Blending of the Documentary and the Fictional – Erasing the Boundaries between Literary and Non-literary Genres in Travelogues of Serbian Avantgarde
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Starting from the poetics of the avantgarde travelogue, this paper focuses on the most significant features of the travel reportages in Serbia between two wars. In contrast to the more artistic travelogues, these texts by Milos Crnjanski, Rastko Petrovic, Stanislav Vinaver and other avantgarde writers use different techniques to blur and erase the boundaries between the documentary and the fictional, the artistic and the journalistic. Lyrical procedures, dynamised and tropic landscape, narrativisation of documentary contents – are some ofthe basic features due to which these travel reportages are read like hybrid-genre texts unique in Serbian literature of the 20th century. A selection of paradigmatic examples (primarily: Through Dalmatia and „Still Szentendre„ by Crnjanski, In the Shadow of Our Endowment by Petrovic, and Russian Processions by Vinaver) has been used to show how, driven by the impulses of avantgarde, the boundary between the literary and the journalistic texts in the Serbian travelogue writing is being surpassed in many ways. Like journalists, avantgarde writers included and activated in their travel reportages procedures and stylistic techniques of avantgarde art, expanding the field of ??artistic expression to areas beyond art, thus winning new opportunities to express their modern artistic sensibility. Never before, or after this period of Serbian literature, did travel reportage reach such a highly literary level, largely surpassing its journalistic impulse. As an inextricable connection between the realistic and fictional, the objective and personal, perception and tangibility, the artistic and journalistic, these texts are a proof of the success of avantgarde in winning non-literary spaces and of fruitful blending of different affinities and engagements among some of the greatest writers in Serbian literature.
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