Amela Mustafić, two poems

  “Poetry is always relevant, but people don’t realise it. I see poetry in everything I look at. Poetry is manifested in all people. People recognise themselves only when they see their reflection in different eyes. See yourselves in the eyes of a homeless person and you will be writing a poem about humankind,” said Amela Mustafić in an interview.  []

Mrs. Isak

  Born as wheat was sown,  registered as it was reaped and Mehmed loaded his horses to sell a few sacks in town. They told her she needed just a few letters to sign her name and that schooling was: make bread, knit socks, marry off a chaste daughter and bring up good sons. She married Isak and lost her  []

A Male Child

  They had a happy life and a daughter with his eyes and nose. They loved the scent of earth after the rain, the sound of the woods, in the autumn, when the wind takes the leaves on a deadly swirl, leaving blood-red traces on the ground so that the pain renders a new flower in the spring. They had  []

The UN Srebrenica Genocide Resolution Is a Beacon of Hope for the Human Right to Memorialization and Transitional Justice

  When word reached Serbia that a UN General Assembly Resolution would designate July 11 as the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Nemanja Stevanović,  Permanent Representative to the UN from the Republic of Serbia, wrote a letter to the UN Secretary General to warn against the “dangerous consequences” of such a Resolution. Serbia’s representative  []

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  In front of the decorated tree at Clinton Square a group of protestors.  Not holding champagne but a banner: Ceasefire.  A worthy motif for a greeting card.    Beyond the tree  on the back page of our imagined card,  People skate and make merry,  though Christmas in Bethlehem is called off.    The lights of our colorful ornaments cannot  []

The Many Secretive Voices of Bosnia: An Appraisal of Derviš Sušić’s novel Spies

  There are few contemporary novels that appear to embody in such a convincing way the distinctively syncretic cultural and historical peculiarities of Bosnian identity – or, to quote Muhamed Filipović’s 1967 seminal essay, the “spirit of Bosnia” – such as Spies (Uhode, 1972) by author Derviš Sušić (1925-1990); significantly, the writer’s son Muhamed Sušić aptly described it in a  []

Meša Selimović’s Novel “The Fortress” as an Emblematic Representation of Yugoslav Socialist Modernism

  Introduction Drawing upon my dissertation research on the subversive tactics of Yugoslav literature in the period of late socialism, I will analyze the poetics of Meša Selimović’s renowned novel “The Fortress,” published in 1970.  Before delving into this research, my studies focused on Russian and English literature, and I did not have an insightful knowledge of the topic. My  []

A New Book by Rusmir Mahmutćehajić: Genocidal Anti-Bosnianism

  “Dobra Knjiga” Publishers are pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Rusmir Mahmutćehajić’s new book, Genocidal Anti-Bosnianism, the culmination of many years of research by the author into the ideology of genocidal anti-Bosnianism, an inadequately recognised aspect of the ongoing crime of genocide. For a crime of genocide to take place, four things are needed: a genocidal ideology, a  []

Dušan Karpatský

(January 31, 2017 – January 31, 2024) In the rich history of Czech-Yugoslav cultural relations, few individuals have left as profound a mark as Dušan Karpatský, who passed away seven years ago. In stark contrast to the controversial reactions in the South Slavic region to his death, his associates, admirers and friends – particularly Andreja Stojković – organized, in that  []

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine . . . .

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Milorad Dodik has been systematically suspending the authority of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Republic of Srpska (RS) and paving the way for its secession. The Serb lawmakers have voted for the suspension of the rulings of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which some experts interpret as  []

Three Sirens*

for Christina Pluhar I let the sirens’ voices lead me and began a new day. Even not knowing the words I know this is how one sings of love and freedom.  We have run a long road, from morning to dark.  Régimes have changed as seasons do,  people fallen like leaves. Odysseus had been warned: Plug your ears, they’ll seduce  []

Interfaith Ritual Kinship in a Polyethnic Society: Review of the Film, “The Constitution”

The Constitution [Ustav Republike Hrvatske], a Croatian film written and directed by Rajko Grlić (2016), dramatizes how living together in a society challenged by interethnic hatred and homophobia requires interconnectedness and understanding. Seemingly intractable differences are unexpectedly reconciled at the end of the film through the cultural custom of ritual kinship known as kum or godfatherhood. The film’s inspired but  []

Snow has fallen on the fruit-tree blossoms

Snow has fallen on the fruit-tree blossoms. Let each one love who his heart desires. If she will not, let him not impose it. From imposing there can be no blessing. Were I lucky rather than unlucky, and might I come up into your chambers, I would sit there on your silken cushions like a pasha among his faithful stewards  []

Sunday morning in Ithaca

  The city opens up in the morning, when, giddy from sleep, it throws off the covers of night. It greets passers-by with a gap-toothed asphalt smile full of holes and fillings and hugs them with its enchanting tree-lined streets which aren’t so easy to categorize in English. But I adore sidewalks, even when they are humpbacked. They are the  []

Waiting For My Soul

for Dominika Křesťanová Dear Wayles, I’m back from a long journey.  Rain saw me off in Prague and greeted me in Syracuse.  Were the heavens lamenting my departure or my return?  Or was it just a normal change of location which I try to assign some emotional higher sense to?  The plane took off gently, pierced the Prague rain  and  []

The Land, the People, and the Language of Petar Kočić

I will not talk about all the aspects of Petar Kočić, but only about three elements from the life and work of Petar Kočić —the land, the people and the language, and how these three elements show up in his life and work and influence them. »The Bosnia vilayet is crisscrossed in all directions by wild mountains«. With these words  []

Through the Snowstorm

It was already getting dark, and yet they could not sell their cow. Hardly had anyone even looked at them, let alone asked for the price. Not even to joke about it! The old man was deeply saddened by this, and felt a great deal of pain, and had he  any tears left, he would have cried bitterly and despairingly.  []

The Battle of Simeun the Deacon

Stillness. Only the cauldron sizzles, and sometimes a spark bursts, then it scatters and goes numb as if in a rage. A heavy, suffocating smell of oil and incense wafts through the broken church windows and mingles with the tepid brandy odor that rises above the boiling cauldron. Tell me, Mićan – master Glišo shook himself as if in deep  []

Mission Statement

Spirit of Bosnia has been publishing quarterly since 2006. Spirit of Bosnia disseminates scholarly research and writing on the history, politics, and literature of Bosnia-Herzegovina to honor and preserve the long-standing traditions of social and civil order that created Bosnia’s heritage. Notable scholars such as Ivo Banac, Tone Bringa, Robert Donia, John Fine, Ivan Lovrenović, Rusmir Mahmutćehajić, Noel Malcolm and others provide  []

Magic Dead of Winter

For Petr Hruška Short days of a long winter, the sun blinds you worse than in midsummer. On the white snow, dotted with raccoon pawprints, falls the dark shadow of a pine trodden down by my ski tracks from yesterday. Nearby, footprints of a deer—lively traffic—if you can see it. This is no desert, as disparaging city folks claim, it’s  []