Songs of the Serbian people: from the collections of Vuk Karadžić

Front Cover
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Milne Holton, Vasa D. Mihailovich
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 310 pages
0 Reviews
In the early nineteenth century, Vuk Karadzic, a Serb scholar and linguist, collected and eventually published transcriptions of the traditional oral poetry of the South Slavs. It was a monumental and unprecedented undertaking. Karadzic gathered and heard sung to him the rich songs of Balkan peasants, outlaws, and professional singers and their rebel heroes. His four volumes constitute the classic anthology of Balkan oral poetry, treasured for nearly two centuries by readers of all literatures, and influential to such literary giants as Goethe, Merimee, Pushkin, Mickiewicz, and Sir Walter Scott.

This edition of the songs offers the most complete and authoritative translations ever assembled in English. Holton and Mihailovich, leading scholars of Slavic literature, have preserved here the unique meter and rhythm at the heart of Serbian oral poetry, as well as the idiom of the original singers. Extensive notes and comments aid the reader in understanding the poems, the history they record and the oral tradition that lies beneath them, the singers and their audience.

The songs contain seven cycles, identified here in sections titled: Songs Before History, Before Kosovo, the Battle of Kosovo, Marko Karadzic, Under the Turks, Songs of the Outlaws, and Songs of the Serbian Insurrection. The editors have selected the best known and most representative songs from each of the cycles. A complete bibliography is also provided.

"This is the most comprehensive collection of Serbian oral poetry available today. The editors have done a superb job in presenting this invaluable material from the treasury of European folklore". Toma Longinovic, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"There is no doubtin my mind that this large and informative collective will be of great and lasting value and interest to everyone concerned with the folk traditions and oral literatures of the perplexing and psychologically intriguing Southern Slavs". George Vid Tomashhevich, Buffalo St

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Songs Before History
Before the Battle of Kosovo
The Battfe of Kosovo

5 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information