Greats » Velikani | 93 Pod ruku sa Dositejem Muzej Vuka i Dositeja, kao deo Narodnog muzeja, posvećen je dvojici velikana srpske kulture, prvom –reformatorusrpskog jezika, adrugom – prosvetitelju i prvom srpskom ministru prosvete. Vukova zbirka je starija i bogatija, bazirana na poklonu njegove zaostavštineKraljevini Srbiji odVukove ćerke Mine. UDositejevoj zbirci nema ličnih i porodičnih predmeta, već samo likovnih priloga, arhivske građe, delova prepiske i prvih izdanja njegovih knjiga, jer je ostalo izgorelo u požaru 1813. Muzej se nalazi u Gospodar Jevremovoj ulici, na broju 21, u zgradi nekadašnje Velike škole, čiji je Dositej bio jedan od idejnih tvoraca, a Vuk jedan od prvih 20 učenika. ARM-IN-ARMWITHDOSITEJ Belgrade’s Vuk & Dositej Museum, which forms part of the National Museum, is dedicated to two greats of Serbian culture: the first is the great reformer of the Serbian language; the second is the great educator and Serbia’s first education minister. Vuk's collection is older and richer, based on his legacy that wasbequeathedtotheKingdomofSerbia by his daughter Mina. Dositej’s collection lacks any personal and family items, rather includingonlyartisticcontributions, archivalmaterial,partialcorrespondences andthefirsteditionsofhisbooks,because the rest was destroyed by fire in 1813. The museum is located at 21 Gospodar Jevremova Street, in the building of the former Great School where Dositej was among the conceptual creators and Vuk was among the first 20 pupils. low the knee due to rheumatism. That’s why he used a prosthetic wooden leg ‘stilt’ extension to ease walking and, despite being crippled in such a way, he still managed to tour almost the whole of Europe. It is not as well known, however, that he lived in poverty and headed to Russia to earn a pension that he could use to provide for his family. FromVienna, where he lived with his wife Anna Maria Kraus, he set off for Krakow at the beginning of December 1818, reveals Dr Branko Zlatković, senior research associate at the Institute for Literature and Art in Belgrade. He was warmly welcomed inKrakow, withhis good scientific reputation havingprecededhim, regardlessof the fact that therewas no internet back then. “Hewas a daily guest at the home of Jerzy Samuel Bandtkie, the bibliographer, philologist and historian who was the administrator of the Krakow library. However, lame and in a strange world, without resources or a companion, his long journey seemed uncertain.He feareddeath, sohe compileda list of his debtors and creditors,” explains Zlatković. He then travelled toWarsaw, where he almost went ‘stir crazy’ because he had to spend the whole of January awaiting a passport. It was while he was in Warsaw that he realised that an education abroad pays offmore than studying at home, observing the luxurious life of his Polish colleague Samuel Gottlieb Linde. Vuk's wife, Anna, barely survived that time, by pawning his portrait andher own ring andmost beautiful dresses. Apart from that, his sonMilutin fell ill and Anna was expecting another child from a total of 12 little Karadžićs. Among all of them, only one daughter, Mina, and one son, Dimitrije, survived, so it could be concluded that witches often take the form of poverty. Arriving in Saint Petersburg, he was astounded by the chilling cold, fromwhich “amanmust be careful that (his) ears don’t drop off”. Speaking to Jernej Kopitar, the great linguist conveyed his fascination with ‘white nights’ in the followingway: “There are almost no nights here. You can read until 11 o’clock without a candle”. He didn’t receive a Russian pension at that time, but he did get one later, in 1826. The next stoponhis travelswasNovgorod, followed by Moscow, where construction of the city was in full swing, then Kiev and Chișinău. “From there he headed, via Moldavia and Wallachia, to Banat, Srem and Slavonia, in order to tour and describe the Serbianmonasteries there. However, in the Romanian city of Iași he encountered the plague. He was terrified of the city ‘where all shops are closed and where every man fears the other’,” recounts Zlatković, providing a picture that’s reminiscent of today's pandemic. Longing for home after ten months of wandering, he alsowanted “strained soupwith rice andbeef, and tomato sauce accompanied by mead”, says Zlatković. Recounting all the towns he’d passed through to Lukijan Mušicki, the poet and later bishop, Vuk received the following response: “You bring honour not only to your head, but also to that wooden leg of yours, which – after your death – Serbian museums will vie for.” Writing further in the same correspondence, Mušicki suggested in jest that he describe his odyssey with “the rest of us with healthy legs – we read”. Vuk's wooden appendage is today preserved as an exhibit in Belgrade’s Vuk &Dositej Museum, a fact that oncepromptedanoutcry fromSerbia’s onlyNobel laureate, Ivo Andrić. Considering the exhibiting of the wooden legdistasteful, Andrićprotestedwiththewords: “Well, for God's sake, he didn't use it to write.” Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, the originator of the principle, “write as you speak, and read as it is written”, died in Vienna in 1864, richer in admirers than monetary wealth. His glory lives on and increases thanks to the works that he left behind. FOTO: Dositejev muzej / Dusan Milenković FOTO: Tršić / Dusan Milenković / Vladimir Živojinović011 Rodna kuća Vuka Karadžića u Tršiću The house in Tršić where Vuk Karadžić was born