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Death and the Dervish. Re-examinations of Meša Selimović




Finding himself in front of a "wall", Ahmed Nurudin reveals all the spiritual obstacles and moral turmoil inherent in a human being. He is analytical both in terms of himself and in terms of others, so he breaks down every detail into the smallest parts.


Connection with Dostoevsky


Ahmed Nurudin's journey into the ultimate causes is very reminiscent of Dostoevsky, and also forces the readers to open some long-closed boxes in their mind.

Numerous philosophical dialogues remind us of Dostoevsky, such as the one between Nurudin and Ishak in prison, but also conversations with Hasan. They often show the relativity of what is considered "right" and "wrong".


The mentality of the Bosnian man presented in the novel is shown in several supporting characters on an individual, and on a collective level. Laughter when reading parts that are not for laughing only means laughing at the absurd.


Hasan as a Hessian hero


Hasan exudes raw kindness and partially reminds of Hesse's heroes. He is absolutely aware of human hypocrisy, but on the other hand he cannot do without the world he loves in spite of the reality. Hence his bitter cynicism, courage, but in the end, a bit paradoxically, belief that there is good in man.


Development of Ahmed Nurudin


They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely - although he does not tell us about it directly, Ahmed Nurudin in the eyes of others turns into a character such as the executioners of his brother. It becomes the equivalent of Thorne, the character played by Donald Sutherland in the film Land of the Blind, and as the novel nears its end, the situation turns around and makes us look at the first part of the story from a different perspective.



Excerpt from the book


“I did not know why, maybe because he had suffered and gained experience in his distress; because his rebellion had freed him from established ways of thinking that bind us, and he had no prejudices; because he had purged himself of fear and taken a path that led nowhere; because he was already condemned and was only delaying his death heroically. Such people know a lot, more than those of us who stagger from learned rules to fear of sin, from habits to worries of possible guilt. And although I would never have taken the path of a renegade, not even in my thoughts, I would gladly have listened to his truth. But what was his truth?”




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