Headline Dec 25, 2014/


MERRY CHRISTMAS  from !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless,   To The Whole World.

Student Ibrar Zahid succumbed to his injuries and died, this very evening,  and 27 other students battle death.

Pakistan remains deeply affected in mourning,  -and struggling for a spiritual poise.

So with a heavy bleeding heart, What greater honour than to discern the state-of-the-world for you all and acquaint you with great work:

Aleksandar Hemon, related the Peter, an Assyrian, with whom he plays chess, whose only son was shot by Iranian revolutionaries years ago.

During a game, Peter lashes out at the vapid chapter charter at a nearby table.
''It was wrong to talk about nothing.'' Mr Hemon observes, ''when there was a perpetual shortage of words for all the horrible things that happened in the world.''

IN LATE 1991 Alexander Hemon was at his family's mountain cabin above Sarajevo,  immersed in literature, when the Bosnian Serb nationalist and eventual war criminal  Radovan Karadzic  appeared on television.

When Mr Karadzic prophesied the   ''annihilation''  of Bosnia's Muslims,  Mr Hemon writes in a new book of essays, it surpassed anything his then 27-year old ''humanist imagination''  could conceive.

Grappling with the coexistence of humanism and genocide has been the Bosnian writer's business ever since. A literary fellowship took Mr Hemon to Chicago, where he was stranded when the siege of Sarajevo began.

He began producing works of fiction that circle relentlessly around the traumas of civil and exile. ''The Lazarus Project''  was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2008. This new collection examines, in non-fictional form, the defining rupture of his life.

''The Book of My Lives'' brings together essays published since 2000, most in the New Yorker. These are not memoirs, in the confessional sense, Mr Hemon says.

They are intended to bear witness to real events, and fix them in time. Some essays preserve a Sarajevo youth that will never return; others probe the pain of displacement; several bitterly document the betrayal of those who destroyed his homeland.

The earliest piece is a short dagger aimed at a  once-beloved literature professor turned genocidal Serbian nationalist. A fascinating essay on Mr Karadzic reveals the toxic myth embedded in a Serbian epic poem used to justify his slaughter.

The reports become more intimate when Mr Hemon describes the dislocation of exile and the challenge of inventing new life.

A life, like a city, is built of places where one is known, a  ''personal infrastructure: Your Kafana (coffee shop); your barber;your butcher''. Pets too can be anchors; when the family dog, Mek, puts his muzzle in Mr Hemon's lap, some of the self he had thought lost comes flooding back.    

Mr Hemon's fictions are virtuoso explosion of an adopted language that have earned him comparisons with Vladmir Nabokov. By comparison, these essays are restrained.

Readers will recognise, some as pale versions of stories he has fictionalised more exuberantly elsewhere. The best are acute meditations on exile and otherness, and the redeeming power of language.

Yet, paradoxically, language is man's best hope for addressing the unspeakable, he concludes in a wrenching account of his infant daughter's battle against brain cancer.

During the ordeal, his older daughter invents an imaginary friend they call Mingus, in order to use words for which she herself has no experience. Suddenly, Mr Hemon realises that is this what he has been doing all these years:

''Fictional characters allowed me to understand what was hard for me to understand    -which, so far, has been nearly everything-,''  he writes.

Decades ago in Sarajevo,  this talented writer had a radio programme called ''Sasha Hemon Tells You True and Untrue Stories.''

Readers, Students, and the world will do well to tune in to his new stories now.    

With respectful dedication to the Students of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Together We  Survive '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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