Téa Obreht e Sara Nović: l’esotico alla balcanica
In the contemporary literary universe, where the ‘commercial pole’ of literary field prevails over the ‘autonomous’ one, according to the dichotomy introduced by Pierre Bourdieu and furtherly developed by Pascale Casanova, the phenomena of so-called ‘world fiction’, has been becoming increasingly widespread. Considering that many readers read the works of fiction in order to experience the Other and the Alterity, the writers originating from or somehow related to peripheral cultures are expected to represent their cultures. The value of authenticity is attributed to their representations, even if the author’s autonomy is significantly limited by the rules of the chosen genre (‘world fiction’), and of the literary field they are trying to penetrate. Starting from these premises and focusing on the extraordinary success of two American writers of Balkan origin, Tea Obreht and Sara Nović, in this paper I will try to provide some answers to the following questions: what is the expected image of the Balkan in the USA literary field? Is the discourse of balcanism still present? And why do these images, although fictional, have an importance for the real world?
Keywords: Commercial pole. Literary field. The Balkans. Téa Obreht. Sara Nović.Submitted: March 11, 2019