Cryopoetics in the Political Novel the Damned Yard by Ivo Andrić

Aida Džiho-Šator


This paper will examine the importance and characteristics of the poetics of cold/coldness in Ivo Andrich’s novel The Damned Yard (1957), and it will do so in the context of its political novel genre characteristics. Criticisms of societies, regimes, and ideologies emerged in its novelistic form in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, literary-critical studies devoted to this phenomenon emerged in the second decade of the twentieth century, and the genre flourished on the world literary scene in the years after World War II which is when The Damned Yard was first published. In addition to the features of a political novel, such as a criticism of a social system, in this novel we find a significant presence of the tropes of winter, or coldness, which contributes to its overall stylistic and genre markedness. In the paper, we will analyze how Andrich portrays winter and cold throughout the novel, from the opening to the final paragraph, both literally and in figurative semantic transmissions, as signs of difficulties, despair, worries, old age and death. The novel begins and ends with winter and snow, but cryopoetics is present in the characterization of the characters, their interaction, the description of the outer and inner spaces, as well as the narrative techniques, which we will show in this paper.


political novel; cryopoetics; winter in literature; Ivo Andrić; The Damned Yard

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