Dževad Karahasan

Reports from a Dark World

Original Bosnian title: Izvjestaji iz tamnog vilajeta. Published by Profil Publishing House, Zagreb
(German title: Berichte aus der dunklen Welt)
ca. 216 pages
Dževad Karahasan
Foto: Dževad Karahasan
© Isolde Ohlbaum

Dževad Karahasan, born in Duvno/Yugoslavia in 1953, is an author, playwright and essayist. The Siege of Sarajevo was the subject of the diary Exodus from a City (1993), translated into ten languages, of the essay collection entitled The Book of Gardens (2004) and of his novels The Rink of Shahrijar (1997) and Sara and Serafina (2000). His works also include the novel The Nocturnal Council (2006), Reports from a Dark World (200), a collection of stories, as well as The Shadows of Cities (2010), a collection of essays. His work has been distinguished with numerous awards. Karahasan lives in Graz and Sarajevo.

»Readers let Dževad Karahasan take them by the hand with great pleasure. The Bosnian novelist and essayist, who grew up with the Quran, well-versed in Goethe and Georg Büchner, appears as a welcome pilot amidst the perils of West-East misunderstandings.« Ilma Rakusa, NZZ


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Poland (Borderland), Bulgaria (Paradox)


This reportage from a dark world repeatedly links together seemingly unrelated events in prose that skillfully interweave authenticity and fiction, exposing and illuminating the »spiraling form of time«.

It is only twenty minutes by foot from the spot on the Lateinerbridge where the two successors to the Hansberger throne were assassinated at the beginning of the twentieth century, to the Vrbanjabridge, where two students were murdered at the end of 1992. With a sober impartiality, Dzevad Karahasan dispels the darkness that shrouds both the terrain and people who have crossed it.
Karahasan follows the traces left by the twentieth century in Bosnia and his hometown of Sarajevo. »Anatomy of Sadness« is about the son of an Italian partisan and a Yugoslavian communist who relates his life in exile. In »Gabriel's Principle«, inquiries lead the narrator to Theresienstadt, where he discovers that Gavrilo Princip, the assassin from Sarajevo, was imprisoned. »Letters from the year 1993«, tells of a student confronting his instructors with letters from a man who lost his life in Sarajevo.

Other publications

Der Trost des Nachthimmels/The Solace of the Night Sky (2016)

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Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Translation Publishing House), Bulgaria (Paradox), Slovenia (Beletrina), Turkey (Iletisim), Greece (Hestia), Iran (Donya-e-Eqtesad), Part 1: Macedonia (Templum)

Sara und Serafina/Sara and Serafina (2014)

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Spanish world rights (Galaxia Gutenberg – published, rights reverted), France (Laffont – published, rights reverted), Italy (Il Saggiatore – published, rights reverted), Sweden (Bosnisk-Hercegovinska Riksförbundet i Sverige – published, rights reverted), Slovenia (Cankarjeva Založba – published, rights reverted), Turkey (Ketebe)

Der nächtliche Rat/The Nocturnal Council (2005)

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Bulgaria (Paradox), Slovenia (Cankarjeva Založba), Turkey (Apollon)