The speech about Ivo Andrić was held by prof. Dr. Jovan Delić at the Andrić Institute, on the fifth day of the Book Fair in Andrićgrad. In the opening words of the speech “Ivo Andrić and First World War” prof. Delić shared his impressions of Andrić. We present the introduction in its entirety:
“I am deeply convinced that the world has no such place or energy as we have Andrićgrad and its creator Kusturica, Nemanja and Emir. There is nowhere so many magnificent buildings, monuments, memories, as in this place; There is nowhere so much harmony and taste created by the human hand and human mind, and in harmony with nature and God’s gifts. Ivo Andrić is in the center of his city, silent, imagined and slightly bowed shoulders, together with his chosen spiritual father, the tragic hero of the Kosovo thought, set in front of the Church of the Holy Czar Lazar – Njegoš; there is Nikola Tesla, who with his bare hands trampled and gripped lightning – the master of the lightning and its father, because he created it in his cabinet; from yesterday, here is also the great Vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, who had never left this place, he had connected his black stripe through his chest all his life, building up drinking fountains for his both confession, together with his relatives, Serbian patriarchs; here the Drina River forms a natural amphitheater and the stage is the bridge, the supreme one – the Bridge on the Drina – the bridge where the boy Ivo Andrić grew and that bridge was his obsession and inspiration, as a key symbol of his art; here is the creator of this place, the man of cosmic energy and the director famous all over the world – Emir Kusturica, the man who in this town has merged Byzantium, the Renaissance and the Turkish Square, Francisco Goya and Thomas Mann, an eternal young man who still imagines he will film Andrić’s novel about this supreme bridge.
It is an honor to be and to talk here, especially about Ivo Andrić and the First World War. Thank you for this honor. Please accept this speech as a small gift for your immeasurable goodness.”