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,,Zona Zamfirova“ is a book that generations grow up with. What is the secret of her popularity? Why, even a hundred years after the first edition, are theater plays, television series, feature films and musicals staged, and why are they, as a rule, hits of their time? How did a generally accepted, national work emerge from a conventional plot about two young people, separated by class differences, who find peace in a marital port after numerous love affairs? Because the work is not a topic but the way it is interpreted.
,,Zona Zamfirova“ is a literary work by the Serbian writer Stevan Sremac.
The plot of the novel takes place at the end of the 19th century in Nis. It is a story about the love of a girl and a boy who come from different social strata, so that love is neither simple nor easily achievable.
Although written a long time ago, this novel resembles today's romantic comedies where in the end love always wins. Two young people who love each other, regardless of class, wealth, outdated customs and the wishes and intentions of others, end up together.
The novel begins with a description of the main heroine who is admired by everyone in Nis. The Zone is so beautiful that a song was even sung about it. All the young men were in love with her, including the young goldsmith Mane, who was old enough to get married. Although Mane liked Zona, she was the landlord's daughter, so she didn't want to show it.
After Zona finally admitted her feelings for Manet, their aunts and other relatives intervened. Manet's aunt asked for Zona for him, but her aunts were against it because he was a craftsman. They wanted to marry Zona to some rich and respectable guy.
The zone was forced to tell Manet that he was not for her, while her father, Haji-Zamfir, spread bad stories about him in the bazaar. In order to take revenge, Mane faked Zona's marriage to another in front of people. He set everything up so that it looked as if she had run away from home to get married, even though she was actually in the house the whole time.
In the bazaar, they interpreted all this as if Haji-Zamfir had immediately found the Zone and forcibly returned it home. Stories about Zona's shame spread very quickly in the place, so a new song was even sung. Her father and aunts tried in various ways to correct the situation, but they did not succeed.
While everyone was enjoying Zona's shame, Mane was unhappy deep down because he still loved Zona. The zone was getting sadder and sadder, and that was especially hard for her father. In the end, however, he decided to give in, so he went to Manet and advised him to come and beg Zona.
For a long time, even among learned people, it was not known that Stevan Sremac wrote his best work on the basis of a true event that took place in Pristina at the end of the 19th century. Sremac heard the whole story from Branislav Nusic, who in 1895 was the Serbian consul in Pristina. After arriving from Pristina one summer evening on Kalemegdan, Nusic, on a walk, told everything to Sremcu. Sremac was delighted and asked a friend to let him process this story. The only condition that Nusic said was not to mention Pristina in part, because he drank a lot of good coffee in the house of Chorbadji Zamfir! Sremac replied: "I will take your Zone to my beautiful Nis. Not even her own father will recognize her there. "
By the way, in real life, after the "scandal", Zona married a poor and handsome young man, tailor Aleksa Grbić. The young couple Alex and Zona moved immediately to Prizren where they gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The Zona then moved to Ferizaj with his family, and during the occupation in 1943, he came to Belgrade. She first settled in Resnik, then in Zvezdara, and finally in Ulica 27. marta broj 89. She spent her old age silently and quietly until 1952, when the truth about the Zone was discovered. In the same year, during the time of the manager Rasa Plaovic, the play Zona Zamfirova was staged at the National Theater. The zone, in traditional costume, with the inevitable trousers, attended the premiere in the second row.
She died in 1952, shortly after the premiere of the play, at the age of 75, and was buried in the New Cemetery in Belgrade. It is still written on her grave: "This is where Zona Zamfirova rests."
If you liked the story of Zona Zamfirova, you can find a film of the same name based on the mentioned novel on the Internet. The film directed by Zdravko Sotra. The film was shot in Serbian, but you can definitely find an English subtitles.
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