The Almanacs of Vuk’s Era

Deretić, Jovan

Алманаси Вуковог доба


Beograd: Institut za književnost i umetnost, Vuk Karadžić;

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Jovan Deretić’s work The Almanacs of Vuk’s Era was published in 1979 within the framework of the “White Series” of the Institute for Literature and Art, as one of the first three books of the project “The History of Serbian Literary Periodicals”, initiated ten years earlier. The subject of the research were issues of annual periodicals published in the first half of the 19th century – almanacs, entertainment magazines and calendars. The corpus is made up of sixteen periodicals: Zabavnik [Magazine] (the cultural supplement of The Serbian News from the Imperial City of Vienna), Danica, Banatski almanah, Talija, Cveće [Flowers], Serbska pčela [Serbian Bee], Serbski rodoljubac [Serbian Patriot], the renewed Zabavnik, Grlica [Turtle-dove], Srbska zora [Serbian Dawn], Uranija, Golubica [Dove], Bačka vila [The Fairy of Bačka], Dragoljub [Garden nasturtium], Avala and Srpsko-dalmatinski magazin/ [The Serbian-Dalmatian Magazine], and the research was presented within the framework of four chapters organised according to the chronological principle of the periodicals’ publication. Deretić first describes the material, contextualising the basic information into a succession of cultural-historical circumstances that determined each individual periodical, and then processes the material analytically, giving a cross-section through a prism of thematic and genre analysis. The methodological approach of Deretić’s research can, therefore, be designated as (neo-)positivist, on the one hand, and as structuralist, the accent being of genre analysis, on the other.

The Almanacs of Vuk’s Era was published at the same time as Vasa Milinčević’s book At the Crossroads of Epochs and Vladimir Jovičić’s book The Periodical Otadžbina [Homeland] 1875–1892, and these three books may be considered the first theoretical monographs within the framework of the project for studying periodicals. If we disregard the profile of periodical publications, as well as the genre and thematic diversity encompassed by these three monographs, and focus solely on the chronological principle in selecting the corpus and the material from periodicals studied, it can clearly be seen that The Almanacs of Vuk’s Era, spanning the period between 1815 and 1847 (that is, until 1873, when Srpsko-dalmatinski magazin stopped being published), At the Crossroads of Epochs, spanning the period between 1850 and 1860, and Jovičić’s monograph dedicated to Otadžbina, spanning the period between 1875 and 1892, were actually published as the first three books of this newly initiated project of the Institute for Literature and Art. In this way, a part of the research plan of the project was realised, as formulated within the programmatic platform contained in “The Development Plan for the History of Serbian Literary Periodicals”, presented in the chapter entitled “Periodisation” and marked by numbers from II (1813–1850) to V (1875–1895) .


annual periodicals, almanac, magazine, calendar, romanticism, pre-romanticism