about the writer
Branislav Nušić aka Ben Akiba
Branislav Nušić (Бранислав Нушић) ( October 8, 1864 — January 19, 1938) was a Serbian novelist, playwright, satirist, essayist and founder of modern rhetoric in Serbia. He also worked as a journalist and a civil servant. He was of Cincar ( Aromanian Vlach) origin.
Born Alkibijad Nuša ( Alchiviadi al Nusha in Aromanian) in Belgrade, Principality of Serbia to a well-off family, Nušić enjoyed the benefits of a privileged upbringing for only a brief time. His father Đorđe Nuša was a well known grain merchant of Cincar ( Aromanian Vlach) origin who lost his wealth shortly after his son’s birth and was forced to move the family to Smederevo where young Alkibijad attended elementary school and first two grades of boarding school. During his teens, Nuša moved back to Belgrade where he graduated from boarding school. Upon turning 18 years of age, he legally changed his name to Branislav Nušić. In 1884, he graduated from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law. During his studies, he also spent a year in Graz, Austria-Hungary.
Twenty-one-year-old Nušić fought in the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885 while serving in the Serbian Army. After the war, he published a controversial poem “Dva Raba” in Dnevni list for which he spent two years in prison. The poem ridiculed Serbian King Milan, namely his decision to attend the funeral of the Serbian-born Austro-Hungarian general Dragutin Franasović’s mother instead of that of the war’s hero, Captain Mihailo Katanić who died as a result of wounds sustained while saving the regimental flag from the hands of Bulgarians.
At first, Nušić’s sentence was only two months, but the King pressured the judges to extend it. Despite harsh prison conditions, Nušić still managed to write a comedy: Protekcija ( Protection ).
When he first asked the prison intendant, Ilija Vlah, for the permission to write, Vlah told him that it was the writing that got him into prison, and denied his request. Knowing that intendant read all outgoing mail, Nušić wrote a brief letter to the second husband of his aunt (he was related to her first husband), who served as a minister of justice. Nušić addressed Gersic as uncle and told him how it would be much easier for him to serve 2 years if he could write. He noted that he had no interest in writing political texts, and signed the letter your nephew . One day later, Vlah allowed him to write literature.
In 1889, Nušić became a civil servant. As an official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he was appointed to clerk of consulate in Bitola, where he eventually married (1893). He spent a decade in southern Serbia and Macedonia. His last post in this region was vice-consul in Pristina.
In 1900, Nušić was appointed as a secretary of Ministry of Education, and shortly afterwards he became a head dramaturgist of the National Theatre in Belgrade. In 1904, he was appointed a head of Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad. In 1905, he left his new post and moved to Belgrade to work as a journalist.
In 1912, Nušić returned to Bitola as a civil servant. In 1913, he founded a theater in Skopje, where he lived until 1915. Due to the World War I, Nušić fled the country and lived in Italy, Switzerland and France for its duration.
After the war, Nušić was appointed to be the first head of the Art Department of the Ministry of Education. He remained at this post until 1923. Afterwards, he was appointed head of Narodno pozorište (National Theater) in Sarajevo. In 1927, he returned to Belgrade.