Ivo, Andric. The Bridge on the Drina. Translated by Lovett F. Edwards. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.
Reason read: Mehmed Pasha built the bridge on the Drina and was born in October. Read in his honor.
The bridge on the Drina stands as a silent character in Bridge on the Drina and acts as a symbol for life. As civilization is buckling, the bridge stands solid, spying on and witness to all humanity. . It is an integral part of the community. If you were Christian and lived on the left bank you had to cross the bridge to be christened on the right side. It was a sources of food as people fished from it or hunted doves from under it. It had historical significance as families shared legends about it. Andric takes us through the sixteenth century and the laborious construction of the bridge to four hundred years later and the modernized twentieth century and how the bridge became a symbol across generations. It all started with the tortured memory of the grand Vizier. How, as a young boy, he was forcibly removed from his mother during the Ottoman crusades. The river Drina is where he lost sight of her. Hence, the bridge.
Quote I liked, “The story was noised far and abroad” (p 36).
Author fact: Ivo Andric won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. Another piece of trivia: Andric grew up on the banks of the Drina.
Book trivia: the introduction to Bridge on the Drina gives the history of Bosnia. It helps ground the reader to a sense of place.
Nancy said: “The Bridge on the Drina describes the relationships between various ethnic groupings in a small Bosnian town from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries” (Book Lust p 32).
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Balkan Specters” (p 31).