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Generic and Narrative and Structures of Croatian Queer Fiction


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Stepanović, Natalija Iva. (2019). Generic and Narrative and Structures of Croatian Queer Fiction. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Comparative Literature. [mentor Bekavac, Luka].

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“Generic and Narrative and Structures of Croatian Queer Fiction” Although the meaning of the “queer” concept is contestable even in its original, Anglo-Saxon context, sexuality remains at the core of queer theory, the methodological approach I relied on to discuss genre and narrative features of Croatian queer fiction. This thesis comprises an overview of texts (mostly short stories and novels) which explicitly deal with essentially gay and lesbian issues. In my thesis, analysing Croatian queer fiction is taken as both an epistemological and a political project. Even before its contemporary period, i.e. after the first Gay Pride in Zagreb (2002), Croatian queer fiction held a special interest in temporal and spatial realities, particularly in challenging those categories. An apparent gender difference can be discerened within it – while gay literature (Ilinčić, Marić) centres around adventures and travels of the individual, in lesbian literature it is private spaces and love couples that stand strong (Verde, Žmak). Coming-of-age stories and novels (Duhaček, Stojsavljević, Verde) are not as genderdifferentiated but instead – just like their counterparts – mostly take up storylines of coming out (articulating of the queer identity in public), leaving home and trying to make it big abroad. New thematic horizons are evident in Poderana koljena (2018), a novel by Dino Pešut where queer comes to represents various types of gender-, class- and ethnicity-dependent social marginalization. It is not the first time, however, that such a specific approach where queer is not equated with sexual and national minorities could be felt. It had appeared somewhat earlier, with Nataša Bodrožić, Gordan Bosanac and Zvonimir Dobrović, editors of the Poqureene priče (2004) story collection, which was published at the very beginnings of the budding contemporary Croatian queer literature and where queer was viewed as essentially irreducible to the issue of sexual orientation. My thesis does not cover contemporary fiction exclusively, but includes even earlier examples of Croatian queer literature, i.e. Udovica (1891) by Josip Eugen Tomić, the unpublished diaries of Nasta Rojc, and the so-called “blue jeans fiction”. All the while the context of the region, together with its tumultuous history, was taken into account. Given the recurring motifs, as well as a return to a wider understanding of the notion of „queer“ in recent Croatian queer fiction, this might be suggest that relying on queer theory upon reading precludes history of literature from being conceived as an orderly sequence of epochs, with their representative authors, genres and works.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: queer theory, narrative of damnation, autobiography, Bildungsroman, coming out novel, gay fiction, lesbian fiction, popular culture
Subjects: Comparative literature
Departments: Department of Comparative Literature
Supervisor: Bekavac, Luka
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2019 11:55
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 11:55

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