Bosnians in Death and the Dervish

Hasan remembered how in Constantinople he had spoken about the dignity of his countrymen, and laughed. Fortunately for himself, he did not hold anything against anyone or complain. He took everything that happened to him like a cruel joke. Others are even worse, he would say, and it seemed to me that he was defending his earlier enthusiasm more than  []

Hassan in Constantinople: Portrait of Bosnia from “Death and the Dervish”

Hassan adapted badly. He was oversensitive about everything concerning himself and his homeland and convinced of human values that he thought would be recognized everywhere. Finding himself in the rich imperial city, with its intricate connections and relationships between people—necessarily merciless, like among sharks in the deep sea, falsely polite, hypocritically polished, interwoven like the threads of a spider’s web—the  []

Isak Samokovlija

After the Second World War, Samokovlija dedicated one of his stories to his mother, Sara, with these words: “I’m happy that she died before the war and did not experience the horrors to which we have been witnesses.” I cite this dedication, the bitterest of all dedications I know, with an uncertain memory, for nowhere in his collected or selected  []