After the personal, confessional nature of the early prose poems, the first impression conveyed by Andrić’s short stories is of their objectivity. Andrić as an individual, with a particular life's path and expirience, is remarkably absent from his prose fiction. But this objectivity is only on the surface. The many characters and situations portrayed all tend to illustrate those fundamental facts of human existence with which Andrić is concerned in his verse. The extent to which all his works are indeed part of one and the same work becomes clear as the symbolic quality of the stories emerges. Andrić’s first collection of short stories entitled “The Journey of Ali Đerzelez” was published in 1920. In the interwar period Andrić published three books of stories simply entitled as “Short stories”, in 1924, 1931 and in1936; the collection of stories “New Short Stories” in 1948, “Panorama” in 1950, “Faces” in 1960 and “The House on Its Own”, posthumously, in 1976.
The major part of his fiction consists of short stories, comprising eight volumes of the collected works if one includes the novella, “Damned Yard“, as opposed to the four novelas. The stories cover a range of themes, although many of them, and the majority of those published before the Second World War, are set in Bosnia at different points in its history. The subsequent course of Andrić's life as a diplomat is quite removed from his central interests as a writer. Some aspects of his public life are reflected in the stories published in this period but these are only settings; the the intricacies of diplomatic life and writer's own activity in it play no part..
The stories do, however, arrange themselves into groups, and this is how they have been printed in the collected works, with the author's agreement. There is, for example, one volume entitled “Children“, which contains tales concerning children or seen through their eyes. There is a whole series of stories, set in the little town of Višegrad, which are similar to the individual and more or less self-contained chapters of the novel “The Bridge on the Drina”. There are also stories connected with Sarajevo and with Travnik. In these stories set in Bosnia there is a strong sense of history, some dramatic moments recur, such as Serbian uprising of 1804 and the uprising in Višegrad in 1878. They are, mainly, written in the period 1920-1941. There are also some stories, written between 1945-1960, like pieces of fantasy which are close to Andrić's prose poetry or reflctive prose than to conventional narrative fiction.