The famous Serbian writer Laza Kostić, the author of the best Serbian poem, “Santa Maria della Salute”, was born on January 31, 1841.
Kostić is the originator of Serbian avant-garde lyrics, whose poetry is the pinnacle of Romanticism in Serbian literature.
He taught high school in Pančevo, Novi Sad and Budim, and graduated in law from Pest, where he received his doctorate.
As an associate of Svetozar Miletić, a Serb leader in Vojvodina in the fight for national rights, he went on secret missions to Serbia and Montenegro. He was arrested twice by Hungarian authorities.
According to his contemporaries, Laza Kostic was a strong and original lyrical nature, a polyglot and an intellectual of exceptional education. He enriched the Serbian language with new expressions and introduced new and bold poetic forms.
Thanks to his translations, the works of the greatest English and world writer William Shakespeare became famous in this region as well.
Laza Kostić’s most famous works are lyrical songs, ballads, tragedies “Maksim Crnojević”, “Pera Segedinac”, treatises “A Critical Introduction to General Philosophy”, “About Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj, His Singing, Thinking and Writing”, the Aesthetic Writing “The Basis of Beauty in with particular regard to Serbian folk songs “.
Laza Kostić was a poet, writer, journalist, philosopher, polyglot and politician, and was considered one of the greatest minds in Serbian literature. He devoted himself to writing poetry and translating from European languages.
He was the most interesting and prominent poetic figure of the second half of the 19th century in Serbia.
He knew Greek, Latin, German, French, English, Russian, Hungarian, he read in all these languages, translated from some, and wrote in German, French and Latin.
His intellectual education was most influenced by Hellenic literature and philosophy: Homer, Aeschylus, Heraclitus …
At only eighteen, in 1859, Kostic began to translate Shakespeare into Serbian. Hellenism, Shakespeare, Serbian folk poetry – these are the three basic assumptions of Kostic’s work.
He dedicated his famous poem “Santa Maria della Salute” to the tragically deceased Lenka Dunđerski, and these verses are considered by many critics and connoisseurs of poetry to be the best poetic work in Serbian literature.
Laza Kostić passed away in Vienna on November 26, 1910, and was buried in the Grand Orthodox Cemetery in Sombor.
He will be remembered as one of the most significant writers of Serbian Romanticism.