Winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, successful diplomat of Yugoslavia, a giant of European literature and an intellectual whose work some people want to dispute nowadays, Ivo Andrić, was born on October 9, 1892 in Dolac near Travnik.
Andrić spent his childhood in Višegrad, where he finished elementary school. In 1903 he enrolls in the Great Gymnasium in Sarajevo (which has subsequently divided into the First Gymnasium and Second Gymnasium that exist today). he attended the studies of Slavic literature and history at the faculties of philosophy in Zagreb, Vienna, Krakow and Graz, where he defended his PhD dissertation in 1924 on the topic Development of spiritual life in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the influence of the Turkish rule.
Exactly 50 years since his first appearance in literature circles (1911), when his first song “In the dusk” was published in the magazine Bosnian Fairy, this writer from Travnik received the most prestigious recognition in the domain of literature. Of course, it is the Nobel Prize which was presented to Andrić in 1961 for the novel “The Bridge on the Drina, as well as for the entire previous work on the “history of one nation”.
Works of this Nobel Prize laureate have been translated to around 30 languages and all poems which were not collected in a book were published posthumously in 1976 in Belgrade.
Andrić also had a very successful diplomatic career. First he was appointed an officer in the mission in Vatican, then he traveled across Europe working as a diplomat in consulates in Bucharest, Trieste, Graz, Marseille, Paris, Madrid. After that, he was the secretary to the standing delegation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the Society of Nations in Geneva.
Between the two world wars, Andrić was holding the office of authorized minister and MP of the Yugoslav government in Berlin. After the outbreak of the war, due to disagreement with authorities in Belgrade he resigned from the function of the ambassador and during the Second World War he lived recluse in his apartment in Belgrade. In this period he made some of his best works, which later became globally famous. Later he became a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and first president of the Association of writers of Yugoslavia.
On March 13, 1975 the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade announced that Andrić passed away at 1:12 am, at the age of 83.