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BOOK ⚢ Death and the Dervish ⚷ Death and the Dervish is an acclaimed novel by Bosnian writer Mesa Selimovic It recounts the story of Sheikh Nuruddin, a dervish residing in an Islamic monastery in Sarajevo in the eighteenth century during the Ottoman Turk hegemony over the Balkans When his brother is arrested, he must descend into the Kafkaesque world of the Ottoman authorities in his search to discover what happened to him He narrates his story in the form of an elaborate suicide note, regularly misquoting the Koran In time, he begins to question his relations with society as a whole and, eventually, his life choices in general Hugely successful when published in the s,Death and the Dervish is an enduring classic that was made into a feature length film in Another classic Yugoslav novel, by former Partisan and Bosnian Muslim Selimovi This book explores many of the same themes as his next novel, also a classic, Tvr ava Set in the Middle Ages, the novel dissects and exposes the nature of totalitarian regimes A former fighter, become a priest, is drawn against his will into the political intrigues of the Ottoman Balkans when his brother is arrested for speaking out against injustice Hamlet like, the other wordly priest finds himself obliged to a Another classic Yugoslav novel, by former Partisan and Bosnian Muslim Selimovi This book explores many of the same themes as his next novel, also a classic, Tvr ava Set in the Middle Ages, the novel dissects and exposes the nature of totalitarian regimes A former fighter, become a priest, is drawn against his will into the political intrigues of the Ottoman Balkans when his brother is arrested for speaking out against injustice Hamlet like, the other wordly priest finds himself obliged to act, and casting off his pious innocence finds himself stooping to the level of his enemies in order to confound them This he succeeds in doing in spectacular fashion only to discover that he is now in a trap of his own making For those who rise in the hierarchy of totalitarian regimes end up as victims themselves, and what they thought was their route to freedom only results in everslavery to a ruthless and inhuman system that inexorably dehumanises and ultimately destroys its proponents A must read for anyone with an interest in communism, and the Balkans Imagine a bag of candy with 455 pieces of the most delicious pieces of candy inside Each is so delicate and mouth watering that you feel the need to expand the joy to as many minutes as possible, and it sweetens the soul, just like it does the tongue.This is basically what this book was like to me It s not an easy read and thank God for that , but it s great literature Such great literature.The book written 1962 66 and a classic in Yugoslav literature is set in Sarajevo under Ottoman rule Imagine a bag of candy with 455 pieces of the most delicious pieces of candy inside Each is so delicate and mouth watering that you feel the need to expand the joy to as many minutes as possible, and it sweetens the soul, just like it does the tongue.This is basically what this book was like to me It s not an easy read and thank God for that , but it s great literature Such great literature.The book written 1962 66 and a classic in Yugoslav literature is set in Sarajevo under Ottoman rule 18th century and has often been compared to The Trial by Franz Kafka, which is quite obvious when you think of the plot man vs system I would, personally, describe it as a combination of both The Trial and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, based on the fact that the protagonist has long conversations with himself, mostly on doubt and indecisiveness It s so riveting.The book is incredibly slow in its storyteling, so if you haven t got the patience or attention span for that, I pity you and think you should read something else Maybe a magazine, or the subtitles to a Hollywood action movie Guilt, law, justice I ve already read two grand books about law, justice and guilt The Trial by Franz Kafka and Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov and Death and the Dervish by Me a Selimovi surely belongs in this fine row of masterpieces.The hero wants to pass his time in prayers and the passive contemplation of divinity and the world but to live is to take sides, and taking sides is dangerous I do not yet know what will be written here But in the strokes of these letters at le Guilt, law, justice I ve already read two grand books about law, justice and guilt The Trial by Franz Kafka and Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov and Death and the Dervish by Me a Selimovi surely belongs in this fine row of masterpieces.The hero wants to pass his time in prayers and the passive contemplation of divinity and the world but to live is to take sides, and taking sides is dangerous I do not yet know what will be written here But in the strokes of these letters at least some of what was in me will remain, no longer to perish in eddies of mist as if it had never been, or as if I had never known what happened In this way I will come to see how I became what I am this self that is a mystery even to me And yet it is a mystery to me that I have not always been what I am now I know these lines are muddled my hand trembles at the task of disentanglement that I face, at the trial I now commence Here I am everything judge, witness, and accused.Everything that happens is ambiguous and ambivalent Justice belongs to those who wield power Culprits are those whom the endued with power name guilty If you don t think blackly, things can get blacker Nothing depends on you It doesn t help to be either brave or cowardly, neither to curse nor to weep nothing can help you So sit and wait for your lot, and it s already black since you re here That s what I think if you re not guilty, then it s their mistake If you are guilty, then it s your mistake If you re innocent, then misfortune has struck you, as if you ve fallen into a deep whirlpool And if you re not innocent, you ve earned it, nothingAnd the moral is the most ambiguous of all things There are plenty levels of morality for everyone Moral is layered like onion skin They dreamed of rulers who were good, but who was that As far as he was concerned, he dreamed of bribable ones, he liked them the most because there was a way to them Worst are the honest ones, who need nothing, who have no human weaknesses, and know only about some higher law, which is almost incomprehensible to ordinary men No one can doevil than they can They create enough hatred to last for a hundred years.But he who walks the path of moral compromises inevitably turns into an instrument of evil Real Rating 3.5 of fiveAn intense read Beautiful translated words confronting and comforting the human fear of love by the means of examining the easier to grasp fear of death.I ve chosen some favorite phrases and liked them from the quotes They appear below the review I think the patience required to read a footnoted and glossary d read won t allow its subtleties and tremendous pleasures to spread widely among US English speaking readers.Make no mistake Ahmed Nuruddin is you, reader, a ma Real Rating 3.5 of fiveAn intense read Beautiful translated words confronting and comforting the human fear of love by the means of examining the easier to grasp fear of death.I ve chosen some favorite phrases and liked them from the quotes They appear below the review I think the patience required to read a footnoted and glossary d read won t allow its subtleties and tremendous pleasures to spread widely among US English speaking readers.Make no mistake Ahmed Nuruddin is you, reader, a man whose loves and One True Love don t mark him out from the herd but place him in the center of it He doesn t do a single thing that any one of us couldn t do, be it generous or cowardly or divinely inspired It is simply that we wouldn t tread in his footsteps, wouldn t elect to give ourselves to an ideal in a world without respect for them.I give the book a paltry rating, based on those comments I found it necessary to break my reading into smaller bites than I would have liked to do The feast is so rich, satisfying my word lust in such short order, that I ended up feeling disconnected by the enforced consumption of many amuse bouche reads between this book s courses.I suspect many readers will be defeated by that very need This is a book that, due to its own delights, ends up unfinished, bookmark poking the piles of paperbacks athwart its spine, a guilty glance sliding past it as the New Year s Resolution cry I WILL FINISH THIS SHELF rings its falsely sincere echoes into our shared shame