Frontières et ponts dans les Balkans. Le cas d’Aline Apostolska.

Fournier Kiss, Corinne (2021). Frontières et ponts dans les Balkans. Le cas d’Aline Apostolska. In: Suter, Patrick; Fournier Kiss, Corinne (eds.) Poétique des frontières. Une approche transversale des littératures de langue française (XXe-XXIe siècles. Voltiges (pp. 193-216). Genève: MetisPresses 10.37866/0563-94-50

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

A territory marked by diverse ethnicities, crossing and exile, the Balkans were from a very early period thought about in terms of frontiers: borderlands between the Roman Empires of East and West, between the Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian Empires, and between a united Europe and a divided Other. But in addition to the fact that this region functioned as a frontier due to its geographical location, the three Balkan Wars (1912, 1913 and 1991-2001) instilled in Europe the idea that the Balkan Peninsula can be defined by an obsession with drawing and delineating its national and ethnic borders.
This paper examines how this same motif of the frontier (borders and boundaries) is treated after the Yugoslav Wars by women writers from these regions who wrote in French. The case of Aline Apostolska, a Franco-Canadian writer of Macedonian origin now living in Montreal, is particularly eloquent: in her autobiographical narratives entitled Lettre à mes fils qui ne verront jamais la Yougoslavie (1997) and Neretva (2005), she is only able to recollect her childhood spent in a land now fragmented into multiple countries by reviewing the bridges and rivers of the Balkans, which she describes not as agents of division, but as symbols ofunity among peoples, cultures, religions and genders. Her recreation of all these bridges once built by the Turks, even those which were destroyed by war, allows her to testify that Yugoslavia, “with its principles of an absence of official language, official religion or official culture”, with its “freedom of expression, writing and respect for the differences of others” really did exist and, moreover, worked! At the same time, she understands that the frontier between her Yugoslavian past and her Francophone present, which she believed to be irrevocable, is in fact permeable and can become a place of reconciliation with her origins, the world and oneself.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of French Language and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Fournier Kiss, Corinne


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 840 French & related literatures
400 Language > 440 French & related languages
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
900 History










Corinne Ingrid Fournier Kiss

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2020 11:58

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:38

Publisher DOI:


Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Balkans, Yougoslavie, frontière, pont, fleuve, guerre, Aline Apostolska


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback