- Weltschmerz in the Banat: The Great War, Globalization, and Miloš Crnjanski’s Novel Dnevnik o Čarnojeviću
- Region: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia
- Slavica Publishers
- Volume 4, Number 2, 2015
- p. pp. 151-171
- View Citation
The 1921 novel Dnevnik o Čarnojeviću (The Carnojevic Diaries), which launched the career of the Serbian intellectual Miloš Crnjanski, was a bold attempt to come to terms with the effects of World War I in the ethnically mixed region of the Banat in southern Hungary. The novel portrays savage fighting on the Eastern front, long recuperation times for its protagonist in hospitals, and unsettling homecomings, and in these ways it exhibits similarities to other anti-war novels of the period. But this mesmerizing work of fiction also treats the ideas of nationality and nationalism from a variety of perspectives. As such, it is key to understanding Crnjanski’s controversial later evolution as an editor, political figure, and emigre. Using concepts such as demographic spectacle, “family catastrophe,” and universal imagery, this article points out the tension between various types of Serbian nationalism and argues that some of them contained significant, unexpected elements of globalization or post-modernism well before their time.