Svetislav Stefanovic

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Svetislav Stefanovic
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Born1 November 1877
Novi Sad, Austria-Hungary
Died18 November 1944
Belgrade, Serbia, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
  • Physician
  • Poet
  • Critic
  • Translator
  • Essayist
  • Playwright

Svetislav Stefanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Светислав Стефановић; Novi Sad, Austria-Hungary, 1 November 1877 - Belgrade, Serbia, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, 18 November 1944[1]) was a physician, poet, critic, translator, essayist, and playwright.


Svetislav Stefanović was born to a prominent Serbian family on 1 November 1877 in Novi Sad. He was a physician by profession, and the founder of the Department of Pathology. He wrote and was a poet, critic, translator, essayist, and playwright. He was a modernist and avant-garde. In his essays and critiques, he defended Petkovic Dis's poetry, and in the interwar period, he defended modernist poetry. He was a friend of most of the contemporary poets of his time, Laza Kostić, Vladislav Petković Dis, Todor Manojlović, Jovan Dučić, Miloš Crnjanski, Milan Rakić, Stanislav Vinaver[2]

Stefanović was on the list of death row inmates under number 66 in the "Statement of the Military Court of the First Corps of the NOVJ on convicted war criminals in Belgrade", published on the first and second pages of "Politika" on November 27, 1944. The ordinal number of the name in the announcement reads the ideologue of fascism, the translator of Mussolini's "State", the German-Nedić commissioner of the Serbian Literary Cooperative, Jonić's advisor on the issues of prosecuting the writers' cooperative. A member of the German Commission for slandering the Soviet authorities in connection with the German crimes in Vinica."

He was shot before a firing squad on charges of being an enemy of the people and a war criminal in November 1944 by Josip Broz Tito Partizans who usurped the reins of the Royal Yugoslav government-in-exile[3]. The procedure for political rehabilitation was initiated in 2008 on the basis of a request sent by Tamara Grujić to the District Court in Belgrade.

Svetislav Stefanović - Poetry

  • The Song of the Dead
  • The Great Joy
  • The Impotence of Death
  • Destruction
  • The Triumph of Venus
  • Darkness
  • The Dream of Duke Vuk Mandušić|Mandušić
  • Spring[4]

Literary critics "from Skerlić's circle" denied him poetic talent. [5] Gojko Tešić writes that his "critical engagement in defending the concept of modern Serbian poetry" is much more important than Stefanović's poetry. He defended Vladislav Petković Dis poetry in the program article "Honor and Freedom to Creators!" essays in "Bosanska vila" (1912-1913), "Više slobode stiha", "Stih ili pesma?" are significant, and in the interwar period he defended modernism | modernist poetry, especially in the essay "Alarm of Criticism and the Youngest Modern" ("Thought", 1921) and in a controversy with Marko Car ("Thought and Politics").

Stefanovic was known as a critic of his contemporaries. He thought that too much energy was spent on the war with the old art, instead of releasing the new one. He criticized the artificial construction and lack of intuition and spontaneity in avant-garde | avant-garde poetry. He believed in rebellion, a renewal mission, but also in the return of barbarism and primitivism to literature, believing that they represented a refreshment for the arts. However, in the 1930s, Svetislav Stefanović abandoned the conception he advocated, renounced modernism, became conservative, and switched to the literary right.


  • Gojko Tešić: "Anthology of Serbian Avant-garde Poetry 1902-1934", Svetovi, Novi Sad, 1994.
  • Gojko Tešić: "Serbian avant-garde in a polemical context", Novi Sad, Svetovi, 1991.
  • Stanislav Vinaver: Sun and shadows. Songs of Mr. Svetislava Stefanovića , Štampa, XI / 180, 2. VII 1912.
  • Milivoj Nenin: "Svetislav Stefanović - forerunner


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