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Youth Movement and Paradigms of Modernismy - Marina Protrka Štimec

The dynamic of the modernist movement in Croatian literature, of the late 19th and early 20th century, was marked by the institutional adjustment of the literary field which is managed by the principle of relative autonomy in production and valuation of texts (P. Bourdieu) as well as the differentiation of the political life, where frequently are involved exactly those individuals and groups, whose literary work is directed towards the division of these two fields. The Youth Movement emerging in Croatian literature after the political excess (the burnings of the Hungarian flag during the arrival of Emperor Franz Joseph in Zagreb in 1895) is directed to the totality of social and cultural life by emphasizing the principle of individualism, aesthetic liberty, antihistorism and antidogmatism. It is advocated by two "Youth" groups, the "Vienna group" considering itself as aesthetic and the „Prague group“ considered by Croatian literary historiography as being linked to political and social utilitarianism. Despite the differences in structure and content of the magazines which are being  initiated, both engage in a heated conflict with the old, which gives the movement a generational dimension. They revisit in their declarations the concept of nationality and nation, of culture, values, politics, identity, tradition etc. and proclaim the internal critical revision and construction of a real own society as well as the emplacement of an own culture in an international context as leading principles. Among other things, they are related by the celebration of the new (modern) and the rejection of traditionalism (conventionalism) on behalf of a „spirit of free improvement“. Such a passion for rejection, as A. Compagnon called it with respect to the paradoxes of modernism, affects the Young people's aesthetic choices and political acts, which will far-reachingly determine the cultural and political scene in the first half of the 20th century – and will indirectly be part of the autopoetic strategies and the reception of prominent writers of that time. (A. G. Matoš. V. A. Nazor).

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