Davico, Oskar

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Davičo, Oskar


Born Jan. 18, 1909, in Ŝabac. Serbian author.

Davičo graduated from the department of philosophy of the University of Belgrade (1930); he worked as a secondary school teacher. He was a member of the so-called Belgrade surrealist group but soon joined the intelligentsia associated with the Yugoslav Communist Party. He was sentenced to penal servitude in 1932 for his propaganda activity. During the fascist occupation of Yugoslavia he was imprisoned in an Italian concentration camp; after Italy’s surrender in 1943 he crossed over into partisan territory and took part in the people’s fight for freedom.

Davičo’s creative path and his ideological and aesthetic positions are contradictory. In the early 1930’s he wrote within the framework of surrealist poetics (the collection Anatomy, 1930); from the late 1930’s to the early 1950’s elements of realism predominated in his works (the collection Verses, 1938, the narrative poem Zrenjanin, 1947, and the collection Cherry Tree Beyond the Wall, 1950). Then Davičo again introduced modernism into his works and became one of its chief theorists. His poems in those years became abstract and hard to interpret (the poem Man of Men, 1953, and the collections Inhabited Eyes, 1956, and Kairos, 1959).

Davičo experimented with artistic prose as well. The novel Song (1952), which portrays the struggle of the Belgrade Komsomol youths and members of the underground with the fascist invaders, is on the whole realistic (although it also contains many elements of Freudianism in its characterizations). The novels Concrete and Fire-flies (1956) and the tetralogy Prison (Silence, 1963; Hunger, 1963; Secrets, 1964; and Flight, 1966) are close to Song in style. In these works, as in his novels written in a particularly modernistic, primarily surrealistic, style (The Working Name Is Eternity, 1958; Thoroughbass, 1962), Davico poses the problems of socialism. humanism, and revolutionary ethics in a controversial way, frequently treating them from a Freudian point of view.


Nikolin, V. M., and E. I. Riabova. “Na lozhnom puti.” In the collection Literatura slavianskikh narodov, issue 6. Moscow, 1961.
Il’ina, G. Ia. “Romany Oskara Davicho.” Ibid., issue 7. Moscow, 1962.
Kapidžić-Osmanagić. H. Srpski nadrealizam i njegovi odnosi sa francuskim nadrealizmom. Sarajevo, 1966.
Bibliografiia Oskara Davicho. Belgrade, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.