Radoje Domanovic
Radoje Domanović (February 4, 1873 - August 4, 1908) was a Serbian writer and teacher, most famous for his satirical
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 short stories
Short Stories
Short Stories may refer to:*A plural for Short story*Short Stories , an American pulp magazine published from 1890-1959*Short Stories, a 1954 collection by O. E...

. His few remaining years were a constant fight against consumption
Consumption may refer to:Economics* Use of final goods by a consumer until disposal* Consumption * Consumption function, an economic formula* Consumption Sociology* Consumption Other...

. This circumstance of his life, and the affection which he inspired in all who knew him, added something essentially romantic in the true sense in the man himself, have tended to surround Domanović and his work with an aura of sentiment which somewhat obscured the character of his actual accomplishment.


Domanović was born in a village Ovsište
Ovsište is a village in the municipality of Topola, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the village has a population of 630 people.-References:...

 which is located in Topola
Topola is a town and municipality situated in the Šumadija region of Serbia. It was the place where Karađorđe, a Serbian revolutionary, was chosen as the leader of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804. The local St...

 municipality, Šumadija District
Šumadija District
The Šumadija District is located in the central part of Serbia. It has a population of 290,900, and the district seat is the city of Kragujevac...

. He attended a gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 in Kragujevac
Kragujevac is the fourth largest city in Serbia, the main city of the Šumadija region and the administrative centre of Šumadija District. It is situated on the banks of the Lepenica River...

. Some of his teachers were Pera Đorđević and Sreten Stojković, followers of Svetozar Marković
Svetozar Markovic
Svetozar Marković was an influential Serbian political activist and literary critic. He developed an activistic anthropological philosophy with a definite program of social change.-Early life:...

, who were arrested for an attempt to take control of the local government and displaying a red flag
Red flag
In politics, a red flag is a symbol of Socialism, or Communism, or sometimes left-wing politics in general. It has been associated with left-wing politics since the French Revolution. Socialists adopted the symbol during the Revolutions of 1848 and it became a symbol of communism as a result of its...

. From 1890 to 1894, Domanović studied at the history and philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

 department of Belgrade's Grande École (what soon became the University of Belgrade
University of Belgrade
The University of Belgrade is the oldest and largest university of Serbia.Founded in 1808 as the Belgrade Higher School in revolutionary Serbia, by 1838 it merged with the Kragujevac-based departments into a single university...

). He read some of his first works to the members of a student organization Pobratimstvo (Bloodbrothers).

In 1893, he published his first work, a short story Na mesečini (In the Moonlight), in a magazine Javor. Two years later, he got his first tenure
Tenure commonly refers to life tenure in a job and specifically to a senior academic's contractual right not to have his or her position terminated without just cause.-19th century:...

 as a lecturer in a gymnasium in Pirot
Pirot is a town and municipality located in south-eastern Serbia. According to 2011 census, the town has a total population of 38,432, while the population of the municipality is 57,911...

. There he met Jaša Prodanović, who was transferred to that school as a punishment. At that time, Domanović joined Republikanska stranka (The Republican Party), and got married to Natalija Ristić. He took an active part to maintain the doctrine of republicanism during the time of the monarchy, was threatened repeatedly not to criticize The Establishment
The Establishment
The Establishment is a term used to refer to a visible dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation. The term suggests a closed social group which selects its own members...

. After nine months, he was transferred, as a punishment on request of his political rivals, to a gymnasium in Vranje
Vranje is a city and municipality located in southern Serbia. In 2011 the city has total population of 82,782, while the urban area has 54,456...

. On the same count, after a year in Vranje, he was transferred to Leskovac
Leskovac is a city and municipality in southern Serbia. It is the administrative center of the Jablanica District of Serbia...

. Following a critical speech on the position of teachers in 1898, he was dismissed from his post, along with his wife. As a response, he wrote a short story Ukidanje strasti (The Tearing of Passion).

In 1899, he published two collections of short stories and his famous story Danga, perhaps an inspiration for Yevgeny Zamyatin
Yevgeny Zamyatin
Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin was a Russian author of science fiction and political satire. Despite having been a prominent Old Bolshevik, Zamyatin was deeply disturbed by the policies pursued by the CPSU following the October Revolution...

's We (novel)
We (novel)
We is a dystopian novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin completed in 1921. It was written in response to the author's personal experiences during the Russian revolution of 1905, the Russian revolution of 1917, his life in the Newcastle suburb of Jesmond, and his work in the Tyne shipyards during the First...

. The following year, he got a well-paying, government job as a clerk in the State's Archive
An archive is a collection of historical records, or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of an organization...

. In 1902, after he published Stradija, he was again dismissed from his post. He started writing editorials for magazine Odjek (Echo). After the coup in 1903, Domanović returned to his post, and soon got a stipend to work on his stories. It was rumoured that the coup saved his life, since he was on a list for liquidation of the old government. In 1904, he started a magazine Stradija, that had 35 editions. The following year, he was appointed to the State Press corps. He died in 1908 of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 survived by his wife and two children Zoran and Danica.

Short stories

It can be said that Domanović is the diminutive Serbian Swift
The swifts are a family, Apodidae, of highly aerial birds. They are superficially similar to swallows, but are actually not closely related to passerine species at all; swifts are in the separate order Apodiformes, which they share with hummingbirds...

, that is, if we lend ourselves to compare our writers to foreigners (one would say, a daunting proposition, indeed). During his short literary career he succeeded in developing the great powers of the satirical novel, although some of his stories are distorted by pessimism and grime.

Domanović lived for only 35 years and did not publish much, leaving some work in manuscript form. But in the last years of his brief life he projected and in part completed an ambitious fictional project which did square fully with his theories. He proposed to tell in a series of short stories the wrongdoings and excesses in the political and social life of a society trying to find itself. Some of his most famous stories are:
  • Stradija (The Suffeering), an allegory in which he castigated the ruthlessness of the authority and obsequiousness of its subjects.
  • Danga (The Stigma), a story about the author's dream of visiting an imaginary country where all people blindly follow their leaders in a dystopian society. After all of the citizens were branded on the forehead, without complaints, the story culminates when the narrator proclaims that he, as a Serb, is much braver then anybody and requests to be branded ten times.
  • Ukidanje strasti (Abolishing Passion), a satirical fiction about a legislation that outlawed passion, after which people stopped doing things like smoking, drinking, or taking political participation.
  • Razmišljanje jednog običnog srpskog vola (Reasoning of an Ordinary Serbian Ox), criticizes Serbian misuse of their history and tradition.
  • Kraljević Marko po drugi put među Srbima (Marko Kraljević Among the Serbs For the Second Time), a story of a return of an epic Serbian hero, and the false promises for a better future.
  • Mrtvo more (Dead Sea), a story about resistance of masses against any kind of progress.
  • Vođa (The Leader), a story about incompetent leadership: people who chose a person they never saw before to lead them to a better place. After suffering through a long trip, they realized that their leader was blind.

External links

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