As their power grows, the Serbs begin to express their deep hatred for the empire, through various practices, including rebellious actions. The middle of the Mehmed Pasa Sokolovi? Bridge becomes an interest point, with the Ottomans going through great efforts to guard it and to prevent Serb extremists from crossing it.
As the world changes and Serbia and Montenegro become independent states, individuals in Visegrad (those of Serbian nationality especially) become less willing to accept people coming from different backgrounds. Serbian nationalistic beliefs had grown to be widespread during the nineteenth century and the non-Serbian population in the Balkans had started to suffer as a result.
The Bridge in the Drina does not have a certain individual as its protagonist, with the single element present in the novel from its beginning and until its end being the bridge. The book comprises a chain of short stories incorporated into a larger one, that involving the bridge over the Drina. Moreover, Andric wants people to realize that the lives of people are nothing when compared to the time that the bridge stood over the river. The people in the book come from diverse background and it is one thing that unites them all: the bridge. People are ephemeral, while the bridge succeeded in standing its ground for centuries, without needing any safeguarding. It had been the tension in the territory which finally succeeded in putting an end to the bridge.
The bottom line is that the Balkans had been an important strategic position and all major powers had been aware of this fact. Therefore, they took actions to spread their influence across the territory, both with the intention of conquering as much land as they could, and with that of conquering the hearts of the people in the area. The disparagement present in the Balkans has attracted a great deal of scholars that wanted to learn more about the region.
Rebecca West's book "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon" is yet an example of a book written on the conflict in the Balkans. Consequent to concentrating about a certain place and its history, one becomes entangled in information and it is less possible for the respective person to simply put the facts that he or she had come across behind. West had initially intended her book to be a short book about Yugoslavia and the people present there. However, she did not realize that she would eventually become obsessed with the topic and that she would write one of the most significant books regarding the country.
West's book had been supposed to be a travel guide, with little to no artistic personality involved in it. However, she ended up writing a complex account on the Yugoslavian people, on people in general, and on the coming of the Second World War. The novel talks about the clash of cultures, similar to Andric's book, yet on a larger degree. In comparison to Andric, who is believed by some to have been influenced by his Serb background at the time that he wrote "The Bridge on the Drina"
, West can be considered to be more impartial. Although she had originally been inclined to support the Serbs because of their devotion for their traditions and because they did not subject themselves to Western influences, she gradually changed her mind concerning the problem, as she realized that the Serbs had not been as pure as she believed.
West had discovered that neither of the people living in Yugoslavia had been worthy of receiving acclaim for their behavior in relation with international events. The Croats had been condemnable because of their rapid attachment to the West, while the Serbs had been to blame because they did not act in order to better their lives, simply expressing their acceptance for what the world had in store for them.
1. Andric, Ivo. (1977). "The bridge on the Drina." University of Chicago Press.
2. Rakic, Bogdan. "The Proof Is in the Pudding: Ivo Andri? And His Bosniak Critics." Retrieved April 23, 2010, from the Serbian studies Web site: http://www.serbianstudies.org/publications/pdf/Vol14_1_Rakic.pdf
3. West, Rebecca. (1994). "Black lamb and grey falcon: a journey through Yugoslavia." Penguin Classics.
Rakic, Bogdan. "The Proof Is in the Pudding: Ivo Andri? And His Bosniak Critics." Retrieved April 23, 2010, from the Serbian studies Web site: http://www.serbianstudies.org/publications/pdf/Vol14_1_Rakic.pdf