Kierkegaard Carnival

My posting Kierkegaard and Sufism is featured in the first issue of Kierkegaard Carnival which collects some writings about the great Danish philosopher (someone prefers calling him a preacher!).
Anyway, visit the interesting online project with eleven contributions. As the editor of the project wrote: “The first issue of the Kierkegaard Carnival is diverse in subject matter. From musings on the Internet to meditations on particular writings, the following pieces exhibit both the personalities of their writers as well as the depth and variety of topics that Kierkegaard’s writing covers.“.

Ordering “Pathétique” online

It is finally possible to order the book Pathétique outside Denmark and Scandinavia.
For those who don’t know, Pathétique is my book of poetry that is dealing with emotions regarding love, death, light, darkness, despair and hope.The book is about heavy emotions and thoughts on serious subjects as war, love, death… If I haven’t written these poems down on a paper, I would probably be more insane than I am today.
The book contains a Danish and a Bosnian version. Unfortunately, there’s no English version yet. However, English-speaking visitors can have a look at “In Passing“, a poem that is part of Pathétique.

Cover of Pathétique

Fine illustrations in the book are made by my brother Elvis, the cover and photo by yours truly.
The book can be ordered on Lulu.com, the premier online publisher that I find extremely reliable and efficient.

Printed: 90 pages, 6.00″ x 9.00″, perfect binding, 60# cream interior paper, black and white interior ink , 100# exterior paper, full-color exterior ink.
The price is only $9.95 or 58 DKK!!

The direct link to the book: Pathétique – laetific & miserabilis

I hope you will enjoy it and, please, give some feedback!

Pathétique inside

Bosanska literatura danas

U današnjoj zemlji Bosni i Hercegovini svi se bave političkim zbivanjima, iako je rat prestao prije gotovo jedanaest godina. Još uvijek postoje etničke tenzije između tri konstitutivna naroda BiH, i još uvijek važe prljava nacionalističko-populistička pravila igre u zemlji.

U toku su predsjednički i parlamentarni izbori, a retorika političara podsjeća na onu s početka devedesetih godina prošlog stoljeća. Pred državnim parlamentom štrajkuju zemljoradnici zbog nemara vlasti da zaštiti domaće proizvođače i proizvode. Studenti su nezadovoljni načinom rada uprave univerziteta, a stanovništvo, uopšte, je nezainteresovano za politiku, jer ih političari varaju i plaše već dvadesetak godina, pa i više.

Iako ima određenih napredaka, u društvu generalno vlada apatija, isfrustriranost i nezadovoljstvo, a razlog se sigurno može naći u nesređenom uređenju cijelokupnog društvenog aparata, krenuvši od državne administracije (koja je po birokratiji na prvom mjestu u svijetu!), pa do stanja u obrazovnom, ekonomskom i zdravstvenom sistemu.

Kada se shvati trenutno stanje bosanskog društva, tek onda se može makar zamisliti u kakvoj se situaciji nalazi savremena književnost Bosne i Hercegovine i sve ono što stoji iza nje.Bosna i Hercegovina ima jednu veoma ponosnu književnu tradiciju, koja je, međutim, naglo prekinuta srbijansko-crnogorskom agresijom na zemlju 1992. godine. Do tih nesretnih vremena, do početka 90-ih, bosanska književnost je imala jedan skladan književni kontinuitet u sklopu jugoslavenske književnosti: knjige su se izdavale, nivo kvaliteta je bio visok, postojanje uređenosti domaćeg izdavaštva, a mnogi talentovani pisci su dolazili do izražaja. Međutim, kao i u cijelom bosanskom društvu, dolazi do rasula u izdavačkom svijetu početkom rata, koje je i dan-danas ostavio prilično dubokog traga.

Možda najtalentiraniji bosanski pisac današnjice, Aleksandar Hemon, je u jednoj svojoj kolumni napisao kako je bosanska književnost jedan fenomen jer nema izdavača, nema kritičara, nema čitalaca i nema knjiga. U pravu je kada tvrdi da se većina bosanske književnosti objavljuje u inostranstvu. Da ovo važi, govori i Hemonova situacija (iako je on, rekao bih, poseban slučaj jer piše na engleskom jeziku); njegov izdavač i agent se nalaze u Americi, a kada je htio izdati svoje radove u svojoj domovini, naišao je, pod rizikom da zvučim eufemistički, na ravnodušnost i nevoljkost¹. Dobitnik je prestižne američke MacArthur Fellowship nagrade 2004. godine.
Za ovog pisca je interesantno da se, iako se osjeća Bosancem, ne želi staviti u koš nacionalnih pisaca. Po njegovim riječima2, on je između kultura, gdje se dešavaju čudne i nepredvidive stvari, gdje se miješaju udaljena iskustva i stvaraju novi, fluidniji identiteti. On smatra da njegova odgovornost nije imati ulogu nacionalnog književnika, nego odgovornost javne ličnosti koja učestvuje u demokratskoj, nehijerarhijskoj razmjeni mišljenja i informacija. Znači, on se osjeća globalnim piscem, što uključuje kako bosansku tako i američku javnost.

Pored haosa u izdavaštvu koji vlada danas u Bosni i Hercegovini, treba spomenuti i problem svojatanja bosanskohercegovačkih pisaca. Mnogi bosanski pisci, u nemogućnosti izdavanja svojih djela, izdaju knjige u susjednim zemljama Hrvatskoj i Srbiji, koje su, s druge strane, jako brze da ove pisce kategoriziraju kao svoje: hrvatske, odnosno srbijanske pisce. To se dešava i sa, možda najpopularnijim bosanskim piscem iz Sarajeva, Miljenkom Jergovićem, koji je proglašen ne samo najboljim bosanski piscem nove generacije, nego i na cijelom prostoru bivše Jugoslavije.

Mnogi će se zapitati: “pa kada je situacija u izdavaštvu Bosne i Hercegovine tako loša, koje knjige onda izlaze, a da su vrijedne čitanja?”.
Već pomenuti Aleksandar Hemon je napisao svoj debitantski “Pitanje Bruna” (Question of Bruno), koji je doživio veliki uspjeh, ne samo u Americi i u zemljama engleskog govornog područja, nego i na Balkanu, kao i u ostatku svijeta. On i Jergović su pisci u svojim četrdesetim godinama i predstavljaju okosnicu današnje bosanske književnosti. Semezdin Mehmedinović je možda i najpopularniji bosanski pjesnik današnjice, čije je djelo Sarajevo Blues prevedeno na tridesetak jezika. Washington Post je ovu knjigu poezije nazvao najvažnijim literarnim dokumentom rata u Bosni i Hercegovini.

Iako nekoliko godina starija, ovoj grupi se može pridružiti i najpopularnija bosanska spisateljica, Nura Bazdulj-Hubijar, koja je, osim u susjednim zemljama, prevedena i na holandski, engleski i njemački jezik.

Nešto starijoj generaciji pisaca, koji su bili popularni još prije rata u devedesetim, pripada Dževad Karahasan, čija djela odišu modernističkim pripovjednim tehnikama u kojima se osjeti splet različitih žanrova, kao i vrlo bogat zbir riječi. Njemu se mogu pridružiti Abdulah Sidran, čovjek koji je, između ostalog, napisao mnoge drame, knjige poezije i filmske manuskripte za režisera Emira Kusturicu.

Moram napomenuti da su svi do sada navedeni književnici živi i aktivni pisci, ali bosanska književnost svakako ne bi bila ono što je danas da nema onih pisaca iz prošlosti koji su doprinijeli kulturnoj baštini svoje zemlje kao i postavili temelj savremenoj bh. književnosti. Od pjesnika, koji više nisu među nama, mora se spomenuti Musa Ćazim Ćatić, Safvet-beg Bašagić, Aleksa Šantić, Mak Dizdar, Izet Sarajlić, a od pisaca nobelovac Ivo Andrić, neprikosnoveni Meša Selimović, Branko Ćopić, Zulfikar Zuko Džumhur i mnogi drugi.

Na kraju se može postaviti pitanje kuda ide književnost u Bosni i Hercegovini?
Treba imati na umu da pisci u zemlji nemaju nikakve uslove za rad. Vjerujem da čak ni najčitaniji pisci ne mogu živjeti samo od svog zanata, a kamoli ostali. Ipak, mislim da će bh. književnosti i njeni pisci biti u boljem položaju kada bh. društvo bude ekonomski napredovalo. Nadam se da će se to desiti u skorijoj budućnosti, jer se npr. izdavaštvo Bosne i Hercegovine nalazi pred velikim logističko-tehničkim izazovima, kako se budućim piscima ne bi dešavale neugodnosti na kakve je Hemon nailazio u Sarajevu nakon rata. No i pored svega, a u strahu da ću zvučati naivno optimističan, ipak, sa afirmisanim imenima današnjice i sa izrazito bogatom prošlošću, vjerujem da bosanskohercegovačku književnu scenu čeka svijetla budućnost.

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1http://www.bhdani.com/arhiva/143/hemon143.htm
2
http://www.bhdani.com/arhiva/129/hemon129.htm

Članak je prvodobno napisan za danski literarni magazin Kornblomst s ciljem da se danska javnost upozna sa situacijom moderne bh. književnosti.

Solaris and a few thoughts

Stanislav Lem’s novel “Solaris” is a fascinating and interesting novel about the mysterious ocean (or is it?) that is capable of reproducing material, living or dead. I found it interesting mostly because of the claustrophobic way of describing the situation on the space station above Solaris.

What I liked the most about the novel was conversations between the main character and his wife and Snaut, a colleague on the station.
On the other side, I wasn’t too fond of Lem’s ‘scientific’ descriptions of the planet, and the history of the science called ‘solaristics’ because I didn’t find them interesting or relevant enough.

Near the end of the book I read an interesting passage where Kelvin’s speculating of ‘an imperfect god’. He said that a man does not strive to reach the goals in life. He gets them from the time he lives in, he can embrace them or refuse them. In order to be able to “be free to search goals”, man must be alone, on his own.
I liked these lines; they made me think about God and religion. It actually went hand in hand with my belief that all religion in the world should be personal and individual. No mass gathering, no mass praying, no mass believing. Every man should have his own belief for himself and should be content with it, without the need of being part of large group believing the same. After all, isn’t God (and believing in him) enough for every believer? Of course, I am mentioning this, because I believe people have almost always used religion to start wars. Hatred between people has very often a source in religion. Those wars, that hatred and misery of the world could not be possible if the masses were not gathered and activated.

Anyway, Solaris was a pleasure to read and I can recommend it to anyone who likes an intelligent sci-fi drama with the notions of emotional elements of love, loss and guilt.

Kierkegaard and Sufism

Amra and I drove to Aarhus yesterday evening in order to attend a lecture by Safet Bektović, Bosnian philosopher who talked about “Kierkegaard and Sufism, and the question of identity in (post)modern time“.

Mr. Bektović talked about connection and similarities in philosophies of Søren Kierkegaard and Sufism, the mystic sect inside Islam.
Kierkegaard is regarded by many as the father of existentialism, while Sufism (تصو�?) is a system of esoteric philosophy associated with Islam. In modern language it might also be referred to as “Islamic spirituality” or “Islamic mysticism”. Some non-Islamic Sufi organizations also exist, especially in western countries.

Mr. Bektović mentioned that, according to Kierkegaard, Christianity has lost its essence due to institutionalization of the religion. Kierkegaard believed that Christianity abandoned its values with the death of Jesus. While Jesus converted only a small number of people, his pupil, St. Paul, converted 50,000 in one day! Kierkegaard had a problem with this, since he saw it as the sign of popularization of Christianity in stead of keeping the steady course and stay faithful to its core values.

So, what does this has with Sufism and Islam? Well, Sufism is known to be a direction that “learns about the secret of Islam”. Sufists are individuals who wish to be as close as possible to God, and they believe it is possible if they learn the secret of the religion. They claim to be on the right path that leads to God, and it’s here their connection to Kierkegaard gets visible. Bektović mentioned that Sufists brought Islam to Bosnia [in XIV and XV century], for instance.

When Mr. Bektović wanted to write his ph.d., his wish was to write exactly about the similarities between Kierkegaard and Sufism. None of his professors could understand where he was going with this. “If you want to write about Kierkegaard and Sufism, you can write about differences between them, not similarities”, they were telling him. Nevertheless, he insisted on his idea, and it proved to be a good one, since his work today is pretty acknowledged among the Kierkegaardians, not to mention that Bektović proved to be right, since Kierkegaard mentioned Qur’an no less than 16 times in his notes.

Anyway, the lecture was great, but I was really impressed by Bektović as a philosopher and a man. Although a man whose life was not easy on, I believe he is a person in balance and harmony, not to mention his passion for philosophy in general and Kierkegaard in particular.

I didn’t feel well yesterday, but I am so happy I didn’t miss the best and most inspiring lecture in years.