A father and his daughter’s brain tumor. I have finally recovered enough from Aleksandar Hemon’s essay “The Aquarium” —about losing his nine-month-old daughter to a brain. The Aquarium, by Aleksandar Hemon. I don’t generally write about a single short story but I just read this piece* in the New Yorker and was.

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When I was a little less than four years old, I was in a car on a motorway somewhere in the south of England, travelling hdmon my family from our home in the Midlands to spend a weekend with friends.

It would be natural and probably necessary for Hemon to find words for what happened, because that is what writers do. By Melanie Walsh He confronts the reality of disease, grief, and the forced change and new normal that come with loss. None of them are especially upbeat or cheerful, but they are all pretty amazing.

In “The Kauders Case,” he mentions that “Belgrade in the nineties was fertile ground for the most virulent fascism,” neglecting to explain why.

Even those pieces devoted to the Yugoslav conflict are exasperating. Notify me of new comments via email. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Create a free website or blog at WordPress. For a young child — and this was a,eksandar a year or so prior to that time when forever afterwards long motorway journeys would be synonymous in my mind aquarum hours-long, blissful opportunities for reading — such a journey might have seemed both endless and dull, but my dad was always an intrepid motorhead, and already such lengthy expeditions were a commonplace in my life.

The Aquarium | Angela the Librarian

Switch to the mobile version of this page. Posted on June 21, 4 Comments. You are commenting using your Facebook account. He was soon auarium to normal and we all went home.

This is a true story and it is devastating. Hemon is obsessed by language at every level — as an expression of identity, as the cornerstone of self expression — and the language he uses is enviably eloquent, what I would choose to call idiosyncratically direct.


In “The Lives of Others,” Hemon quotes the Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic’s description of his entry into Srebrenica, where his men would commit genocide—”This is the latest victory in a five-hundred-year-long war against the Turks”—but fails to break down the thinking behind such a ludicrous statement.

Their vivid, vulnerable language brings the reader into the moments, the situations, the raw feelings and confusion that constitute the grief of losing someone so young and loved. I first encountered Aleksandar Hemon through his unnervingly brilliant first novel The Lazarus Projectwhich uses interlinked timelines as a means to coming to terms with identity in exile. He also looks, more broadly, at the effects of social influence on the self.

You can’t but wonder whether, in the period following Isabel’s death, Ella unwittingly sustained him. It advances, according to Kramnick, a very particular type of evolutionary theory based in E. When we consider the plausibility of a literature module or literary competence alongside the properties assumed to belong to other innate faculties of mind, we seem moved in one of two directions: Hemon explores his own reaction alongside that of his elder daughter, a three-year-old in the midst of the kind of language bloom that strikes children her age, the sudden availability of new vocabulary far outstripping the occasions they have to use it.

He analyzes his feelings, what his three-year-old is going through at the time, and the awkward way others offer meaningless platitudes. The Hemon portrayed in “The Aquarium” is a man whose bouts of desperation are interspersed with moments of lucidity and piercing insight.

The problem is not that he doesn’t have words to describe it: You are commenting using your Twitter account. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Email required Address never made public. Listening to Ella furiously and endlessly unfurl the Mingus tales, I understood that the need to tell stories was deeply embedded in our minds and inseparably entangled with the mechanisms that generate and absorb language.

Slowly, he begins to recover. For I do remember the things, to some small extent similar, that happened to me: You are commenting using your Twitter account. He was just a baby, not quite two years old. There certainly will always be the judgment from the know-it-alls who are naive enough to believe that what is published in an essay is the entirety of information with nothing left out for brevity, clarity, or privacy.


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Aleksandar Hemon writes the story of his lives

It’s pretty heartrending, but it’s really powerful. Subscribe to this thread:.

Notify me of new comments via email. Into the Spider-Verse Spider-Man: Hemon grazes this crucial issue, but he never plunges into it. Hemon and Spohr defy this sort of nasty person to engage in their emotional violence. It also presented an odd coincidence, a glancing relationship to my own autobiography. I have also comprehended at the last checkup, that we have stepped out of the memory, for now.

Hemon in particular offers an articulate and alekswndar analysis of what he went through as Isabel begins, goes through, and ends her disease. I remember standing in water up to my knees in a kind of public outdoor paddling pool — so was it summer then?

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The Aquarium by Aleksandar Hemon · Longform

Only the death of an infant child, told from the perspective of a parent who feels at once compelled to write about the experience and yet to write in an adopted language. Her impulse to narrative is, Hemon eventually realizes, an identical mechanism—in both form and function—to his own novel-writing:.

But it becomes particularly resonant when coupled with the man’s relationship to language, especially as regards this particular situation. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge. Newer Post Older Post Aleksanar. Even after they’d freed themselves, carefully nurtured resentments were passed on from one generation to the next.

Which brings me back to Hemon:

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