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viernes, 7 de septiembre de 2012

the curious and rich Serbian Culture

IVIC, Pavle (ed.) (1999) The Fistory of Serbian Culture, Porthill, Edgware, 356 pages
If you didn't know that Serbian Medieval illuminated manuscripts were made using a very special technique, unique in the world (because of which the oldest Serbian handwritten book the Miroslav's Gospel nowadays is considered the Patrimony of the Humanity in the UNESCO's list), if you didn't know that printing in Serbia started to be used much earlier than in many Western European countries, if you didn't know that Jacob Grimm started to learn the Serbian  language to be able to read it in the original and to translate it properly into German, if you didn't know that the first film in Serbia and in the Balkans was shown in 1896, only six months after the famous projection made by the Lumière brothers, if you haven't heart of the monastery Visoki Decani, from the fourteenth century that was built in Kosovo by the serbian king Stefan Decanski and finished by his son the Emperor Stefan Dusan, and that now is also protected by the UNESCO, then you are absolutely recomended to read The History of Serbian Culture.
this collection of works, written by the most prominent Serbian specialists in each of the areas here represented (art, architecture, oral and written literature, film, traditional architecture, history, music, sculpture, theatre), this book pretends to be a concise and informative guide to the most important events and personalities of serbian culture. Here you will find out more about the well-known writer Ivo andric, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1961, about some of the most prestigiuos film directors (that deserved some of the most important European awards, and that together with Kusturica made the Serbian cinematography recognizable and unique abroad . Their names are Goran Paskaljevic, Srdjan Karanovic, Slobodan Sijan, aleksandar petrovic and others.
The beautiful images and the high quality photographs just complete the rich and divers picture of the richness and singularity of serbian people, customs, traditions, arts and skills.
The only grave fault of this collection of essays is that there is no chapters that approach Serbian science, because there you could find the names such as Nikola Tesla, Mihailo Pupin, Milutin Milankovic and Mileva Maric-Einstein, without whom the scientific world today would certainly be much poorer.
In this book also misss some of the curious information such as that the first Newspaper in the Balkans waas "Politika" that started being published in 1901 in Belgrade and is still published daily, and also it would be interesting to mention that the first railway station in the Balkans was actually the one constructed in Belgrade, and that it still works.
However, in spite of these small imperfections, this collection odf scientific works of great quality is worth reading because it is very informative and presents Serbia in a different way, explaining to foreign readers that this country is much more than the stereotyped image of wars and cold weather, that unfortunately still exists in the mind of many European and non-European peoples.