By D. Norris
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Extra resources for In the Wake of the Balkan Myth: Questions of Identity and Modernity
It has no existence and is drained of all colour and life. By contrast, De Windt finds plenty to praise in his journey through Bosnia, although what he finds positive has nothing to do with the local population. He notes the following changes which have occurred since Austria took over administration of Bosnia in 1878: We in England can form no conception of the marvellous transformation effected here by Austria in that short space of time, nor even faintly realise the almost magical rapidity with which the recently barbaric provinces of Herzegovina and Bosnia have been converted into growing centres of commerce and civilisation.
The French author Prosper Merimee 'was responsible for the hoax known as La Guzla, a work that appeared in France during the 1830s, purporting to be "Illyrian folk poetry"'. 8 Merimee took his title from the traditional one-stringed instrument called a 'gusle' which was used to accompany the singing of traditional folk ballads by the South Slavs. The world was easily fooled and the poet Alexander Pushkin, 'convinced the poems were of Serb origin, translated them into Russian'. ' 10 Many contemporary visions of our world were in the process of creation, and the Romantic Movement contributed by inventing an idea of the cultural forms most appropriate to the preservation of the distant past.
Textual Representations 23 THE NOBLE SAVAGE The Russian philosopher of language Mikhail Bakhtin has become a byword for the concept of dialogics in study in the humanities. His conceptual system has often been regarded as erratic since he tends to use one term with one meaning in one position, then to use it with an apparently different meaning elsewhere. We ought to regard his work, in fact, as being a developing project in which he continually takes further earlier conclusions, thinks through them again from a slightly different perspective in order to cast further light on the possibilities of his ideas.