Milisav Savić is a Serbian prose writer, literary historian and translator, with a PhD.
He was born on 15th April 1945 in Vlasovo near Raška. He completed his high school education in Novi Pazar, andgraduated in Yugoslav and World Literature from the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. He earned his Master’s Degree from the same university defending the thesis“Memoirs of the First Serbian Uprising”, followed by a doctorate on “Memoire-Diary Prose on the 1876-1878 Serbian-Turkish Wars”.
He has been an editor of the Student, Mladost, Književnareč, and Knjževne novine magazines; the editor-in-chief and general manager of the publishing company “Prosveta”; the president of the Serbian Literary Cooperative (2000 to 2001); served as Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of Serbia and Montenegro, and later Serbia, in Rome (2005-2008); a teacher of Serbo-Croatian and Yugoslav Literature at London University, State University of New York in Albany, the University of Florence and the University of Lodz. Since 2010 he has been a full professor at the State University of Novi Pazar.
His novels have been translated into Greek, English, Slovenian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Romanian.
Storybooks: Bulgarian Hut (Bugarska Baraka, 1969, award of the magazine “Mladost”), Young Men from Raška (Mladići iz Raške, 1977), The Uncle of Our Town (Ujak naše varoši, 1977, “Andrić” Award).
Novels:The Loves of Andrija Kurandić (Ljubavi Andrije Kurandića, 1972), Poplar on the Balcony (Topola na terasi, 1985), The Jar of the Committee Duke (Ćup komitetskog vojvode, 1990), Bread and Fear (Hleb i strah, 1991, NIN Award), The Scars of Silence (Ožiljci tišine, 1996, the “Miroslavljevo jevanđelje” Award), and The Prince and a Serbian Writer (Princ i serbski spisatelj, 2008, “Laza Kostić”), A Crackling (Čvarčić, 2010).
Multi-genre books: A Footnote (Fusnota, 1994), 30 Plus 18 (2005), The Rome Dairy, Stories and a Novel (Rimski dnevnik, priče i jedan roman, 2008, “Dušan Vasiljev”).
Other works: Literary-historical studies “The Fiction of the Uprising” (Ustanička proza, 1985, the “Pavle Bihalji” Award).
The author of a lexicon Who’s Who – Writers from Yugoslavia (1994), Savic has published several books of translations from English and Italian. He has edited the anthologies of contemporary American short story Psihopolis (1988), contemporary Australian short story Commune Does Not Want You (Komuna te ne želi, 1990), Contemporary Italian Short Stories (Savremena italijanska pripovetka, 1992), and The Modern World Mini Story (Moderna svetska mini priča, with Snežana Brajović, 1993). He has compiled the anthology The Best Serbian Short Story (Najlepše srpske priče, selection, preface, comments, 1996).
Snežana Adamović published a book about Milisav Savić entitled Poetics of Milisav Savić (Poetika Milisava Savića).
“Official Gazette” published a guide through the poetic and intimate world – Milisav Savić (2011, edition of “One on One”).
About the novel Bread and Fear
What we have before us is a new, best Milisav Savić.
This novel enters a precious series of short novels of Serbian literature.
Bread and Fear is actually a kind of synthesis of Savić’s previous books, but not as a repetition of the already said, but for its writing of new, more lasting temptations of human destinies.
If a dream of many a writer is to say as much with as few worlds possible, then Milisav Savić has entered the circle of the consecrated writers.
The thing that is best achieved in his narrative easiness – is that horrible taste of the Broz-generation.
Savić, once labelled as an innovator in the already traditional,in the novel Bread and Fear testifies, among other things, tothe autonomy of a work of literature, which uses all means available to create a universe of its own, but also to the relativity of things, an example of whichcan be an author’s, Savić’s, biography.
In the recent fiction of Milisav Savić everything is subject to mystification… Mystification is cathartic. The writer resorts to it to hide into memory, literary evocation, stylisation, and literary play to escape the brutality of a totalitarian epoch, linking history, the present time and phantasmagoria.
Stories and novels of Milisav Savić have their place in the anthological map of Serbian fiction as a kind of a rare plant in a rich herbarium. With its colour and scent preserved.
About the book Footnote
Written in the glory of the spirit of literature spirit, following the thesis that “literature that does not upset, does not undermine all the values, does not attack all the points supporting this world of ours, even its own– is not a particularly good literature,” Milisav Savić’s Footnote reveals a personal literary and poetical coordinate system of this writer.
In the form of a narrative and essayistic melange, a constant illusion of an autobiographic prose about himself and others, “between the legend and the sludge of historical reality,” the reader can see a parade of writers Borges, Andrić, Crnjanski, Kiš, Pavić, Dragoslav Mihajlović, Josić, Višnjić…, various yogis and commissaries, “bandits” and “professors”; antinomies are sought which bind both life and literature; the answers are offered to the questions who is and whoisn’t a writer, what is and what isn’t literature, how people lie in biographies and memories, and where personal life intersects with the general and personal literary reality sealing one’s destiny. Writing about the terror of political reality and about the artistic one, which outgrows the former and essentially opposes it, about the things which are relevant to a personal literary workshop and poetic storage, and without an obvious plot, Savić in this Footnote of his manages to achieve important and deepened insights into things relevant to us, and to drags his readers into and keep us in this privileged space of literary game by means of a constant aspect of narrative uncertainty as a kind of “glue”.
About the novel The Scars of Silence
This is one of the best domestic novels in the previous year, a winner of the prestigious “Miroslavljevo jevanđelje” Award. The novel sets off with the events of 1995 when the region is ravaged with the war, but it has certain elements of erotic fiction and thriller on the one hand, and intimate scenes and the heavy burden of transiency on the other. The recognisable creative handwriting of MilisavSavić is a guarantee that this is yet another book which will offer us the joy of reading and artistic experience of the reality of our lives.
About the novel ThePrince and a Serbian Writer
The use of various citation and documentary material, the breaking of linear narration and making spatial and temporal dimensions more complex, problematisation of historical knowledge, elements of a theatralisation of the world or, for example, communication between characters in dreams as a form alternative but more authentic reality, are some of the techniques the new Savić’s novel rests upon, reaffirming and developing further the author’s already profiled narrative strategy. Without abandoning the previously formulated art of fiction as a search for the true being and form of the story, while “all stories without a plot are uninteresting,” Savić’s new novel develops a doubly complex story which is, in regard to composition, consistently segmented into odd (Zanović’s) and even (Dositej’s) chapters.
About the book Love Letters and Other Lessons
Speaking about literature from the inside, as well as from the outside, about the literary life and context, speaking about his own poetical grounds, as well as the poetics of the contemporaries, the book Love Letters and other Lessons continues the literary game of Savić’s already known Footnote.
Written in the form of a prose and essayistic melange, driven by the idea that “this world still needs stories” and the need of a writer to get completely denuded, almost two decades after Footnote, this book follows the writer, his poetics and reading, with a self-evident sideways view, from the unexpected angle.
Behind biographical prose, combined with concrete experiences of reading his contemporaries (V. Stevanović, M. J. Višnjić, D. Mihajlović, M. Pavić, S. Selenić, A. Tišma, Lj. Simović, V. Ognjenović, B. Jovanović, S. Basara…), as well as the often shaded places from the history of Serbian literature (such as the ones referring to Dositej, MilovanVidaković, Grigorije Božović, even Crnjanski), we reveal a mosaic which affirms an important layer of value in our national culture.
This poetical Baedeker, offering a reliable testimony of some of the facts of our literary topography and history, simultaneously profoundly and simply informs us about the constancy of duality, living and writing, which bind the author, about the problems of biography and biographic literature, about the point in reality where literature is born, and finally, about the history of literary technique as the birthplace of literature.