Par Dragana Lukajic et Radana Lukajic
Publication en ligne le 27 septembre 2015

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1The fifth issue of the Review of the Center for European Slavic Studies (CESS) contains, for the most part, communication presented during the Study’s day Langue, Literature, Memory that took place at the Faculty of philology at the University of Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) on May 16th, 2014.

2This Study’s day, organized, for the first time, by the Department of French language and literature in Banja Luka, represents fruits of the collaboration between the University of Poitiers and the University of Banja Luka. On the initiative of the research unit MIMMOC EA 3812 as well as the CESS from the University of Poitiers, this scientific event has gathered French, Serbian and Bosnian researchers.

3On this occasion, the authors tackled various topics: exploiting, in one way or another historical background, they tried to enlighten certain linguistic and literary facts. The communications of this issue are classified into two parts : in the first part, Language and Memory, the authors explore semantic layers either of a dialect, either of a word, with the purpose of shedding light on the presence of certain language phenomena. At the same time, they reflect on the creative resources that are likely to motivate the learning of a foreign language, particularly French. Thus, Selena Stankovic goes back to the 6th and 7th centuries CE, with the purpose of distinguishingthe Roman substratum in the Serbian dialects of the regions of Prizren and of Timok. Starting from the time of the big migratory waves, on the Balkan Peninsula, she follows the evolutionof the aforementioned dialects and illustrates the influence they have undergone, in the process, from the part of the Romance dialects. This influence left a profound trace at all the levels of the language, resulting in a significant difference between the dialects of Prizren and Timok and the other Serbian dialects. Ivan Jovanovic, on the other hand, takes us into the field of paremiology: opposing French proverbs containing the morpheme ‘dog’ to their Serbian equivalents, lexical and/or semantic, he attempts to extract the attributes that the notion of dog possesses in the collective imaginary of the French and Serbian speakers. Dragana Lukajic, from her part, proposesa facet of verbal semantics, analyzing Serbian verbs derived with the prefix po-. Taking into account the diachronic perspective, she seeks to establish the semantic contributions of the prefix, on the one hand, and the base verb on the other, in the formation of the submeaning of partial coverage, based on the notion of contact. In her article, written in Serbian, Vesna Simovic draws attention to the marginal position of writing tasks in the learning of French and proposes the methods that boost creativity and memorization with Serbian native speakers. Her reflection comes to a conclusion that creative writing can play a very important role in the motivation of learners as well as it can reinforce their language competences.

4The second part, Literature and Memoir, comprises four contributions examining, each in its own way, certain issues related to the literary fact viewed in its broad sense. Thus, after an introduction on the impact of the myth in the literature and its means of survival in contemporary literary texts, Sanja Boskovic Danojlic analyzes Milorad Pavic’s novel Dictionary of the Khazars in which the poetic function of the myth, comprehended as metahistory or metareality, constitutes essential dynamism of the novel’s architecture. As Sanja Boskovic Danojlic concludes, it is on the base of collective cultural life and the rich folklore heritage that Pavic creates his vision of the world and his dreamlike realism in which the myth, as an unlimited source of significations and multiple interpretations, offers itself as the only thing capable of telling us the truth about our human condition. On the other hand, the contribution of Anja Bundalo takes us back into the 18th century and attempts to make us more sensitive to the idea of ideological heterogeneity of the Enlightenment philosophy that we often tend to reduce – mistakenly, as it appears– to a certain number of concepts more or less analogous. The brief overview of political ideas of the Enlightenment philosophers and their rapport with royal government sheds a more direct light on all divergences of the ideological and philosophical concepts of the Enlightenment philosophers, divergences that do not, nevertheless, put on trial, their common faith in « the enlightened monarchy » representing an ideal form of state. Milica Mijatovic, from her part, aims to identify autobiographical topoi in The Childhood by Nathalie Sarraute : in fact, relying on the focal points of this autobiographical work sui generis, she attempts to depict the liberties that the writer takes in relation to the conventional autobiographical style which, at the same time, manifest themselves in the form of criticism and of an attempt to renew the genre. The fusion of the famous « tropisms » and an intimate confession develops, as Milica Mijatovic claims, into a new autobiographical form that largely exceeds the scope of a traditional autobiography. With the contribution of Radana Lukajic we remain in the field of autobiographical writing (issues). Analyzing a memorialistic trilogy The Labyrinth of the World by Marguerite Yourcenar, Radana Lukajic emphasizes the fact that standard definitions of the autobiographical genre do not apply to Yourcenar’s work since the author resists all attempts more or less egotistic in her unrivalled memorialistic writing. Starting with the premise of a substantial inconsistency of human identity and assuming, in her writing process, a clear distinction between « I » narrating and « I » being narrated, Yourcenar’s text of memorialistic triptych is a perfect illustration of a hybrid genre, qualified as heterobiographical.

5The thematic variety of the two volumes of the fifth issue of Revue of CESS provides us with an insight into very rich cultural, linguistic and literary interactions between France and West Balkan countries. The published articles, fruits of the first encounter of French, Serbian and Bosnian researchers at the University of Banja Luka, offer new scientific hypothesis based on diverse and well-documented materials testifying thus to a plural reading of various issues related to language, literature and cultural phenomena.

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Par Dragana Lukajic et Radana Lukajic, «Foreword», Revue du Centre Européen d'Etudes Slaves [En ligne], Numéro 5, La revue, mis à jour le : 19/11/2021, URL :