Aleksandar Tišma
Aleksandar Tišma was a Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

n novelist.

He completed the basic and middle school in Novi Sad
Novi Sad
Novi Sad is the capital of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. The city is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain on the Danube river....

 and studied economy and French language
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and literature in Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, to finally graduate on Germanistics from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philology
University of Belgrade Faculty of Philology
The Faculty of Philology is one of the constituent schools of the University of Belgrade. The school's purpose is to train and educate its students in the academic study or practice in linguistics and philology.-History:...

. From 1945-1949 he worked as a journalist for Slobodna Vojvodina
Dnevnik (Novi Sad)
Dnevnik , lit. Daily news, is a Serbian language daily newspaper, published in Novi Sad, Serbia.The newspaper was founded during Axis occupation in 1942, and its original name was Slobodna Vojvodina...

 and Borba
Borba (newspaper)
Borba is a Serbian newspaper, formerly the official newspaper of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia...

, then as an editor and redactor in Matica Srpska
Matica srpska
The Matica srpska is the oldest cultural-scientific institution of Serbia. Matica srpska was founded in 1826 in Budapest and moved to Novi Sad in 1864....

 up to retirement in 1982.

He was a corresponding member of the Vojvodina Academy of Sciences and Arts
Vojvodina Academy of Sciences and Arts
Vojvodinian Academy of Sciences and Art or shortly...

 since 1979 and regular since 1984, and subsequently regular member of the Serbian Academy
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is the most prominent academic institution in Serbia today...

 upon their fusion 1992. Since 2002, he was also a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin
Akademie der Künste
The Akademie der Künste, Berlin is an arts institution in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1696 by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg as the Prussian Academy of Arts, an academic institution where members could meet and discuss and share ideas...


Tišma was occupied with themes of human seeking for freedom, and suffering, violence, horror and guilt they encounter on the way. Along with Czesław Miłosz, Danilo Kiš
Danilo Kiš
Danilo Kiš was a Yugoslavian novelist, short story writer and poet who wrote in Serbo-Croatian. Kiš was influenced by Bruno Schulz, Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges and Ivo Andrić, among other authors...

 and György Konrád
György Konrád
György Konrád is a Hungarian novelist and essayist, known as an advocate of individual freedom. He was a dissident under the communist regime.- Life :...

, he was sometimes classified into the literature of "Mitteleuropa
Mitteleuropa is the German term equal to Central Europe. The word has political, geographic and cultural meaning. While it describes a geographical location, it also is the word denoting a political concept of a German-dominated and exploited Central European union that was put into motion during...

"—dark and contemplative, yet humanistic and thought-provoking.

On the political level, Tišma often supported and acted in favor of pro-democratic movements in Serbia. He was reluctant to openly join any political organization though. In 1993, as a sign of disagreement with Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević was President of Serbia and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000...

's regime and increasing nationalistic hysteria, he left the country and lived in self-exile in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...


His works were translated in 17 languages. Among other awards, he received the Novi Sad October Award, the NIN Award for the novel of the year (for "The Use of Man", 1977), the Andrić Award and the Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n State Award for European Literature. He also translated from German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 and Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

, notably Imre Kertesz
Imre Kertész
Imre Kertész is a Hungarian Jewish author, Holocaust concentration camp survivor, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002 "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history"....

's "Fatelessness".

Collections of short stories

  • Krivice (Guilts)
  • Nasilje (Violence)
  • Mrtvi ugao (The Dead Angle),
  • Povratak miru (Return to the Peace)
  • Škola bezbožništva (School of Atheism)
  • Hiljadu i druga noć (A Thousand and Second Night)


  • Za crnom devojkom (After a Black-haired Girl)
  • Knjiga o Blamu (The Book of Blam)
  • Upotreba čoveka (The Use of Man)
  • Begunci (Fugitives)
  • Kapo (Kapo
    Kapo (concentration camp)
    A kapo was a prisoner who worked inside German Nazi concentration camps during World War II in any of certain lower administrative positions. The official Nazi word was Funktionshäftling, or "prisoner functionary", but the Nazis commonly referred to them as kapos.- Etymology :The origin of "kapo"...

  • Vere i zavere (Faith and Treason)
  • Široka vrata (The Wide Door)
  • Koje volimo (Those We Love)


  • Drugde (Elsewhere), travels
  • Šta sam govorio (What I Spoke), interviews
  • Dnevnik (Diary), interviews
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