Tolstoy’s Count Vronsky in the Yugoslav Imagination: A Case of Politicized Fan Fiction

Tatiana Kuzmic


Slavic and East European Journal, vol. 61, no.4 (Winter 2017), pp. 802–824


The initially censored and since then mostly overlooked Epilogue to Anna Karenina has enjoyed a resurgence of attention and popularity in Croatia and especially Serbia following the Yugoslav wars of succession in the 1990s. Post-Yugoslav novelists, journalists, and even military commanders have offered their own versions of Vronsky’s enlistment in the Serbian insurrection against the Ottoman Empire, which took on a special meaning more than a century later when Orthodox Christians and Muslims in the Balkans once again took up arms against each other, creating what could veritably be deemed the Eastern Crisis of the 1990s and early 2000s. The present article examines how these works have appropriated, reinterpreted, and – on the Serbian side – valorized Vronsky for their own political purposes during a time when, as in the nineteenth century, Russia proclaimed firm support for its brother Serbs while the Western world stood largely on the side of the seceding states.


Tolstojev Grof Vronski u post-jugoslavenskim uobraženjima:  Slučaj politizirane obožavateljske fikcije

Tatjana Kuzmič

U početku cenzuriran, a kasnije uglavnom zanemaren epilog Ane Karenjine je zaživio u radovima hrvatskih i pogotovo srpskih pisaca nakon jugoslavenskih ratova, tijekom 1990-ih i ranih 2000-ih godina.  Post-jugoslavenski romanopisci, novinari, pa čak i vojni zapovjednici su ponudili vlastite verzije Vronskovog učešća u srpskom ustanku protiv Osmanskog Carstva na kraju romana da bi se suočili s još jednom nacionalnom traumom više od stoljeća kasnije.  Ovdašnji članak proučava način na koji je ova zanimljiva zb(i)rka post-jugoslavenske rusoljubne literature preuzela, nanovo protumačila, te u nekim slučajevima proslavila Aninog potištenog ljubavnika-pa-ratnika u vlastite političke svrhe.


Tatiana Kuzmic has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois and is the author of Adulterous Nations: Family Politics and National Anxiety in the European Novel (Northwestern University Press, 2016).  She teaches Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian at Harvard University.