Monday, March 31, 2008


I just read one of the most moving books I can recall. Subtitled "A Novel About the Balkans," by Slavenka Drakulic, it is the story of a fictional woman who is raped and tortured in a camp for Muslim women during the height of the Bosnian war in 1992. It is a rough read, possibly made more so by the fact that this is a war I remember, which seems to drive it home even more.

The thing that struck me most about the book was the few paragraphs, written in italics, which are the only points in the book that are not written in the third person. The readers' guide doesn't mention them, but I thought that they stood out intensely, though I'm not sure I know why or what that might symbolize.

I would like to state my vision
Life was so unfair
We live in our secure surroundings
And people die out there
Bosnia was so unkind
Sarajevo changed my mind
And we all call out in despair
All the love we need isn't there
And we all sing songs in our rooms
Sarajevo erects an undertune
Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Sarajevo
Bosnia was so unkind
Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Sarajevo
Bosnia was so unkind
Sure thigns would change if we really wanted them to
No fear for children anymore
There are babies in their hands, terror in their heads
For life, for life
When do the saints go marching in?
When do the saints go marching in?

Bosnia, The Cranberries

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