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Andrić and Graz

 After spending a few months in Trieste as a Vice-consul for the royal consulate, Andrić arrived in Graz in January 1923. The time he spent in the Styrian capital was of particular importance for him, since alongside his duties as a Vice-consul for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatsand Slovenes, Graz is a city in which he completed his PhD on the cultural history of Bosnia under Turkish rule. According to a letter from 1923, Andrić was the only employee in the Consulate, and the fact that he was not especially burdened with work duties, allowed him to write a number of poems and publish his first collection of novels in Graz. His place of residence was in Merangasse 24 (this information is available in the archive of the University of Graz), whereas the consulate was located, according to Andrić' letters written in 1923, in Schuberstrasse 16 (next to the campus of ReSoWi center).

 

  • In a letter from February 13, 1923, Andrić stated that he is doing well in Graz. In another letter written on April 8, 1923 he wrote that he should move into another apartment, what makes us to believe that in the period from February 3 1923 (when he allegedly arrived in Graz) until the mid April 1923, he resided in another address. It might be that he lived either in Hilmteichstrasse or Schuberstrasse, afterwards he rented a room or an apartment in Merangasse 24. In 1923 a new regulation had a significant impact both on his stay in Graz and his career as a diplomat. Namely, according to the new law adopted in the Kingdom of SHS in 1923, in order to continue working as a Vice-consul, he had to fulfill certain conditions, such as to have a doctoral degree and at least two years’ experience in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Due to this regulation, Andrić enrolled doctoral studies on November 5 1923 in the department for Slavic and History studies at the University of Graz. However, since he did not meet other criteria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed Andrić from the job. After writing several letters to the government in Belgrade, in which he requested to work as a clerk until he finalizes his doctoral thesis, the authorities approved his demand. In that way, Andrić continued to work as a lower-ranking incumbent in the consulate. Soon after he had passed two exams, he defended his dissertation on June 13, 1924. Ten days later, he sent a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade, requesting a return to his duties as a Vice-consul. Given that he had not yet fulfilled the new conditions for the civil servants, the authorities in Belgrade rejected this request. Due to this rule, Andrić remained working as a clerk until October 1924. After fulfilling the needed requirements of five years civil service on August 12, 1924, he requested to be placed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade as a Third Class Secretary. The demand had been accepted, after which he was appointed as a Secretary in the capital of Serbia, being relocated to the Second Political Department. After this, Andrić left the city, which left an important mark in his carrier. 
  • The Department for Slavic studies in Graz, in year 2007, launched an initiative to commemorate the relationship between Ivo Andrić and Graz. Consequently, in 2008, supported by the city of Graz, in the street of Merrangasse 24, a commemorative plaque to Andrić was unveiled as well as a bust placed next to the Institute for Slavic studies. Both were unveiled by the major of Graz Siegfried Nagl and University Professor Branko ToÅ¡ović, who in 2007 has launched a project called "Andrić Initiative", with an aim to examine, present and popularise writer's work. The fundamental goal behind this project is commemoration and examination of the period he spent in Austria as well as the presentation of Andrić and his work to the Austrian and European audience.

Last modified on Monday, 25 August 2014 11:14

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