German literature in the Moslem journals in the revival period 1900. - 1918.

  • Redžep Jahović, dr.


On the crossroad of centuries, with the impetus of capitalism, some radical changes took place. They were the expression of national awakening and national unity achieved on the vast territories of Eurasian continent. The intellectual forces rebelled against the current situation having tried, among other things, to establish different newspapers and journals that would correspond to the changes in the Western European countries.

With the emergence of Behar in 1900, and later on Gajret and Biser a strong literary movement of Moslems in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Austro-Hungarian rule came to surface. Its primary goal was to present various works of Moslem nation in the fields of literature and journalism. At the same time, different literary genres and types of Oriental and Western European literatures were not neglected. They were widely trans- lated in order to establish stronger ties between the East and the West. On one hand, the Moslem journals and newspapers wanted to put a barrier against the negative influences from the Western civilization. On the other hand, they tried to select and adjust the literary products from the West in accordance with their own tradition and ethics. They also tried to respond to the needs and requests in their own time. The literature translated from German corresponded to the journals' programmatic principles. When having translated into our language, the selection was made without the pre- viously agreed plan and program.

The major literary currents in the German literature could not be found in the translations. With a very few exceptions, attention was not paid to present the most characteristic works or their segments to the general readership. The journals wanted to reduce the foreign influence in the form of their own literary products and translations from the foreign languages. They also tried to purify our language from the foreign expressions, notably from German. Translations from lyrical poetry were presented, in general, through the traditional motives (nature, love and its transient quality, understanding of life, etc.) with some didactic elements. The fiction translated from German was mostly oriented towards ethical principles, and had a strong educational undertone, but its amusing features were not neglected. In their wish to have traditional topics in the journals aforementioned, some literary products were translated. They presented some German writers who could be labeled as epigones or imitators, but who had known well and translated from oriental languages and literatures, as well as those whose worldview was similar or it coincided with the Islamic understand- ing of life and death. Having wanted to emphasize its amusing character, drama was presented through comedy with the traditional topic of a marital relationship between a man and woman. Such plays also brought forward the issue of woman's equality.

In order to have a variety of interesting pieces in their journals, the editors sometimes translated into our language the works of some foreign authors which had already been translated into German. The aphorisms and proverbs from the German and other nations are usually didactic in nature.

How to Cite
Jahović, R. (2001). German literature in the Moslem journals in the revival period 1900. - 1918. Anali Gazi Husrev-Begove Biblioteke, 11(19-20), 73-88. Retrieved from