by Muharem Bazdulj
translated by Oleg Andric and Andrew Wachtel
Northwestern University Press, 2005
Cloth: 978-0-8101-1935-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-6192-4 | Paper: 978-0-8101-1936-9
Library of Congress Classification PG1420.12.A93D7813 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 891.8236

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."

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