Serbian Dreambook

Serbian Dreambook

National Imaginary in the Time of Miloševi
Živkovi, Marko
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/29/2011
Format: Paperback 10 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22306-7
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The central role that the regime of Slobodan Miloševi played in the bloody dissolution of Yugoslavia is well known, but Marko Živkovi explores another side of this time period: the stories people in Serbia were telling themselves (and others) about themselves. Živkovi traces the recurring themes, scripts, and narratives that permeated public discourse in Miloševi’s Serbia, as Serbs described themselves as Gypsies or Jews, violent highlanders or peaceful lowlanders, and invoked their own mythologized defeat at the Battle of Kosovo. The author investigates national narratives, the use of tradition for political purposes, and local idioms, paying special attention to the often bizarre and outlandish tropes people employed to make sense of their social reality. He suggests that the enchantments of political life under Miloševi may be fruitfully seen as a dreambook of Serbian national imaginary.

Author Bio

Marko Živkovi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta.


I completely agree that dreams are 'a machine to think with,' and Serbian Dreambook is a powerful machine indeed.

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Table of Contents

1 Belgrade
2 Serbia’s Position in European Geo-Political Imaginings
3 Highlanders and Lowlanders
4 Tender-hearted Criminals and the Reverse Pygmalion
5 Serbian Jeremiads: Too Much Character, Too Little Kultur
6 Glorious Pasts and Imagined Continuities: The Most Ancient People
7 Narrative Cycles: From Kosovo to Jadovno
8 "The Wish to be a Jew," or the Power of the Jewish Trope
9 Garbled Genres: Conspiracy Theories, Everyday Life and the Poetics of Opacity
10 Mille vs. Transition: a super informant in the slushy swamp of Serbian politics
Conclusion: Chrono-tropes and Awakenings

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