Napoleon’s military successes had established the ‘Illyrian Provinces’ in Dalmatia.
In Ivo Andrić’s Bosnian Chronicle we follow French consul Jean Daville from his arrival in Travnik in 1807 to his departure seven years later. Though he carries out his diplomatic obligations with good grace, he is ill-suited to the role, continually tortured by the fear of having made the wrong move or misread someone else’s. He, the Ottoman Vizier and the Austrian consul Josef von Mitterer are engaged in a never-ending game of saying one thing – through interpreters – while meaning another, each trying desperately to decipher the truth behind obfuscations and to further his own Empire’s interests.
‘Andrić’s style is discursive. He builds a galaxy of characters, the stars and their satellites spinning around each other, their stories told in anecdotal chapters’ Tim Pears
Writing under Occupation
Many writers reported finding it hard to focus during the Covid lockdowns, beset as they were by anxiety and feelings of futility. Eighty years ago, a writer produced remarkable novels under a far...Read more