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Ivo Andric's "Bridge on the Drina"

The Bridge on the Drina "is an elaborately constructed and superbly orchestrated chronicle of a Bosnian microcosm, represented by the town of Visegrad  and its ancient bridge across the river Drina, over which ramble centuries of events and generations of townsfolk engaged in a ceaseless struggle against the ravages of natural forces and human malevolence. In addition to their tangible, real existence, both the bridge and the river depicted in this novel are endowed with symbolic significance. As a product of human toil, which resulted in a perfect blend of utility and beauty of form, the bridge epitomizes the permanence of artistic endeavor, while the river, as a perennially renewed, infinitely variable force of nature, symbolizes equally well the perpetuity of cosmic flow and change. The rest of the novel’s broad canvas is filled with portraits of the townspeople and the recollection of events that account for the region’s history from the building of the bridge in 1571 to its partial destruction at the outset of World War I."

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  • John

    Andric resurrects older modes of storytelling, for example, the chronicle, the legend, and the folk song. I was surprised by the novel's explicit violence, but also impressed by the author's historical and philosophical imagination, as well as by his obvious love for the land he grew up in. All in all, this novel was a fascinating meditation on Balkan history, a history that is by no means over. Great discussion.

    June 3, 2012

  • Denis K.

    As usual, I enjoyed our discussion very much.

    May 4, 2012

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