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Zla kob zaborava.

One hundred and forty-three pocket-sized glossy pages between color-photo covers tell the story of the ninety-three day blockade of the medieval city of Dubrovnik by irregular forces as the Yugoslav National Army stood by. The story, in journalistic form, is interspersed with black and white photos of the destruction that last year befell this thirteenth-century city. The author, Feda Sehovic, a novelist, dramatist, and sketch writer, was one of the inhabitants who chose to remain in the city (many were evacuated) and live through the blockade without water and electricity and with a constant threat of death from continuous mortar and machine-gun fire. The events, which took place from September to December 1991, are rendered from a personal perspective. The reader vicariously relives the seige.

In describing day-to-day happenings, the author often digresses to muse on such topics as life and death, fear and courage, hope and hopelessness. Much humor as well informs these pages, humor which the author says makes it possible for one to deal with reality. When normal life ceases to exist, he concludes, one really needs so little in life to be happy. Sehovic also points out that although the city's monuments, churches, and dwellings fell, the spirit of the inhabitants continued. There was an exhibit supported by UNESCO of children's drawings inspired by the war, there was a Peace Concert on Christmas Eve at the Franciscan monastery televised by the French crew who, the author reminds us, entered the city much like the Napoleonic forces did during the Russo-Montenegrin seige of 1806. Throughout the ordeal Sehovic was sustained by love, a love for family and country, for freedom and justice which could not be destroyed by bombs.

What makes the journal readable for those who do or do not know the city are the descriptive passages of people and places and of the author's sole companion, his cat Pusho. The photographs attest to the damage incurred by the city known as the Pearl of the Adriatic.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Review of Contemporary Fiction
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Nisula, Dasha Culic
Publication:The Review of Contemporary Fiction
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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