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Title: I morti che tornano
Authors: Mitrović, Marija
Keywords: Macabre in Serbian cultureSerbian funerary ritualsDeath in Serbian literature
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Marija Mitrović, “I morti che tornano", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, XV (2009), pp. 99-109
Series/Report no.: Prospero XV
The theme of the macabre is analysed here as a product of the popular Serbian culture and religion, rather than as part of its imagery or literature. As a matter of fact, the motif of the danse macabre cannot be found in the Serbian art, due to iconoclasm and to the fact that no references to the brevity of life or equality after death were ever permitted, since they were deemed unsavoury. Nonetheless, the popular Serbian religion is based on animistic conceptions and the faith in an existence after death is at the centre of funerary rituals. Food must be prepared for the dead the day of the funeral and again after eight days, forty days, six months and twelve months: the passage from the realm of the living to that of the dead is believed to be gradual and to last one year.
The essay recalls some stories by the Serbian author Borisav Stanković, in which the relationship between the living and the dead in the Serbian culture is thematised. The story “The Dead Man’s Wife” is referred to as an extreme example of the belief of the presence of the dead in life, and narrates how the relationship with the dead husband drives a woman mad.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1123-2684
Appears in Collections:2009 / 15 Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali

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