Myths of the Western Balkans by Svemar Madredeus

written by Zoran Lazić


Prof. Svemar Madredeus hardly needs an introduction. This famous philosopher, language specialist and historian from Šibenik made his name by writing essays for specialized reviews, while the general public knows his series on pop-hermeneutics “You Got That Right, Professor!”, which used to be published in Nomad Magazine. Even if some still ignore his work, that will surely change when “Myths of the Western Balkans” is published. It is a ground­bre­aking attempt (or rather success!) at an encyclopedia of important but rarely recorded folk tales of the region, told in the authentic parlance of the area. These are stories of “overlooked” figures who were no famous generals or politicians, but who embodied the spirit of the times better than anyone. How come we know so little, almost nothing, of them today? Prof. Madredeus offers a provocative theory in his book: their actions and destinies are too clear an image of our time, challenging the popular idea of the past as our guide.