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The Second Book (Writings from an Unbound…
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The Second Book (Writings from an Unbound Europe)

by Muharem Bazdulj

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An intriguing collection of essays/stories by the Bosnian writer, with echoes of Kiš, Kundera and Borges. All of the pieces evince a stong and idiosyncratic intellect at play, although not all are equally convincing. The story Tears in Turin has some disconcertingly clunky shifts in narrative focus, but is saved by a strong ending. The Hot Sun’s Golden Circle might be intriguing to readers unfamiliar with the story of the pharoah Amenhotep IV, but otherwise has little to offer. The best pieces here (which, to my mind, are A Twilight Encounter and Fiat Iustitia), however, have a genuinely Borgesian density to them…
1 vote misteraitch | Dec 11, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0810119366, Paperback)

The protagonists of The Second Book, are connected vertically and horizontally by their struggles. Nietzsche, on the edge of madness, spends a number of mornings contemplating his sweeping ideas and the tiny details of life through hazes left by "the gluey fingers of sleep." In "The Hot Sun's Golden Circle," the pharaoh Amenhotep IV, discoverer of monotheism, embarks on a search for the only true god of Egypt. Bazdulj's charming and funny "The Story of Two Brothers" examines the lives of William and Henry James from the shadows of the Old Testament and the age-old archetype of conflict between an eldest brother and the "maladjusted impracticality" of the younger.

Muharem Bazdulj has broken from the pack of new Eastern European writers influenced by innovators such as Danilo Kiš, Milan Kundera, and Jorge Luis Borges. Employing a light touch, a daring anti-nationalist tone, and the kind of ambition that inspires nothing less than a rewriting of Bosnian and Yugoslavian history, Bazdulj weaves the imagined realities of history into fiction and fiction into history. To quote one critic, for Bazdulj history "is the sum of interpretations while imagination is the sum of facts."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:26 -0400)

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