Writer Aleksandar Hemon
Writer and photographer
Tonight I saw the writer Aleksandar Hemon here in San Francisco. A Sarajevo native who now lives in Chicago, Hemon read from his two books "The Question of Bruno" and "Nowhere Man." After reading, he took questions. I wrote down some of his better quotes, taking the liberty of slightly paraphrasing here and there. Here are some of the things he said, possibly out of context, but hopefully still useful, along with some of the questions:
Not to sound melodramatic, but I'm feeling tinged with despair today (plus I woke up with a headache). I've got this day job working in an immigration law firm (I'm not a lawyer nor will I ever be one), and all I want to do is sit somewhere quiet and finish reading Aleksandar Hemon's stunning novel "Nowhere Man" before I attend his reading tomorrow night. Hemon's writing is so unique and freshly drawn, I both admire it and feel defeated by it. My life by comparison offers drama on a less "life and death" scale (he's from Bosnia). What fodder do I use for my own tales of woe and intrigue?
I haven't mentioned that I'm a writer-in-training, or perhaps I should say a writer in mid-struggle. So this blog ultimately is supposed to be about me trying to find my way into print after graduating from one of those darned MFA programs for writers this past spring (no, not Iowa, but I learned a lot). I've recently submitted short stories to a number of literary contests. The Greensboro Review, alas, sent me a rejection already. However, there are plenty more entries still in play. The Indiana Review just sent me an acknowledgement e-mail. I have a good feeling about that one, but really, there is so much competition out there, one has to assume the worst and hope for a miracle.
I just spoke with my friend Andrew, a philosophy student, who said what a sad day it was when he heard that Jacques Derrida had passed away. I wanted to add a link to this site, which is both a tribute to Derrida and a protest to the New York Times obituary that came out and was deemed somewhat derogatory or even dismissive of Deconstruction. Never underestimate the influence of Derrida!
Well, in case anybody is wondering, we made it to Tahiti and Moorea, and we are back home in San Francisco (see previous post). I'm not going to talk about that right now though. We did have an amazing trip down there, and I highly recommend Moorea especially. Tahiti is a fun island to visit, but you don't want to spend your entire vacation on that island only because it is a bigger city and there are no good beaches. There are great offshore waves on one side of the island for you surfers. That's where many of the contests are held because they get the most perfect tubes.