NABOKV-L post 0018331, Sun, 17 May 2009 13:34:32 -0400

Re: Twice-Told Tales: Displaced in America ...

Thanks much to Sandy for bringing Alexander Hemon to our attention. I live in the Chicago area (where he makes his home) much of the time and will try to attend an event.

Date: Sat, 16 May 2009 09:35:28 -0400
From: spklein52@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] Twice-Told Tales: Displaced in America ...

Twice-Told Tales: Displaced in America

Published: May 15, 2009

CHICAGO — Aleksandar Hemon returned from Sarajevo, his birthplace, to his home here last week in a contented mood. He and his wife, Teri, had taken their 19-month-old daughter, Ella, there for the first time, partly to celebrate his two most recent books, a novel and a short-story collection, both written in English and newly translated into Bosnian, his native tongue.

[ ... ]

Partly because of his émigré origins and Slavic background — his father, an engineer, is of Ukrainian descent and his mother, an accountant, is Serbian — Mr. Hemon is often compared to Vladimir Nabokov. He readily acknowledges the influence, saying that he considers “Lolita” “the greatest American novel” and Nabokov a master stylist.

But in a more general way, Mr. Hemon shows a preference for writers whose work, like Nabokov’s in both Russian and English, addresses and conveys a sense of displacement. Asked to list some favorites, he immediately named Bruno Schulz, Danilo Kis, Franz Kafka and Isaac Babel.

“It’s the complicated situation, and then the complicated language that comes with that,” he said. “That complication always finds somehow a reflection in language.”

[ ... ]

Search the archive
Contact the Editors
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"

Visit Zembla
View Nabokv-L Policies
Manage subscription options
All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both co-editors.
Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync.
Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies:
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:"

Manage subscription options: