Saturday 21 April 2012
Zlatko Dizdarevic, Sarajevo - A War Journal
As promised, here's another look at literature written from besieged Sarajevo.
Sarajevo - A War Journal is on some deep level the very same story - a tragedy of living in a bombarded city. But it is written for a very different public than Goodbye Sarajevo's. From what I gathered, it was originally published in a periodical column for a Sarajevan newspaper, during the time of conflict. Well, you can guess this much after reading the book - regular length of chapters and rather strong propaganda notes give some hints here. Still - I liked it.
Dizdarevic's book is not nice. His opinions are not nice, kind, polite, just the opposite. He expresses hatred, rage, helplessness, cynicism - not pretty, but completely believable in circumstances. He's being venomous, hurtful, intolerant, definitely unlikeable from time to time. That's why he also appears authentic. Somehow, I don't expect people living through a tragedy to be likeable. Why on Earth should they be?
Personally, I found Dizdarevic's barbed, opinionated style of reporting rather refreshing. I still don't consider his account the ultimate truth, but I doubt I would label anyone's version as such. I can say that Sarajevo - A War Journal is mature, well-written and very moving at times, with its strange mixture of despairing cynicism and rough kindness.
Not life-changing, but definitely worth reading.