Friday, 30 September 2016

Ante Kadić - Istria in Croatian Literature - JCS 20


Istria is separated from Italy by its location, customs, and speech—V. Pribojević

Yugoslavia has obtained, by the peace treaty with Italy in 1947, all of Istria. It may be noted that she has not enlarged her borders with foreign territory, but rather has incorporated a province which has played an important role in Croatian cultural and literary history.

In the first part of this article I shall mention those national and cultural reformers who, during the past hundred years, have contributed the most toward Istria's awakening to national consciousness. In the second section the more prominent Istrian literary figures shall be discussed, while in the third the literary work of two Croatians, one from Croatian Zagorje, the other from Dalmatia, will be analyzed: both have artistically described this most western region of their homeland.


In spite of the fact that the Italians comprised a small minority, they dominated the whole province from the western Istrian cities and refused to recognize as equals the Croatian and Slovenian majority, which lived for the most part in the rural sections and along the eastern coast. The Italians prevented, in particular, the opening of Croatian and Slovenian schools. There is a clear-cut ethnic frontier between the Croatians and Slovenes in Istria. The Slovenes live in northwestern corner of Istria which is part of today's Republic of Slovenia; the remaining Istria is a part of the Republic of Croatia.

Through the persevering work of a whole Pleiades of Istrians, many of them Catholic clergymen, Istria gradually threw off the tight Italian embrace.

Some of these protagonists were educated in Rijeka (Fiume), where Fran Kurelac began, in 1849, to teach the Croatian language.

Complete article :
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Journal of Croatian Studies, XX, 1979, – Annual Review of the Croatian Academy of America, Inc. New York, N.Y., Electronic edition by Studia Croatica, by permission. All rights reserved by the Croatian Academy of America.
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