Serbian language and spelling reformer Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, one of the most prominent figures in Serbian culture, creator of the new spelling and literary language, has died on this day in 1864.
Karadžić was a self-taught genius who made a turning point in Serbian literature, which since his time has acquired a distinct national and national character.
At the “Literary Arrangement” of Serbian and Croatian cultural workers in Vienna in 1850, he allowed the Stokavian dialect of the Serbian vernacular to become a unique literary language of both nations.
He taught basic literacy in the village with a relative of a merchant, then in a school in Loznica and in the monastery of Tronoš. In the First Serbian Uprising he was the scribe of the Duke Ćurčija, then a teacher in Belgrade and a customs officer on the Danube near Kladovo.
After the fall of the First Serbian Uprising in 1813 and his departure for Vienna, he began collecting folk songs and works and working in the Serbian language and spelling.
He soon published the first collection of folk songs and the “Writer” and in 1818 the “Dictionary”.
He also wrote historical testimonials, dealt with ethnography, organized research in all Yugoslav countries, and conducted enormous correspondence. He fought against the authority of Prince Miloš Obrenović and a strong front against opponents of language reform.
He edited the almanac “Danica” and sought to make Europe aware of Serbian national treasures and the past. He gained many supporters but also bitter opponents.
He found friends in the most prominent minds of Europe, made Serbian folk songs, culture and history known throughout Europe, and was recognized by the distinguished University of Jena as an honorary doctorate.
His reform ideas took a decisive advantage in 1847, when Branko Radičević’s “Poems” were published, evidence that works of art can be written with “Vuko’s tongue”, and Đuro Daničić proved with the study “War for Serbian and Spelling” that Vuk’s tongues were justified settings.
The entire epoch – developed Serbian romanticism – was influenced by it.
Until the last minutes of his life, to the point where he wished to die to drink water from a hunting spring, Vuk proudly expressed his affection for Montenegro.
He met Peter the Second Petrović Njegoš in Vienna in 1833. The following year he went to Cetinje as a guest and in a short time collected a huge amount of folk oral material.
His remains were transferred from Vienna to his fatherland in 1897 and rest with the relics of Dositej Obradović in front of the Cathedral Church in Belgrade.