Nine Alexandrias

Overview

Translated from the Bosnian with an introduction by Ammiel Alcalay

Following his depiction of Bosnia under siege in the much celebrated Sarajevo Blues, Semezdin Mehmedinovic´ now explores the vast space of his new continent. Mostly written in response to a cross-country journey by train in post 9-11 America, Mehmedinovic´’s Nine Alexandrias provides a poetry of witness and testimony of a very different order. In this nightmarish and exhilarating odyssey, Mehmedinovic´’s ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $1.99   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Translated from the Bosnian with an introduction by Ammiel Alcalay

Following his depiction of Bosnia under siege in the much celebrated Sarajevo Blues, Semezdin Mehmedinovic´ now explores the vast space of his new continent. Mostly written in response to a cross-country journey by train in post 9-11 America, Mehmedinovic´’s Nine Alexandrias provides a poetry of witness and testimony of a very different order. In this nightmarish and exhilarating odyssey, Mehmedinovic´’s political acuity is displayed everywhere but barely pronounced. In Washington, D.C., his new home, the graphic and tactile affirmation of life amidst horror depicted so masterfully in Sarajevo Blues, turns into an eerie silence that permeates both the expanse of the land and the heart of the American empire.

Praise for Semezdin Mehmedinovic´’s Sarajevo Blues:

"A memorable literary achievement."—Library Journal

"Sarajevo Blues is widely considered here to be the best piece of writing to emerge from the besieged capital since Bosnia’s war erupted in April 1992."—The Washington Post

"In poems, micro-essays, and prose vignettes, Semezdin Mehmedinovic´ charts the collapse of a world with clear-eyed passion for the truth that one finds in the young Hemingway, the Hemingway of In Our Time."—Paul Auster

Semezdin Mehmedinovic´ was born in Tuzla, Bosnia in 1960 and is the author of five books. Mehmedinovic´ -arrived in the U.S. as a political refugee in 1996, and he is currently living in Alexandria, Virginia.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It consists of three sequences; two of them while purposefully understated, are as good as anything published in English this year... Alcalay's English never feels forced or rushed, and his very acute introduction articulates the book's underlying conceit perfectly.
Nuvo.net
Mehmedinovic¹s prose is not self-righteous or sentimental; instead, it¹s direct and makes its points with observation and attendant remarks.
Julianna Thibodeaux
Publishers Weekly
In 1996, Mehmedinovic, then a Sarajevo-based poet and dissident originally from Bosnia, emigrated to the U.S. as a political refugee. His third book, Sarajevo Blues, was published in 1998 by City Lights, also with translations by Alcalay (From the Warring Factions). Now in his early 40s, Mehmedinovic offers this fourth collection, completed in 2001. It consists of three sequences; two of them, while purposefully understated, are as good as anything published in English this year. The title series of short lyrics opens, imagining "at least nine cities in America called Alexandria" (his is the one outside of Washington D.C. in Virginia) and how one might "mov[e] from one/ American Alexandria to another,/ On the same Egyptian dock" as the poet and poems cross the country. The terrific "This Door Is Not an Exit," written in slowed-down, sometimes fragmentary couplets, reflects on exile in the aftermath of violence, death and continued political insolubility: "I am, in fact, where you are, to make/ your weariness inspire meaning." The final sequence, "8 Things About Cadillac," takes in everything from the ironies of a luxury car named for a destroyed people (and that now drives over their land), to the fact that "The longest lasting Cadillac in memory/ Is the one JFK is dying in." Alcalay's English never feels forced or rushed, and his very acute introduction articulates the book's underlying conceit perfectly: "Mehmedinovic's narrator holds the pulse to the real by protecting us from what he has seen and known in another life.... a very different kind of witness" that "transports us to an America we haven't yet known but must be prepared to recognize." Readers will find their various Alexandrias among the many geographical muses here. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872864238
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: City Lights Pocket Poets Series , #56
  • Pages: 98
  • Sales rank: 953,900
  • Product dimensions: 4.70 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Ammiel Alcalay is a poet, translator, critic, and scholar who teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center, where he is the Deputy Chair of the PhD Program in English. His latest work is Scrapmetal (Factory School, 2006). He is also editor and translator of Keys to the Garden, and Semezdin Mehmedinovic's Sarajevo Blues, both published by City Lights. Ammiel Alcalay is a poet, translator, critic, and scholar who teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center, where he is the Deputy Chair of the PhD Program in English. His latest work is Scrapmetal (Factory School, 2006). He is also editor and translator of Keys to the Garden, and Semezdin Mehmedinovic's Sarajevo Blues, both published by City Lights.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Translator's Preface
Nine Alexandrias 3
Sufism 4
Pound 5
Prison Crowd 6
East and West 7
Functions of the Heart 8
JFK 9
Iceberg 10
Reading Method 11
Myth and Text 12
Sign of the Times 13
Red Boulder 14
Arcosanti 15
Flag 16
Moorish Fountain 17
After Spicer 18
Hotel Room 19
Fountain 20
Journey Into the Cosmos 21
KGB 22
Open Dialogue 23
Mormon Archive 24
Mist 25
An Essay on Tattoos 26
Precautionary Manifesto 27
New Art 28
A Question of Copyright 29
For the Sorrow of a Continent 30
Out of the Rainy Zone 31
A Door Upright in the Wind 32
I'll describe myself, my life and that means ... 35
It's already five years I've been tracking ... 36
In one of those parking lots in McLean ... 37
In the garden of a restaurant a reddish colored ... 38
Desolate February morning, I stumble ... 39
I stop brooding as soon as I ... 40
I never had a house of my own ... 41
We had to stop and turn back ... 42
Ramona and I fold sheets ... 43
This town's political, and we're nowhere to be found ... 44
I'll never forget the woman ... 45
An expert on bird-calls ... 46
I only saw the little African chimp ... 47
Yes, I used to hang out with some ... 48
While I'm reading my stuff about the war ... 49
I don't bear the sorrow of a people within me ... 50
I always answer differently when it comes to the question ... 51
At the fish market on the Potomac I think of my ... 52
The sun went down right ... 54
In dreams the colors are more intense ... 57
First Cadillac was eternal ... 57
"Cadillac grows in ice," Burroughs says ... 58
It's no accident tears reveal the very nature ... 58
In a world created was a result of the ... 59
I never saw Cadillac in a war zone ... 59
The novelist writes a poem on Cadillac ... 60
Looking from east to west, the ... 60
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)