The poetics of romantic pessimism in Marko Kažotić’s literary opus

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 4 January 2011

Preliminary communication

Antonela Pivac ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia 

pages 143-155



The present article takes into consideration the key elements of the Romantic novels written by Marko Kažotić comparing, at the same time, the romantic pattern in some of the historical plays written by his contemporaries. The descriptions of rites and myths, with the strong ethno-regional nuances which are present in Kažotić’s
novels, make deeper research of the genesis of this phenomenon possible. Vivid illustrations of the complex historical-cultural and linguistic situations represent the crucial point in studying the relationship between the protagonists and the general atmosphere of the Romantic Movement in Dalmatia, as well as functioning as a
precious testimony of the past. The images of Dalamatian cities and hinterland, the portraits of renowned historical persons and descriptions of events, the authentic and original costumes and the scenes of life inserted into the romantic framework serve as a platform for a rather pessimistic vision of the forthcoming future. The
objective of the article is to show that pessimism represents the crucial moment in interpreting the reactions of the protagonists, and it explains their resignation and lack of persistance in finding a way out of the miserable human conditions in which they have unwillingly found themselves. Although there have been some studies that discuss the romantic phenomenon, the genesis of romantic pessimism has not yet been examined. Furthermore, it is the opinion of the author that regional literature, written in Dalmatia in Italian, should not be regarded as “minor” as some critics recklessly claim, for it offers the possibility, besides its literary value, to learn about the historical background of the Dalmatian people in the 19th century.


Dalmatia; Kažotić; myth; rite; pessimism; romantic authors