Sarajevo Blues

Overview

From one of Bosnia’s most prominent poets and writers: spare and haunting stories and poems that were written under the horrific circumstances of the recent war in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Semezdin Mehmedinovic remained a citizen of Sarajevo throughout the Serbian nationalists’ siege and was active throughout the war in the city’s resistance movement, as one of the editor’s of the magazine Phantom of Liberty. Sarajevo Blues was originally published at the end of 1992 and was the first book in the Biblioteka ...

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Overview

From one of Bosnia’s most prominent poets and writers: spare and haunting stories and poems that were written under the horrific circumstances of the recent war in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Semezdin Mehmedinovic remained a citizen of Sarajevo throughout the Serbian nationalists’ siege and was active throughout the war in the city’s resistance movement, as one of the editor’s of the magazine Phantom of Liberty. Sarajevo Blues was originally published at the end of 1992 and was the first book in the Biblioteka “egzil-abc” series, published in Ljubljana, which provided a forum for Bosnian writers and translators under siege or living in exile. Semezdin Mehmedinovic says that “writing is, finally, quite a personal thing that doesn’t make much sense unless you are practicing for the last word.” For those Bosnians emerging from the siege or still in exile, these “last words” remain intimate possessions, one of the last bastions left against the commodification of tragedy.

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Editorial Reviews

Vesna Neskow
It is only in his occasional political commenary that Mehmedinovic flags somewhat; he's a poet, after all, not a political analyst. -- The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872863453
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Pages: 122
  • Sales rank: 644,542
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (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.

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Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction
Loss 1
Singular Dream 4
Corpse 5
August, 1989 6
The Phone Rings 7
In the Studio 8
Alifakovac 9
Stranger 10
Essay 11
Deserter 12
Spirituality 13
Stocking Hat 14
Back then 24
At the Edge of Town 25
The Chetnik Position 26
Expulsion 27
Cisterns / Rainwater 28
A Relatively Calm Day 29
No Man's Land 30
Crows 31
Grbavica 33
A Martyr's Resting Place 34
Lilies 35
Curfew 36
Getting Thinner 37
Looted Stores 38
Imam Bey's Mosque 39
Innocent Civilians 44
Fires 46
Milomir Kovacevic 47
Lion's 48
Glass 49
Zambak / Muslims 50
Kids 52
Hero 53
Grenade 54
Traffic 56
Photographers 57
Wounded Parks 59
War Profiteers 60
White Death 62
Politics 63
Vestibule 64
What will you Remember? 66
Ruins 68
War 70
Animals 71
Cat 72
Shelter 74
Washing the Dead 76
Exodus 78
Bernard-Henri Levy 79
Lapisnica / Eduard Limonov 80
Sign 81
Massacre 83
Freedom 84
Surplus History 88
New Experience 90
Tunnel 92
Zenica Blues 97
Dates 105
An Interview with Semezdin Mehmedinovic 106
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