A Wayward Word's Worth

May 3, 2011

Burning, Thirsting, Drowning

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 2:30 pm

Poet and siege survivor Goran Simic struggles with the emotional scars of his homelands’s gunfire. By Kyle Mullin By Kyle Mullin for Edmonton’s SEE Magazine, Thursday April 28 2011

Sarajevo was burning, and there seemed to be no way to stop it.

The bitter smoke left bookshop owner and budding wordsmith Goran Simic’s nostrils flaring as strongly as the sparks consuming what he considered to  be the Bosnian capital’s chief landmark — The National Library.

“I think the library is a house of our memories, and it was somebody trying to kill our memories,” the now world renowned poet says of the Serbs that brought a siege upon his city in 1992 and shelled several buildings across town, including the library that sat a mere 300 metres from his house. The books inside smouldered until their embers snapped like when their spines had cracked upon first being opened and read. It was a burden that literally threatened to break every local writer’s back as they salvaged more than 500 pounds of those treasured volumes.

While Simic recruited friends to recoup the nation’s texts his own bookshop was looted. But that loss tore him toward inspiration — Simic soon realized he wanted to write his customers something far more compelling than a simple receipt.






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