Aleksandar Hemon and other former Yugoslavia authors
August 15, 2010 10:54 AM   Subscribe

I'm a big fan of the author Aleksandar Hemon, especially The Question of Bruno, and wondering what former Yugoslav authors he would have read growing up.

I'm curious what authors he likely read as a teen/young adult that I have never read of. I know he references Conrad quite a bit in his work, and gets compared to him by critics, but I'm more interested in the non-English language writers he would have read.

Maybe not authors that directly inspire his voice, but just are part of his literary heritage (I've read that essay where he lists all the many, many things that have inspired him, so I'm not really looking for inspiration-type authors). As an example of what I'm looking for, the story references Ivo Andric, an author I have never heard of, but is a Nobel Prize winner. Can't say there's a lot of overlap between the two writers, but I still enjoyed reading his work.

What Yugoslav or other Eastern European authors would a man born in 1964 have read a ton of growing up?
posted by Ideal Impulse to Writing & Language (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I grew up in the same city as Hemon, about ten years later. My father was, among other things, a bookseller and very familiar with literary types. I grew up surrounded by books. Everybody read Ivo Andrić at some point, but most kids in school were thrust into all the classic Russian authors, writers like Shakespeare, a strange amount of poetry. Nineteenth century and pre-World War II writers, like Joseph Conrad, were huge. A lot of Yugoslav writers were forbidden if they appeared in any way nationalistic, and "safe" contemporary ones are largely forgotten. Kadare, who's Albanian, was one of my favourites, and his books are now in English and hold up well. I've recommended him before.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 1:34 PM on August 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

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