1933 and the M. A. in 1935 from the Univeristy of Belgrade. He also studied at the University of Grenoble (1933-1934). Recipient of a scholarship from the French Goverment (1936-1939), he studied at Sorbonne. Under the guidance of Paul Van Thiegem, he prepared in Paris a doctoral thesis on Yovan Dutchich, a study interrupted by the war. Professor Bubresko taught seven years at the Junior College level in Yugoslavia and West Germany, and later in America in St. Olaf College (1960-1963). He has done graduate work in the Contemporary Franch Novel at Laval University (1963-1964) on a grant of the American Lutheran Church of America. Currently, Professor Bubresko is preparing for publication his critical study on “Yovan Dutchich and his Literary Heritage”, written in French, and is working on a to be entitled “America Seen from France of Today”. Editor of the weekly Liberty in Chicago, he has published articles and essays in American-Serbian dailies and reviews, and, in 1951 published (with Yovan Djonovich) three posthumous works of Yovan Dutchich, which appeared in Yugoslavia in 1969 in the collected works of Yovan Dutchich.
Peter Bubresko was born in 1910. in Trebinje, died 2006th in California.

American-Serbian literature, from its remote origin to the present time, is as fundamentally poetic as its source of inspiration – the Serbian soul. Mauriac’s idea that “only poetry enables us to capture the human truth” is the basic concept of a valid comprehension of life. The inadequacy of the photographic imprint of reality by intelligence, “small thing on the surface of ourselves” /Barres/, is certain. Hence, the intuitive perception of existence does not cease to deepen in its flow with earthly and celestial responsiveness. Rejecting the limitations of determinism, Serbian ethnic literature eliminates the falsity of life in a static image of the world. The nostalgic feelings toward the Old Country, the gradual process of adaptation to the new environment, anguished war memories and postwar scars, inflicted by change, rehabilitation, and challenge, constitute the main themes of American-Serbian literature in its prosperous growth. From Jovkich’s traditional Romantic militancy in the very beginning of the century, to the fierce modernism of the contemporary Tesich and Simic, the continuity prevails. The literary vein reflected in the less productive period between World Wars never dried out, but was sustained by the inexhaustible poetic impulse and the ennobling impact of suffering. Arriving from the native land under traumatic circumstances, American Serbs expanded their capacities under the serene skies of America. The grafted branches extended from the wholesome tree in the New World, reaching forth in the convulsive search for freedom and dignity across “the nine seas” (PDB).

* * * * *
A century ago, Serbians began to immigrate to the United States, primarily to escape political pressure in their enslaved provinces. In many cases economic reasons also stimulated them in the exodus to the New World. Like all immigrants from Europe, the Serbs were motivated at that time by the spirit inherent in the following lines:
For the first time, the Europeans had a chance to free themselves, just by crossing the Atlantic within a few weeks, of the secular feuds which divided them; for the first time, they relegated the problem of property and the procession of hates in the background; for the first time, since prehistoric times, the most dangerous enemy of man was, not the human being, but nature.1
The oldest Serbian settlements were founded along the West Coast and Gulf of Mexico between the 1860’s and 1880’s. The first Eastern Serbian Orthodox Church consecrated to Saint Sava, today a landmark of California, was erected in 1894 in the old mining town of Jackson. The second church, Saints Constantine and Helen, was blessed in 1895 in Galveston, Texas. Coming from Dalmatia, Bosnia, Hercegovina, Lika, Srem, Banat, Backa, Southern Serbia – provinces annexed by Austro-Hungary – and the old Serbian kingdom of Montenegro, the people felt nostagically attracted to the California and Texas coasts because of the maritime landscapes and warm climates that were similar to that of the Adriatic. The revolt against imposed tyranny, narrowness of native horizons clouded by frequent wars, and suffering under the centuries-old Ottoman yoke considerably accelerated the migration across the Ocean.
Moreover, to escape compulsory military service and political and religious persecution, the young men fled to “this American asylum” in the wake of decisions of the Berlin Congress in 1897:
Everything here tended to regenerate them: new laws, a new mode of living, a new social system, the power of transplantation, like all other plants, they have taken root and flourished! Formerly they were not numbered in any civic list of their counry; here they rank as citizens. This country is now that which gives them land, bread, protection and consequence.2
In search of a better life and spiritual freedom, the immigrants came in waves to the exotic shores of the new continent. The eagerness to surpass their human condition through their growth on a fertile soil, to conquer life in its brightness and opulence, inspired the young Serbians in their fateful decisions to help themselves and their families to emerge from enrooted poverty. Often, they toiled for several years to eam the fare as passengers in steerage for the transatlantic voyage. Without formal education or with only elementary instruction, these resolute and intelligent peasants proved themselves capable of rebuilding their lives in the New World. They asserted themselves from the beginning as an energetic ethnic minority, constructively included in the total culture of the adopted country they ardently loved. Fused with it, they became within a generation true, loyal Americans.
With an enviable vigor, rejuvenated on the American soil, “an immense reservoir of youthfulness”, they began immediately to organize themselves under two flags; American and Serbian banners are seen in communities throughout the United States. Sporadically, parishes and fraternal organizations started to expand. Cultural activity with emphasized interest in literature developed in the larger colonies. This literary zeal, manifested often in the bud, stemmed from an inborn enunciative talent, and a strong ambition to attest the value of their race. They were also inspired by Serbian popular poetry, whose tradition was very alive and influential. The national treasure, epic poetry, renowned in European countries, nourished their embryonic literary concepts expressed through dailies, monthly reviews, almanacs and calendars. An intense theatrical activity was a part of their cultural achievements indispensable to the spiritual needs and pride of American Serbs for their identity in the melting pot.3
They succeeded in establishing themselves in America in varied professions ranging from farming, industrial work and mining to the intellectual attainments symbolized by Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), inventor of universal renown. “Father of the Wireless”, Tesla migrated to the United States in 1884, where he was recognized for his outstanding scientific contributions (about nine hundred patented inventions). The Nobel Prize in Physics shared with Edison in 1915 was one of the many honors bestowed upon him. Mauriac’s lines alluding to the immigrants in general are descriptive of American Serbs:
Although this continent was populated by Europeans, they acquired here some new salient traits. During three centuries, America was characterized by a mobile and unstable frontier oriented toward the West. On this extreme fringe of civilization, crudeness of life, struggle against wilderness and Indian, abundance of land, and necessity for mutual help created a type of man: pioneer, generous, independent, violent, who only recognized the inequality created by physical force and hardships. In such an enviromment, men arrived from different countries, finally became alike.4
Experiencing rejuvenation on the dynamic American soil,
All possessed a spirit of free cooperation, which scarcely existed in Europe. The jealousies were gradually minimized on the frontier because the immigrants felt equal confronted with the same danger. The government being unable to reach them, the pioneers governed themselves. The neighbor was not an adversary, but an associate. Inspired by such circumstances, their gaiety and goodwill surprised and continues to bewilder Europeans, accustomed to quarrels around the steeple. That is why a certain ease in their freedom was noticeable as a new phenomenon.5
Because of the new conditions, a Spartan life prevailed among the immigrants. A testimony of a prominent American Serb underlies the merits of the Serbian pioneer parents in the new land:
Our parents were kin to poverty all their lives, but departed the richest in spiritual wealth. They were universally loved and respected. And they are worshipped and mourned today, ten, twenty, and thirty years after death, by sons and daughters who appreciate the priceless legacy they bequeathed us: a legacy of self-sacrifice; of pride, industry, thrift and independence. (…)
The history of the future is bound to record their patriotism, valor, devotion and dedication, prudence, wisdom, and fidelity to Christian ideals.6
Once the building of the first churches in California and Texas was accomplished, the organizational life was accelerated. The first Serbian Benevolent and Literary Society was founded in 1880 in San Francisco. The newspapers Liberty (1901-1902) and weekly Serb Independence (1902-1908) appeared there under the editorship of Veljko Radojevich (1868-1956). One description of him reads:
The sage and of Serbian journalism in U.S.; born in the village Podi (near Herceg-Novi). Coming in America 1900 /he/ brought to his fellow immigrants a literary ability, unblemished character and an abundance of energy for cultural work. He contributed to most of the Serbian and Croat publications throughout the land; for two years /he/ edited San Francisco’s Liberty, and his own Serb Independence for six years. His writings have true national character, deep-rooted national philosophy, interpretation of the original language as found and thought by Vuk Karadzic (1787-1864, author of Serbian grammar and collector of Serbian folk songs).7
In the early 1900’s the Serbians were coming in waves to the Eastern seaboard. In the beginning, immigrants in the East as well as the West worked in mines, steel mills, railroads and the fruit farms in California. The Serbian Benevolent Society Unity (Jedinstvo), founded in Chicago in 1897, was closely linked with Serbia.8 The emigration of Serbs to the eastern parts of America was intensified particularly by the annexation of Bosnia and Hercegovina by Austro-Hungary in 1908 and by the beginning of World War I. Due to the stabilization of numerous Serbian communities in these regions, the fraternal societies were often unified. The various clubs, sport associations “Soko” (The Falcon), “Prosveta” (Enlightment), and the first Serbian Fraternal Federation (1903), were already in existence.
Through an energetic process of adaptation to the New World, they preserved their national heritage; immersed in the new total culture Serbs assimilated readily and effectively. Alexis de Tocqueville points out:
In America, the principle of people’s sovereignty is not at all hidden or sterile as it is in some other nations; this principle is recognized by customs, proclaimed by laws; it spreads with freedom and reaches without difficulties its last consequences.9
After World War II, about fifteen thousand new immigrants from the European refugee camps reinforced the old emigration with their intelectual capacities and fervent patriotic zeal. Due to the new blood, American-Serbian literature was enriched considerably and secured for its future evolution.

* * * * *
The first American-Serbian poet, Proka Jovkich-Nestor Zucni, lived in San Francisco and Oakland at the beginning of the century (1903-1911). The epithet “the poet-torch” underlines the character of his poetry; his work was greatly influenced by the tempestuous events at the turn of the century in his native land menaced by war. Under the impact of Maxim Gorki and due to the resemblance of their lives, he coined the pseudonym Nestor Zucni, which denotes the bitterness of existence. This literary Bohemian earned his bread first as a typographer and then as an editor of the daily Serb Independence in San Francisco. Creator of the new sensibility in patriotic poetry, his poems of exile and national struggle were enflamed. The literary revolt, pronounced in his verses, inspired the Promethean “Poem to a Beggar”:

I am neither born to be offered
As a sacrifice to the ancestral law,
Nor to be tortured by the stagnant life,
On a pale prairie in plebeian crowd’s sight.10

In the following militant stanza, the poet rejects both repulsive egoistic motives and enslavement to rooted conventionality:

I wouldn’t be able to live at home,
Nor reduce my universe to onion plants,
I prefer life where suffering, bitterness,
Anxiety and revolt reign.11

Sounding like a bugle on the battlefield, these lines are permeated by spite for humiliating cowardice:

What! I should restrain my rage
Looking at these miserable beings pale and bent,
At their dirty, calloused hands,
And staring anguished eyes!12

He shuns away from the pusillanimity of shabby despair on the edge of life caused by a wreck:

I am not the poet of an abject outcast,
Who creeps slowly, cowardly, in the dust,
Burying his pride at the bottom of the heart.
No! I am the soul of the revolted ones!13

Paul R. Radosavljevich (1889-1953), Ph. D., Pd. D., Serbian born educator, studied in his native land, then in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Member of the American Psychological Association, he taught for about three decades at New York Univeristy. Author of many books in his field, Radosavljevich also published in 1919 the masterpiece Who Are the Slavs?14 which introduced him into belletristics. In this very informative study, he presented the Slavic soul perceived in all its depth and creativity. Among varied aspects of the Slav race, he emphasized in particular the Serbian popular poetry under anonymous authorship, which actually supplants an unwritten ancient history of Serbian people and is the expressions of their “glowing poetical spirit”, the creator of its knightly characters and chivalrous enterprise. The vitality of these original legendary poems, and of their patriarchally suggestive power to preserve spiritual values from oblivion and to illustrate heroic deeds, stems mostly from the Serbian secular resistance to Asiatic barbarism:
But the most important of the Slavic popular literature is the Serbian Popular Poetry-a branch of literature that still survives among the Serbs, though it is almost extinct in all other nations. Much of this poetry is of unknown antiquity, and has been handed down by tradition from generation to generation. The Slavic genius of the Serbian people has created all sorts of “unwritten literature”, without recurring to the “printer’s devil”. They have the reputation of being a poetical nation. To-day there are thousands of Serbian legends, fairy-tales, ballads and songs.15
Enthusiasm for the folk poetic heritage of Serbia, discovered by Alberto Giovanni Battista Fortis (1743-1803), spread rapidly through Europe during the expansion of Romanticism. This Italian traveler and naturalist published in his Viaggio in Dalmazia (Travels in Dalmatia, 1774), both in the Serbian original and Italian, “Hasan-aginitza” or “The Wife of Hasan Aga”, one of the finest Serbian songs:
The celebrated Pole, whom Goethe called “The Poet Laureate of the World”, Adam Mickiewicz (Polish Longfellow), in his enthusiastic courses on Serbian cycles of rhapsodies at the College de France (Paris, in 1840-1842) says the following about this song: “The Christian idea was never in verse expressed so beautifully and directly, yet with its full mysticism, as in the song ‘Tzar Lazar Chooses the Heavenly Kingdom’.” In his Les Slaves (I, 334) Mickiewicz says: “The Serbs, that people engrossed in its past, and destined to become the musician and the poet of the entire Slavic race, does not even know that it should one day become the greatest literary glory of the Slavs”. It was not because he was himself a Slav, that he sang the unbounded praises of this beauty so enthusiastically, but because he understood the moral of this beauty.16
The echo of Serbian poetry resounded at once in Germany, cradle of Romanticism, “when the Turkish hurricane swept away the Serbian Empire (1389)”17 on Kosovo Field:
The Great German philologist, Jakob L. K. Grimm (1785-1863), a great friend of national literatures, became an enthusiastic admirer of Serbian poetry. He began immediately to bring out these songs, paying a tribute of unstinted admiration to this poetry. He translated some of the Serbian folk-songs. In 1824 he writes: “I have three volumes of Serbian poems, and not one among them that is not excellent! German folk-poetry will have to hide before it”. He admits that the Srbian ballads are far superior to the German Nibelungenlied.18
Among many admirers of this poetic harvest, Grimm celebrated fervently the Serbian cultural heritage, created spontaneously by the innate poetic impulse, and inspired “by the tradition instead of the printed page”:
When Jacob L. K. Grimm read the Serbian ballads he wrote: “The Serbian national poetry deserves indeed general attention… The wealth and the beauty of Serbian popular poems would if well known astonish Europe… In them breathes a clear and inborn poetry such as can scarcely be found among any modern people… Europe will learn the Serbian language just because of the Serbian ballads.”19
In addition, Radosavljevich, in a documented outline of Serbian mythic poetry, stressed Goethe’s prophetic views on bright perspectives for this spiritual wealth of mystic Old Serbia, which elevates the soul as a precious part of the nation’s intellectual life:
J. W. Goethe (1743-1832), the great “citizen of the universe”, translated that simple, but powerful tragedy of domestic life, the Hasan-aginitza; also wrote articles of Serbian popular poetry in his Ueber Kunst und Alterthum, an art journal.20
The expanded popularity of the Serbian songs was noticeable in other European countries and in Great Britain:
But this interest was not confined only to Germany. The French literary world was equally appreciative. Madame de Stael (1766-1817) had already (in 1797) shown her sympathy for the Serbian race and its songs.21
Neither did the British men of letters remain indifferent to these songs-they translated them and popularized them.22 It is rightly said that the Serbs are not the soldiers of the King who have gone to war, but the soldiers of an Ideal.23
Yovan Dutchich, considered the greatest modern poet in Yugoslavia, studied in his country, Geneva and Paris. During the formative years, he was greatly influenced by Parnassians and Symbolists, whose doctrinal ideas and techniques he transplanted in his native soil. In Imperial Sonnets, he recreated the patriotic deeds of Serbian people. His masterfully executed prose poems are entitled The Blue Legends. His letters from different countries, Cities and Chimeras, are rich in historical reminiscences, cultural observations and literary allusions. The Love Poems and Adriatic Sonnets explore the labyrinth of the human heart and the dramatic past of the classical Dalmatian coast. The numerous essays and The Treasure of Tzar Radovan abound in philosopical reflections and poetically contemplative moods. Due to his enviable success and membership in the Serbian and the Rumanian Royal academies and in the PEN club in London, Dutchich’s pre-war renown was well founded in European literary circles. At the outbreak of the wair in 1941, Ambassador Dutchich escaped from Madrid to the United States, where he developed a feverish literary activity in Gary, Indiana which continued to the end of his life in 1943.
A manuscript note from New York expressed the impulsive impressions of the America which fascinated the poet:
All that I read or heard about the United States wasn’t sufficiently suggestive to give me an image of this country. Everybody is expressing an opinion concerning the New World from the point of view of his respective nation, as a fanatic believer in his own philosophy of life and finally as an European proud of his ancestry. However, the evaluation of the American people shouldn’t be based entirely on the comparison with other parts of the world. I found America considerably greater than seen in my dreams and projected in my visions…
Fifth Avenue fully reflects the American genius: taste, charm, style, joy of life, and many other wonders which demonstrate the ever changing enthusiasm and dynamism of America whose creative spirit is never immobilized…
On these stories, I didn’t have the impression that I was on a new continent but on a new planet. The expression The New World is very appropriate in this case. The newness of life in all its aspects is quite evident here…
I felt the poetry of American life, convinced that neither world peace nor war are imaginable without an engagement of America in the crucial issues of our time. The first morning in New York, I became aware of the fact that if I didn’t see America, my existence would never be complete.24
Dutchich’s lyrics, published in America on the eve of his death in 1943 and characterized by transcendental depth, stress the fusion of the emotional and cerebral fibers, a dominating principle of all his poetry. In this intelectualization process he tried to “assimilate all the heart’s phenomena with those of thought” (Dutchich) in a verse of an astonishing fluidity and suggestive images. By reason of their concision and multiple spiritual shades, Lyrical Poems,25 permated by the mystery of earthly human destiny, appeared as the conclusive exploratory involvement in life and its sudden turn of fortune.
In the poem entitled “The Road”, Dutchich expresses the anguish caused by the impenetrableness of the eternal celestial enigma engulfing life from the cradle to the grave:

I would like to go upstream
To discover the source and the mouth!
But finally the night surprised me,
And always thicker thorns erupting in darkness.26
The more our insights deepen, always humanly limited, the more the thickness becomes obstructive:

Where is the sparkling well,
What is the first truth so remote?
There is no road leading in these regions!
The river is becoming deeper, darker.27

The human race is plague by insatiable curiosity and restlessness under the cruel blows from the tenebrous horizons:

As a famished flock of migratory birds
Crossing the radiant ocean from one shore to another,
Landing on the thorny field, whipped by the breeze,
Menaced by the mute threatening clouds.28

“The Pious Poem” reaffirms religious faith, under staggering temptations, emerging purified from convulsion inflicted by life’s revolutionary changes:

All my conceived thoughts are blasphemous,
But under your breath my strings vibrate:
I don’t see the road I follow,
While my eyes overflow with your greatness.29

The reconquered belief sounds triumphal in the poem “To God”, which is a hymn to divine inconceivable greatness:

I built the imaginative white churches in your name;
While praying I kept ringing the bells;
I sobbed for Thy magnanimous son;
And chased the infamous devil from your cross.30

The creative mission of poetry being sacerdotal, Dutchich stresses its preponderance and multiplicity in different engagements through life in “The Poem”:

The Lord sowed me always,
I am a new word and symbol everywhere-
In white bread the first seed,
The corner stone in a fortified tower.

An atom of dust on a deserted road,
The solar circle and image,
Spark in the eye of a poor man,
Bitter tear shed by a martyr.31

Dutchich’s last book of poetry, written in America (in Cyrillic characters) at the end of his life, bears an imprint of man’s perplexity, accumulated anguish and crystallized faith in God in the midst of a dynamic cosmos. The expanded vision of the human reach is distilled through experience, painfully acquired wisdom and some intuitive approaches to existence. The thought in struggle with itself doesn’t cease to oscillate because of its inability to humanize the unknown. In an effort to inflict transcendent meaning upon all manifestations of life, he proceeds by the juxtaposition of moods often contradictory in his perception of the universe. The emotional intensity here is the foundation which gives the impetus to his lyrical meditions.
Count Sava Vladislavich: A Serbian Diplomatat the Royal Court of Peter The Great and Katherine The First32 is the title of this exhaustive monograph solidly documented about a Serbian “who occupied a distinguished position among Russian diplomats in the eighteenth century. During two and a half decades, he took part in all important events of the Russian empire”.33
A Path along the Road (historical evocations), My Fellow Travelers (literary portraits), The Mornings seen from Leutar (philosophical essays) are the last three works of Dutchich published in America in Serbian.34
It is relevant to note that these posthumous Dutchich works have been published in Yugoslavia (1969) in a series entitled Assembled Works of Yovan Dutchich.35 This edition stirred a very long and violent controversy, still sporadically alive and bitter, because of the author’s strong anti-communist convictions.
Michael Pupin, “poet-scientist”, lived in the United States from 1874 to 1935. The year 1889 marks the beginning of his celebrated academic career at Columbia University, where Pupin Institute is a foundation well deserved by this great American Serb and scientist of universal renown. His autobiography, From Immigrant to Inventor36, relates all phases of his fascinating life on both sides of the Atlantic. The Pulitzer Prize, bestowed upon the distinguished pedagogue in 1925, was a worthy recognition for a vividly traced portrayal of a great human destiny. Personally acquainted with Presidents Harding and Wilson, he played an important role in relations between his native country and the United States after World War I.
Freeman J. Dyson, of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, writes in the introduction to Pupin’s autobiography:
The book has two major themes. One is the experience of the European immigrant coming to the United States, with his gradually growing awareness that he belongs to two cultures whose ends are not always reconcilable. The other is the experience of a student of physics… In describing these various experiences, Pupin makes the spirit and texture of a past age come to life… In particular, his descriptions of the scientific atmosphere in the diferent countries he visited have an absolutely authentic touch.37
Discussing the unorganized energy of the sun through space, the inventor injects the poetic fibre into the scientific block with religiosity. He proves that both the poet and the scientist are closely related through their creative affinity. As to the terrestrial phenomena under the impact of the sun, Pupin emphasizes the miraculous order as soon as the diffused solar rays reach the earth. These lines in the purely poetical transposition would be reminiscent of Baudelaire’s “Correspondences”, that is, of the invisible mysterious links between earth and sky the poet has to percieve:
But their fate and destiny are fixed and determined as soon as they arrive on mother earth and are caught by the leaves, the blossoms, and the ripening fruit of the fields, meadows, and orchards, and by the endless nets of the all embracing oceans.
The chaotic, non-coordinated energy-swarms are thus imprisoned and made to work together with a definite aim and for a definite purpose. The joys and beauties of our seasons will tell you the story of this wonderful transformation of primordial energy from chaos of the young stars, white hot with joy of life, to the cosmos of the old, cold, and moribund earth.38
This approach, both scientific and poetic, to the structural intricacy of the universe, leads the author to the concept of a coordination of many millions in America, eager to eliminate hatreds and suspicions: Our blessed country is destined to become the first ideal democracy in the world.39
Bishop Nicolai Velimirovich, reputable theologian as well as literary figure, lived in America from 1946 until his death in 1956. Widely known in England as an inspired preacher during World War I, later he distinguished himself in America as a penetrating literary critic and essayist. His book entitled The Life of St. Sava (written in English) is a romanticized biography of the founder of the independent Serbian Orthodox Church in the twelfth century. The sanctified hero and his turbulent time are depicted vividly with solid documentation and rich local color in recreation of the far removed past:
Once upon a time there lived a boy prince, very intelligent, rich and fair looking. All the doors of worldly pleasures and success were open before him. But something within himself turned him away from all those things after which millions of human beings are feverishly striving. He renounced all vanities and allurements of the world and one day secretly fled away from the royal court, and settled in a desert place as a poor stranger intent only upon enlightening his soul by fulfilling God’s will to perfection.40
The sacred mission of the greatest Serbian saint is announced concisely in the epitome, with a Biblical simplicity in its narrative tone:
Many years later this worldly prince, led by God’s hand, returned from the desert to his native country as a prince of the church and forever the spiritual leader of his nation. Being childless, he became the father of many and many millions of his spiritual sons and daughters through the centuries.
This happened over seven hundred and fifty years ago. And the torch of spiritual light he lit among his people is still burning and the number of his spiritual children in Christ constantly increasing.
In our generation his people for love of him are building churches, dedicated to his name on all five of God’s continents, where they have been dispersed by a stroke of destiny.41
Milan Petrovich lived in the United States from 1949 to 1943. A great soul anguished by his long captivity in Germany and the convulsiveness of life in exile, he expressed himself movingly in the collection of poems under the title The Petrified Tears42, written in Serbian (Cyrilic characters). The flow of sadness inflicted by his disastrous fate deepens his insight into the human condition and colors an enthusiasm inspired by the earthly and heavenly wonders in “Melancholy”:

Only the singing birds dispel my gloom!
When the star in May sparkles in rosy dawn,
I knit the small nests for the lark and nightingale.
Every sad day they fly to me,
As I am Pan’s child.
Two birds from the grove are healing me with milk.
O, how deep is the anguish in the far away world!43

In Petrovich’s verses, the inner drama is deciphered with an exceptional perceptivity. The harshness of reality and its encroachment on the poet’s destiny are well interpreted psychologically, through abundant imagery and great rhythmic variations, and can be only partly captured in translation. Petrovich’s original poetic idiom reaches a perfect prosodical form in versification. The scenes from nature, still and live, attract the poet’s attention and stimulate his delicate involvement in surrounding life. In the poem entitled “A Duckling”, he expresses a closeness to the enlivened landscape that he suggestively depicts:

Leaving the nest she dove into the river,
Unwilling to wait for her small sibling
Which slowly, on top of a low hill,
Rocks around the home on a circular path…

I caught the duckling with a fish from the river,
And took her to the berth next to the mother and sister,
Looking how, in a green shrub,
They sisterly offer each other the tiny fish from the beak.44

Far from being bookish and anemic, Petrovich’s Romantic poetry is vitalized by frequent refuge to a childhood and native climate nostalgically missed. The rejuvenated nature, emerging from hibernating somnolence, elates his imagination with a bucolic chastity in the poem under the title “The Spring”:

Beautiful as an angel under the rainbow’s arch,
A child greeted me with hand and smile,
Led me on the path along the white lilies,
And first stawberries, rosy and ripe.

While the child picked the scarlet berries and flowers,
A little bird perched in front of him,
Cheered the child with a song and flew away in a bush
With a small strawberry in his tiny beak…

How hapy am I in the early spring, when a child,
Beautiful as an angel under the rainbow’s arch,
Takes me by his tender hand
In the flowers not yet plucked.45

Ljubica Grkovich-Boljanich, in her life of ups and downs, went to Yugoslavia first at the age of two for a short period of time. Then, she went again at the age of sixteen, when she finished her secondary studies. Those contacts with the ancestral land affected her innate sensitivity and intensified her unquenchable thirst for expanded horizons. Deeply influenced by Serbian poetry and the patriarchal climate of the Old Country, her uprooted life was later permeated by the fatalistic moods and pessimistic, violent agitation in a night “thick as the resin”. Once harbored in Gary, Indiana, her home town, she vividly participated in the social and cultural life of a large and prosperous American-Serbian community, proud of her friendship with Yovan Dutchich whose poetry ravished her.
One of her favored themes, poverty, inspired the poem “On the Road”, in which she expresses her philanthropic dream in confrontation with misery:

Tonight, I will depart on a long journey…
But I shall go from star to star
And everywhere gather the golden dust,
then, at once, the same night, sprinkle the gold
on the terrestrial paths, trampled under the food of miserable beings.46

In the love poem bearing the title “The Blooming Branches”, the intoxication of nature in its rebirth corresponds to the awakening of human passions and fertility of dreams:

The blooming branches
are knocking on my window through the night:
a gold drop pours
in every wound
in every flower
and all lilies rave tonight about the first love.47

In her book of poems, The Swan’s Songs48, written in Serbian (Cyrilic characters), the most frequent themes are solitude, fatality, and nostalgic feelings, stimulated by the changes of environment in the beginning of her nomad experience, which injected the spleen, le mal du siecle, in her conception of life. In “Every Night”, the poetess sadly remembers Bosnia, the central Yugoslav province, whose landscape is imbued with the poetry of the soil and with the oriental sensuality reflected in its folklore. This elemental poetical harvest spread abundantly across the mountains and valleys is accumulated through the tumultous centuries of captivity under the Ottoman yoke:

Every night, from the blue distant regions
the memories revive and a strange song resounds.
So many sorrows will rush upon me
while the ancient fountain from Bosnia
whispers in my dream.49

Under the impact of despair and a loss of vitality, in the poem “The Thoughts”, she feels the corrosive effect of disenchantment inflected by the cruelty of human destiny:

The moonlight weaves the golden net
the foolish thoughts fly
and fall trapped.
With a sad accompaniment of rain
they expire more silently
but still hopeful enough.

The silver pours from firmament
the water roars far away
while the blood ferments in my veins.
All my joys fall and rise
and like in a vigorous oak
I feel inside a worm eating up my life.50

The tenderness and inexpressible gratitude for parental love are stressed in her gently simple stanzas. “To My Mother” is a glowing hymn to the maternal affection evoked in a poignant way:

I am unable
to depict your image
with colors and light.
There is only a pale, frail word
to be my confession,
whisper and my cry…51

Yovan Kontich lived in America from 1946 to 1965 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in Chicago, where he edited the daily The American Srbobran and the weekly Liberty, organs of the Serb National Federation and the Serbian National Defense respectively. Later he was editor of the literary monthly review Serbian Historical and Cultural Association “Njego{” in Chicago. In his adopted country, Kontich published two books of short stories inspired by the psychological agony of the fighters in a war without a truce: Through the Fire and Tears52 and On the Road to Exile.53
A former commander in the army of General Michailovich, Kontich vividly evokes the Yugoslav guerrilla and the continuation of his struggle in the world. Concisely structured and written in a picturesque, sober style, these stories illustrate the ethical values of Serbs in a heroic revolutionary movement. “That’s America”54 recreates the destiny of an immigrant, a judge by profession, who with stoicism endures the initial hardships of adaptation to the new environment. And he generously helps relatives to preserve familial pride and to pursue the struggle against despotism. In this chronicle we follow the militant state of mind experienced by the Serbian fighters dispersed throughout the world, often under unbelievable circumstances:
He reserved for himself only the most indispensable, sending the rest to his wife and parents. In the beginning, he would ship some things for the house and for his closest relatives, since he realized from their first letters that they were deprived of everything. Even of bread… In every package, in a discreet way, he enclosed some jewelry. At the first, trinkets which bring happiness, and then some valuable jewels. Two goals were in his mind: to help his parents and his beloved wife; to secure their financial independence, but also to provoke envy and respect of those who reproach his decision (to leave for America).
In spite of a long captivity, which sharply wrinkled his face and left deep scars in his soul, he wasn’t preoccupied with himself…55
In the story under the title “The War without a Truce”56 Kontich’s style is vivacious and full of metaphoric images in a vibrant succession:
Krsto was an interpreter in the legation of Montenegro. He spoke a few languages. Krsto went into the world young, a moustache scarcely visible. As vigorous as a pine, of a generosity inherent to maternal tears, and as fresh as the breaking dawn in the mountains. In Corinthia he mastered Italian and German, while in Constantinople he learned Turkish. The languages stuck to his vital intelligence and remained there as imprints in wax. All this knowledge and experience were acquired accidently. And so lightly.57
Anka Godjevac-Subbotich, born in Serbia, has lived in New York City since 1941, where her husband, former envoy of Yugoslavia in London, became a lawyer and university professor. Educated in her native land, Germany, and in France, this jurist with a European reputation excels equally in her literary creativity. Besides the numerous articles and essays published in many dailies and reviews here and in Europe, Anka Godjevac-Subotich gives public lectures at different American and Canadian universities and colleges. From Three Continents58, a book written in Serbian (Cyrilic characters), abounds in perspicacious observations of an englihtened traveler with cosmopolitan experience. Poetically inclined, she succeeds in detecting the essential traits of scrutinized reality with a human warmth and an impulsive originality:
New York seen from the air resembles a lazy somnolent alligator, struck against a rock along the coast. Having lived for years on the sixteenth floor in a building in the heart of New York, I acquired the habit of observing the city from an aerial perspective. Perched on my observatory, I used to look at it in winter and summer, day and night. The street, which is protected by the pent-roofs for safety reasons, is not visible from my apartment. Unable to reach my floor, the tumult coming from the street is not heard. I see and hear only the planes, and that’s why they appear to be closer than the passing cars. Comparable to the fast silver fish, the aeroplanes swin across the celestial basin above my head. On the horizon, through the park I see the edge of New York, unparalleled in its beauty on five continents.59
This global vision of New York is colored by some memories harvested in Europe which emerge suddenly:
All these sights create the impression that I have been anchored for years on a yacht in one of New York’s harbors. The sea air coming up to my terrace intensifies the illusion. The other complices in this refuge are the light effects along the horizon of this immense city, which are extracting from my memory and bringing to me the silhouettes of all great European cathedrals, to the point that I don’t know whether I am in Paris, Florence or Munich. I particularly like to contemplate the moon’s sickle in its cosmic march, hooked on a steeple instantaneously and with a touch of slight irony. During the halfcurfew imposed in war, Central Park and its western periphery recreated the authentic ambient prevailing in Maupassant’s novels at the end of the last century: streets poorly illuminated by lanterns, crowed with old carriages carrying women dressed in long skirts and large hats. All these evocations stimulate my feelings that I am not totally drifted from the Old World and sunk in the New one. However, what is incontestable, at the first sight of the night from my light house, I did irrevocably fall in love with this monstrous city.60
Bozidar Purich came to America from London (1957), where he was the president of the Yugoslav government in exile during World War II. Educated in Belgrade and Paris, he served as a diplomat for almost ten years in the United States (Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Chicago). From the time of his arrival in this country, Purich held the position of the executive secretary of Serbian National Defense in Chicago and editor of the weekly Liberty. At the present time, he is on the editorial staff of The American Srbobran (Serbian Edition in Cyrilic characters), a daily published in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the talented journalists, Yovan Bratich and Yovan Jovetich. In Yugoslavia Purich is particularly known as the author of the book of poetry Galant Feasts (1920); in America he excels in literary criticism.
In 1952, Purich published a series of articles dedicated to Dutchich in The American Srbobran (Serb Sentinel), tyring to evaluate the poet as the creator of some audaciously innovative trends in Serbian poetry under the influence of French and classical literatures:
Having assimilated all that the French culture was able to offer, Dutchich traced its eternal models in ancient Rome and Athens. Through long acquaintance with the Greek philosophers and poets he drew a conclusion that there is nothing new in the world, in the realm of thoughts, emotions and experiences-that everything was experimented with and analyzed prior to our time. The first monotheist and the first communist were discovered by Dutchich in the pagan world. The individual way in which this eternally same truth is expressed constitutes the unique new element.
Cities and Chimeras written so poetically are worthy of the splendid Greek spirit and wisdom. Through all these literary strolls, Dutchich has preserved his character: nothing that would be contrary to his emotional life, taste and conviction affected him; he never was victimized by any lie, pose or infection. He always came back home with the same honesty characteristic of his native Hercegovina, fully experienced in the psychological domain and in the human depth, eager to leave a legacy of a rich treasure to his people. Our greatest contemporary poet, in essence a modern humanist, encyclopedist and moralist, Dutchich like Dositej (the celebrated Serbian writer in the eighteenth century) before him, shall be a man of enlightemment.61
The walth of his life, multiple experience on the cultural plane, the depth of his literary heritage and the preeminence of his seigneurial personality place Purich, homme honnete, on the highest level in the Serbian culture in America today.
Mateja Matejich of Ohio State Univeristy is the gifted author of a collection of verse under the title The Poems62 (written in Serbian, Cyrilic characters), published in 1964 with an introduction by Bozidar Purich. A priest also, Matejich is a prominent poet of purely Christian inspiration, intellectually powerful and convincing.
“On the Eve of the Publication” is a loose translation of the title of the poem that stands at the threshold of the collection:

Like the young widows, in black veils,
I am sending you, daughters of sorrow, to the people,
To lament with them at every requiem,
Eager to see your tears consoling those in agony.63

Revealing his conception of poetry in a bold and original way, the author is advising his off-springs to reject flattery and shabbiness. And, alluding to human hostility, they should come back home with broken wings symbolizing their mutual affinity. Being ennobled by suffering during the war and its aftermath, he is exceedingly vulnerable to human indifference and perfidy, as expressed in “The Encounters”:

My hand seeks another hand
to grasp with a squeeze
rooted in the heart,
but encounters convulsive fingers.

Sometimes, my soul is well
overflowing, luminous, serene
but without an outlet to flow,
then all this strength withers,
and the whole life fades,
or, to bypass death,
crumbles in droplets-
in tears saturated with bitterness.64

The totality of exalting joy, “given to us by the whole thickness of life” /Giono/, evaporates if not immediately shared, communicated without speculative restaint.
In “My Destiny”, deceived by the depoetized present, the poet tries to find refuge in the past, but he is unable to dissipate the stormy clouds on his horizons:

In a crowd, I am a clown like many others
Who laughs boisterously and rejoices lightly,
Then whips himself with sorrow and suffocates in tears
In the subsequent prolonged nights.

In my memory pure as a saint,
The past entices only a sad smile
Then in my soul, in twilight,
A frozen sea of ruins sparkles.65

The impermeability of human destiny is masterfull evoked in the poem entitled “The Eyes”, whose prophetic capability is inferior to spiritual insight:

Two insatiable desires nourished by images,
two rapacious hands always empty and full,
two warm abysses, two alive wells-
are my eyes.
As from a nest, my glance
like a butterfly lands and carelessly wanders-
that’s how I observe.
And when the desire to see erupts,
to plunge deeper and soar higher,
I enslave the glare
and close my eyes…66

The diversity and the challenge of Matejich’s themes are impressive: resurrection of the past, introspective investigation of the inner life, pessimistic war memories, duplicity of human nature, flow of life, cult of spirituality, and patriotism, never weeping, but lucid, virile and enlightened. “Fruits of solitude”, a volume of poetry in manuscript deals predominantly with the transcendental philosophy which is one of his poetically creative obsessions.
Dragoslav Dragutinovich, former officer in the Yugoslav Royal Army, born in Belgrade, spent almost a decade in German captivity and European refugee camps. Armed with the wisdom extracted from his tragic experience, he arrived in America in 1949 to face an orientation in the New World. Stoically, Dragutinovich went through all the phase of a stormy life, which required the highest patriotic and ethical values. Revealing purity of soul and firmness of character under all circumstances cruelly imposed by destiny, he succeeded in becoming an historian of Golgotha of Serbia through a crucial period of almost forty years. His abundant literary output is impressive: three collections of short stories and three books of poetry, which is an unequaled success these days among American Serbs. The poet expresses impressions, feelings, symbolic visions and life’s sound philosophy. Dragutinovich’s poetry ranks among the best. It encompasses prewar explosiveness, horrors of the war and prison camps, Serbian nationalist resistance on the native soil, and many vicissitudes of the postwar period through the world. Always documented, this poetic chronicle detects a historical matter psychologically complex, seized in spontaneous immediacy by a lucid and talented witness.
His analysis of the prisoner’s life is a series of moving events and details crystallized mostly through close observation. Saved from the voracity of time, they loom on every page of Vibrations of the Soul.67 In a misanthropic mood, deceived by depraved human nature, the poet distrusts his fellowman. In the poem entitled “Despair”, he stresses solidity and constancy of nature, opposed to the moral fragility of man:

Today, I believe in the fragrant flower
which blossoms through the garden of good
and evil human beings,
in quiet clouds on the azure skies
spreading joy above all fields,
and I believe in the innocent young bird
on a leafy branch
singing for all the same song heard yesterday.68

The inborn love for nature, passionately cultivated in his poetry and prose, is gently expressed in the poem “The Break of Day”. The obscurity yields to the vigor of the penetrating light. As a salutary relief, dawn spreads its blessings after the violent nocturnal agitation. It is a deep contemplative poem immersed in a glimpse of a landscape poetically evoked:

As soon as dawn scatters its invigorating locks,
the shepherd of God’s flock heralds the new day
and shelters the stars in a gilded pasture.
On the illuminated earth life erupts
sparrows chirp
men chatter
the wheat whispers, and the pines spread
their heavenly scent.69

“The Twilight” sheds the spiritual peacefulness inspired by an idyllic landscape, and a mythologically jubilant atmosphere created “when the solar spearmen disappear behind the hill”.

The noise of the day calmed.
Above the ripe fields
awakened stars wove the golden veil.
On the river,
mutely, above the water,
accompanied by discreet reflections,
white birch trees dance
as naked nymphs.70

An incompleteness of involvement in the external, concrete world is caused by the lack of contact with nature and its rejuvenation in “Prissoner’s Spring”. A landscape being “a state of mind” experience in the “metallic paddock” affects the enslaved observer in a way comparable to a sterilized plant:

I see
the lukewarm sun warms the cold earth,
sowing God’s blessings across the ploughed spaces,
and I hear the voices
of birds
and childern.
They say that’s how spring begins…
As yesterday, everything is deserted around here.
The spring did neither smile at me
nor rekindle my sad soul,
nor wipe up the gray wintry shadow.71

“A Dreamy Desire” suggestively revives the earthly life alienated from chastity. Eager to “relax under God’s wing” far from “the stench, mouldy prisoner’s hut”, the poet views life behind the grave as the only salutary port:

I dream about solitude, heights, and celestial
Willing to escape from the mire,
to flee from the new hell called Earth,
and find peace somewhere far away,
where the muddy feet don’t touch the soil,
where truth shines, love reigns,
and justice still lives.72
The elegiac tone of his filial appeal “Don’t Wait for Me” denotes a life devoid of joy and perspective. As an insurmountable hindrance interposed between the poet and his mother, the hellish uncertainty fatally stands:

Don’t spin the wool, my old mother,
gray because of me,
in vain you wait on the edge of the village,
with a face stricken by the nostalgic ardor…
don’t pray for me on Sundays
don’t kneel beneath our icon…

Between us the absence is triumphant,
the ice accumulates under the unknown trellis.
We don’t welcome anymore the swallows and Aprils,
the cherry’s snow doesn’t sift on our beaten tracks.73

Among our youngest writers, Steve Tesich is one of the most prominent. Born in Yugoslavia in 1942, he moved at the age of fourteen with his family to the United States. He studied at Indiana University (where he earned the B.A.), in the Soviet Union (on an NDFL Fellowship), and at Columbia University (where he earned the M.A. in Russian Literature). Tesich has written short stories, a novel and a play, The Predicators, done as a workshop production at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. The author’s other play, The Carpenters, was recently produced by the American Place Theatre and televised nationally. In The Carpenters, conceived in existentialist gloom, Tesich depicts the decay of a modern decadent family. The impenetrableness of this labyrinth without exit is reminiscent of Zola’s L’Assommoir and its vulgarity of atmosphere:
We’re no better than a couple of rooms… two extra rooms… and rooms can’t talk to one another or hear one another.
We were happy because we hoped. We based all our hopes on the family. We were a couple of people living together waiting for a family to come along and make us one… Then we got a family and we reversed ourselves completely and started looking back to those happy days when it was just two of us. Our hopes were excuses and our happy memories are lies.74
Eroded by sloth and other vices, inherited and developed, the family sinks into a laxity of morals. Due to these evils, the infernal abyss between parents and children becomes an open pit. Revealed in the absolute lack of communication and an unavoidable boredom, the initial blemish spreads fatally. And the numerical expansion of Carpenters finally equals the shrinking of all moral principles to the total annihilation of the family. Progressive oblivion of honesty and a light sociological inquest into filth are shaded by the naturalistic and existentialist moods of pessimism and paralysis.
The other renowned representative of our younger generation is Charles Simic, born in Belgrade in 1938. The early migration to Paris with his mother at the age of ten and then a year later to America to rejoin his father was beneficial to his eventful adolescence. Simic studied at Chicago University (1956-1959) and at New York University until 1961. After his U.S. military service in France as an American soldier (1961-1963), he received the B.A. in 1964 and became a graduate student at New York University.
The very diversified professions that he experienced in his youth deepened the poet’s contemplative bent. The last in a series is his teaching career in English at California State Univeristy in Hayward. Profusely translating from Russian, French and Serbo-Croatian, he steadily cultivates an invigorating contact with foreign literature on a comparative basis.
Prolific poet par excellence, Simic has published an enviable number of books of verse in English. His poems, seen in reputable anthologies, underline Simic’s eminent standing in America’s literature of today. Numerous contributions to the reviews of the avant-garde enhance his dynamic contemporaneity. In the multiplicity of his subdued lights, Baudelaire’s spleen is often detectable. The thickness of daily sameness and heredity’s phantom-“secluded spider”-loom often through his well balanced stanzas:

Is it in my life, that walk
Under the flowering plums:

Their lazy rustling,
The earth a censer.

Meadows tipped by the wind
A deep breath and they enter:

Airy, softly untangled webs
Of an unknown long secluded spider;

And you by my side, inaudible.
It was simply like that.75

Well interwoven in an original pattern, a mixture of Surrealistic and Symbolist elements lends to his poetry a charm of clarity, in spite of its modern structure. Spared of excesses imposed by the European movement, Simic impresses his reader with logical interpretations despite of innovative trends. Automatic writing, psychical automatism, lack of aesthetic preoccupations and of control exercised by reason, all these defects of the revolutionary school are not in Simic’s spectrum. Neither are Surrealistic experimentation based on corrupting dreams, nor allegorical political implications.
The opacity of Surrealism, often hermetic, dissipates under impact of many Symbolist touches projected from his volatile imagination. In “Stone”76, Simic dreams about his metamorphosis in a stone, where he would be fortified against indiscreet glances and humiliations of a carnivorous crowd. This isolationism alludes to the Parnassian impassibility and fiercely sacred pride, and explains the poet’s eagerness to decipher the “bewildered fishes” probing the inner vibration of the stone. The defiant solidity of the rock and its stoic muteness intrigue the poet confronted with an ontological phenomenon of an apparently petrified mystery:

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill-
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.77
* * * * *
The inclusion of brief selections from all authors in this review may prove useful as an initiation into this ethnic heritage. These excerpts illustrate principal facets of the Serbian contribution to the total American literature. The arrangement of authors is mainly chronological. It roughly represents, in order of birth, their most significant influence on the literary evolution of American-Serbian literature.
The section devoted to each author begins with a biographical sketch and a succinct critical commentary to make him more accessible. The deliberately limited number of writers is imposed by the requirement of this review and its bicentennial spirit. For the same reason, regretfully, other authors of talent and justified popularity have been omitted from this essay. The history of the war itself, its martyrdom, and the very valuable political outline of accelerated events connected with the struggle of the Serbian people are also excluded with deep regrets due to the concision required.
Texas Tech University
1 Andre Maurois, Histoire des Etats-Unis 1492-1828 (New York: Editions de la Maison Francaise, 1943), p. 11. This and subsequent translations are mine, with the exception of the excerpts from Govorchin, Karlo, Roucek, Radosavljevich, Pupin, Velimirovich, Tesich and Simic.
2 J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer, quoted in Gerald Gilbert Govorchin, Americans from Yugoslavia: A Survey of Yugoslav Immigrants in the United States (Gainesville: Univ. of Florida Press, 1961), p. 3.
3 Karl Malden, Academy Award recipient for the Best Supporting Actor in A Streetcar Named Desire, had his first stage experience in Gary, Indiana, in the American-Serbian theatre where his father, Peter Sekulovich, was one of the leading performers.
4 Maurois, p. 13.
5 Ibid., pp. 13-14.
6 Milan Karlo, “Our Pioneer Parents-The Legacy They Left Us”, Almanac American Srbobran (Pittsburgh: Serb National Federation, 1963), pp. 82-90.
7 Joseph S. Roucek, Slavonic Encyclopaedia (New York: The Philosophical Library, Ind., 1949, p. 1069.
8 During the Balkan War in 1912-1913 and World War I in 1914-1918, American Serbs proved their devotion to the native country by sending 20,000 volunteers in the struggle against tyranny.
9 Alexis de Tocqueville, De la Democratie en Amerique (Paris: Union Generale d’Editions, 1963), p. 54.
10 Proka Jovkich-Nestor Zucni, “Chant a la guenille” (Poem to a Beggar), Anthologie de la Poesie Yougoslave des XIXe et XXe siecles, ed. Miodrag Ibrovac (Paris: Libraire Delagrave, 1935), p. 242.
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid.
13 Ibid.
14 Paul R. Radosavljevich, Who Are the Slavs? 2 vols. (Boston: The Gorham Press, 1919).
15 Ibid., I, 315.
16 Ibid., I, 329.
17 Ibid., I, 332.
18 Ibid.,
19 Ibid., I, 330.
20 Ibid., I, 331.
21 Ibid., I, 333.
22 Ibid., I, 334.
23 Ibid., I, 352.
24 Manuscripts in possession of Leposava Dutchich, Gary, Indiana.
25 Yovan Dutchich, Lyrical Poems (Pittsburgh: Serb National Federation, 1943.)
26 “The Road”, ibid., p. 14.
27 Ibid.
28 Ibid., p. 15.
29 “The Pious Poem”, ibid., p. 17.
30 “To God”, ibid., p. 27.
31 “The Poem”, ibid., p. 40.
32 Yovan Dutchich, Count Sava Vladislavich: A Serbian Diplomat at the Royal Court of Peter the Great and Katherine the First (Pittsburgh: Serb National Federation, 1942).
33 Ibid., p. i.
34 Yovan Dutchich, Assembled Works, Posthumous Manuscripts, comp. and ed. Yovan Djonovich and Peter D. Bubresko (Chicago: Palandech’s Press, 1951).
35 Yovan Dutchich, Assembled Works: The Morning Seen from Leutar. Vol. IV is entitled My Fellow Travelers (Sarajevo: “Svjetlost”, 1969; Belgrade: “Prosveta”, 1969). Vol. VI is entitled A Path Along the Road (Sarajevo: “Svjetlost”, 1969; Belgrade: “Prosveta”, 1969).
36 Michael Pupin, From Immigrant to Inventor (New York: Scribner’s, 1960).
37 Ibid., p. v.
38 Ibid., p. 385.
39 Ibid., p. 397.
40 Bishop Nicholai D. Velimirovich, The Life of St. Sava (Libertyville: Serbian Eastern Orthodow Diocese, 1951), p. ix.
41 Ibid., pp. ix-x.
42 Milan M. Petrovich, The Petrified Tears (Trieste, Italy: Serbian Eastern Orthodox Parish, 1962).
43 Ibid., p. 85.
44 Ibid., p. 133.
45 Ibid., p. 86.
46 Ljubica Grkovich-Boljanich, “On the Road”, The Swan’s Songs (Chicago: Palandech / Sons, 1961), p. 23.
47 “The Blooming Branches”, ibid., p. 30.
48 Grkovich-Boljanich, The Swan’s Songs.
49 “Every Night”, ibid., p. 42.
50 “The Thoughts”, ibid., p. 29.
51 “To May Mother”, ibid., p. 53.
52 Yovan Kontich, Through the Fire and Tears (Pittsburgh: American Srbobran, 1946.)
53 Yovan Kontich, On the Road to Exile (Chicago: “Obod”, Printing & Publishing, 1956).
54 “That’s America”, ibid., p. 181.
55 Ibid.
56 “The Wear Without a Truce”, ibid., p. 162.
57 Ibid., p. 162.
58 Anka Godjevac-Subbotich, From Three Continents (Melbourne, Australia: Unification Printers and Publishers, 1961).
59 Ibid., p. 110.
60 Ibid., pp. 110-11.
61 Bozidar Purich, “Yovan Dutchich: Literary Portrait”, The American Srbobran, Serbian Edition, 15 January 1952, p. 3.
62 Mateja Matejich, The Poems (Munich: Iskra, 1964).
63 “On the Eve of the Publication”, ibid., p. 11.
64 “The Encounters”, ibid., p. 33.
65 “My Destiny”, ibid., p. 50.
66 “The Eyes”, ibid., p. 31.
67 Dragoslov Dragutinovich, Vibrations of the Soul (Melbourne: Unification Printers and Publishers, 1968).
68 “Despair”, ibid., p. 86.
69 “The Break of Day”, ibid., p. 20.
70 “The Twilight”, ibid., p. 19.
71 “Prisoner’s Spring”, ibid., p. 112.
72 “A Dreamy Desire”, ibid., p. 119.
73 “Don’t Wait for Me”, ibid., p. 96.
74 Steve Tesich, The Carpenters (New York: Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 1971), pp. 34-35.
75 Charles Simic, White (Berkeley: New Rivers Press, 1972), p. 27.
76 Charles Simic, The Major Young Poets, Al Lee, ed. (New York: World Publishing Co.; 1971), p. 85.
77 “Stone”, ibid., p. 85.

(PROCEEDING OF THE COMPARATIVE LITERATURE SYMPOSIUM, ETHNIC LITERATURES, SINCE 1776: THE MANY VOICES OF AMERICA. Reprinted from Proceedings Comparative Literature Symposium Texas Tech University, Vol. 9; part. 1, pp. 1-324; part 2, pp. 325-641, 1978.)

Peter D. Bubresko, native of Yugoslavia, is Associate Professor of French at Texas Tech University. He earned the B. A. in 1933 and the M. A. in 1935 from the Univeristy of Belgrade. He also studied at the University of Grenoble (1933-1934). Recipient of a scholarship from the French Goverment (1936-1939), he studied at Sorbonne. Under the guidance of Paul Van Thiegem, he prepared in Paris a doctoral thesis on Yovan Dutchich, a study interrupted by the war. Professor Bubresko taught seven years at the Junior College level in Yugoslavia and West Germany, and later in America in St. Olaf College (1960-1963). He has done graduate work in the Contemporary Franch Novel at Laval University (1963-1964) on a grant of the American Lutheran Church of America. Currently, Professor Bubresko is preparing for publication his critical study on “Yovan Dutchich and his Literary Heritage”, written in French, and is working on a to be entitled “America Seen from France of Today”. Editor of the weekly Liberty in Chicago, he has published articles and essays in American-Serbian dailies and reviews, and, in 1951 published (with Yovan Djonovich) three posthumous works of Yovan Dutchich, which appeared in Yugoslavia in 1969 in the collected works of Yovan Dutchich.
Peter Bubresko was born in 1910. in Trebinje, died 2006th in California.


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