Novak Kilibarda – lik i djelo


Dedicated to literary and scientific work of Prof. Dr Novak Kilibarda

Novak Kilibarda is a Montenegrin literature historian, politician, writer and activist, born July 7, 1934, in Banjani, Nikšić.

Education: Ph.D. (Literature/History of literature) 1969, Professor of literature (Theory of literature). Worked at the Višegrad high school, Nikšić Pedagogical Academy, the Faculty of Philosophy and the University of Donja Gorica. Career: Minister Advisor, Serbia and Montenegro Embassy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2004-2006; Chief of Diplomatic Mission of Montenegro in Bosia and Herzegovina 2000-2004; Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Montenegro, 1998-2000; University Professor. Organisational Memberships: Association of Montenegrin Writers; Doclean Academy of Sciences and Arts (first senate chairman). Community Activities: Montenegrin National Theater (chairmen of the council). Creative Works: Author, 10 scientific books, 11 collections of short stories, three dramas and four novels. Personal interests include Politics and Diplomacy; he actively supports the official use of the Montenegrin language and rights of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, while he strongly criticizes policy of the Serbian Orthodox Church and its metropolitan in Montenegro, Amfilohije Radović. Honors and awards: “Radoje Domanović“, “Branko Ćopić“, “Jedinstvo“ (book of the year 1988), The Serbian Literary Cooperative award, „13 July prize“ (the greatest Montenegrin national award), Medal of Honor Celebrating two Millenniums of Christianity, International Peace Prize, etc.

Political career

Novak Kilibarda joined politics early on, in the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Montenegrin branch), very early climbing into its leading ranks, including the position of a parliamentary MP of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro. After writing a preface to anthology which mentions a song of glory of Krsto Zrnov Popović, a national enemy at that time, he was expelled from all Party and Republic positions by rigid communist regime and lost Party membership in 1971. He was also replaced in the position of Director of the Pedagogy Academy. Veljko Milatović was against firing him from the position of professor altogether, so that did not happen. This has led to Kilibarda acquiring a strong anti-Communist position and sliding into pro-Serbian policy – something that he later regretted.

In the late 1980s the Serb nationalist movements were strengthening in SR Montenegro. In 1990, with arrival of multiparliamentarism, Montenegrin intellectuals gathered around Novak Kilibarda and formed the People’s Party of Montenegro, claiming heritage from the old People’s Party from the beginnings of the 20th century in the Montenegrin realm.

Kilibarda eventually became a fierce opponent of Slobodan Milošević, claiming that his work is against national interests. It is so that he, altogether with leader of Liberal Alliance of Montenegro, Slavko Perović, formed a coalition The people’s concord („Narodna sloga“). Later, he joined „So that we live better“ coalition in 1997, supporting ousting of Milošević’s supporters. He was deputy prime minister in that government from 1998 to 2000.

Changing his opinion to more moderate views and disappointed by the Serbian nationalism in the Yugoslav wars, Kilibarda attained a pro-Montenegrin attitude, eventually supporting the idea of an independent Montenegro. He published many books in opposition to Serb-conducted war crimes and plead forgiveness of Croatia and Bosnia for his previous attitude. Outspoken supporter of breaking the federal state of Serbia and Montenegro, he was ousted from the pro-Serbian “People’s party“ in 2000 after what the party withdrew from coalition with DPS and SDP. Forming close relations with Doclean Academy of Sciences and Arts, he became one of the main protagonists of the view that Montenegrins are a unique nation – and not Serbs as Serbian nationalistic ideologues propagated so far. He was tirelessly active in the 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum campaign within the bloc for independence that ended in full victory.