Vojislav Jovanović Marambo

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Vojislav M. Jovanović Marambo (October 12, 1884 - 1968) was a well known Serbian drama critic, playwright, historian, university professor, versatile personality, diplomat and research scholar. He first made a name for himself as a drama critic, playwright, and historian of literature with a particular emphasis on the study of folklore, then translator, journalist, bibliographer, archivist, diplomat, and above all a passionate collector of books and bibliophile.[1] He is often ranked as one of the great playwrights in the tradition of European naturalism and a proponent of the kitchen sink drama, long before it became a trend in 1950.


Vojislav Jovanović Marambo was born and died in Belgrade. He accumulated a personal library of more than 6,000 books at the address where he lived all his life — 82 years. Beside all else, Marambo was an avid photographer, who never married, but was often seen in the company of beautiful women who were the subject of his many photographs.

The end of the 19th century in Serbian theater was characterized by an end to the dominant influence of German models: the Burgtheater in Vienna was until that time the centre of theater tendencies and influenced the organizational model of most European theaters. With Henrik Ibsen's death in 1906, the same year an important Serbian Ibsen-style naturalist play first appeared. The play in question is Naši sinovi (Our Sons) and its author—Vojislav Jovanović Marambo—is the only true representative of Naturalism (theatre) in the history of Serbian drama. Marambo does not belong to the group of classic authors readily performed today, but the historical importance of his works is beyond doubt: at the time it was written, his small opus represented a sharp break with the then-dominant trend of well-made plays. The naturalist characteristics of Naši sinovi and other Marambo plays are typical of the genre: an authentic depiction of the social setting (the faculty, financial circles, or the press) and topics such as the breakup of the middle-class family unit, poverty as a source of moral downfall, and the destruction of progressive ideals under outside pressure.

Maramo and his colleagues (Ivo Andrić, Jovan Dučić, Miloš Crnjanski, Milan Ćurčin and others) founded Serbian PEN.

He translated Voltaire and Henrik Ibsen.


  • Naši sinovi (Our Sons), drama in four acts, with an epilogue, Mostar, 1907. Publisher: Štamparsko umjetnički zavod Pahera i Kisića. Kol. Mala biblioteka, knj. XXVIII, sv. 139/140.
  • Karijera, comedy in three acts; Belgrade, Publisher: Gece Kona, 1914.
  • Naš zet (Our Son-in-Law), drama in one-act; Belgrade, Publisher: Gece Kona, 1914.
  • Naši očevi (Our Fathers), comedy in three-acts, Belgrade, Publisher: Gece Kona, 1914.
  • Tako reče Zaratustra (Thus Spoke Zaratustra), drama in three-acts (editor Vaso Milinčević), Književna istorija, 1974, VI, 24, str. 703-739.


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