Matija Murko and study of South Slavic literature

Dr. Alen Albin Širca

At the centre of my “Murkological” interest is his treatment of South Slavic literature, especially the older Serbian and Croatian literature. One of the primary components of Murko’s research is undoubtedly both his field (the collection of material) and theoretical work on South Slavic folk epic poetry. In this sense, my research will be focused on what was the literary-historical, but also general methodological contribution of Murko’s study of oral poetry in the Balkans in the context of analogous literary studies of his time. In addition to this, as a sort of a control and corrective measure, I will also tackle Murko’s study of Early Modern Croatian literary corpus, especially the renaissance and baroque texts of Dubrovnik and Dalmatia, which have so far not been the subject of in-depth scholarly thematizations. The analysis of thus delimited Murko’s literary studies will enable shedding light on Murko’s general literary history method (including the differences with his Slavist predecessors, e.g. F. Miklošič and V. Jagić) and its significance in the framework of general literary historiography at the end of the 19th and in the first decades of the 20th century, as well as its potential present-day relevance. 

“Guslar” is a traditional folk singer, performing long narrative tales and accompanying himself on a one- or two-stringed instrument, known as a gusle (gusla).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *