•  
  •  
 

Abstract

This paper examines self-fashioning in Aleksandar Hemon’s “Everything,” a story about a Sarajevo teenager’s journey through ex-Yugoslavia to the Slovenian town of Murska Sobota. His aim? “[T]o buy a freezer chest for my family” (39). While in transit, the first-person narrator imagines himself a rogue of sorts; the fictional journey he takes, meanwhile, is clearly within the quest tradition. The paper argues that “Everything” is an unruly text because by the end of the story the reader must jettison the conventional reading traditions the quest narrative evokes. What begins as a comic tale about a minor journey opens out, in the story’s final lines, into a story about larger historical concerns, namely, the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. By introducing contemporary history, Hemon points beyond the closed world of his short story, while rejecting the quest pattern he has established.

Keywords

Aleksandar Hemon, ex-Yugoslavia, quest, rogue, self-fashioning

References

Aspden, Rachel. Rev. of Love and Obstacles, by Aleksandar Hemon. Theguardian.com. The Observer 27 Sept. 2009. Web. 23 Jul. 2019.

Bal, Mieke. Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. Trans. Christine van Boheemen. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2009. Print.

Booker, Christopher. The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. London: Bloomsbury, 2005. Print.

Cuddon, J. A. A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. 5th ed. N.p.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. Print.

Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2006. Print.

Green, Jonathan. Slang: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016. Print.

Greenblatt, Stephen. Renaissance Self-Fashioning. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1980. Print.

Gussago, Luigi. Picaresque Fiction Today: The Trickster in Contemporary Anglophone and Italian Literature. Leiden: Brill, 2016. Print.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “American Commando.” Love and Obstacles. New York: Riverhead, 2009. 149–76. Print.

Hemon, Aleksandar. Book of My Lives. Picador, 2013. E-book.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “Everything.” Love and Obstacles. New York: Riverhead, 2009. 37–60. Print.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “Katastrofa: To Understand Our Histories We Have to Narrate Our Catastrophes.” Lapham’s Quarterly 9.2 (2016). Laphamsquarterly.org. Web. 23 Jul. 2019.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “Let There Be What Cannot Be.” Book of My Lives. Picador, 2013. 57–61. E-book.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “Love and Obstacles.” Newyorker.com. The New Yorker 28 Nov. 2005. Web. 23 Jul. 2019.

Hemon, Aleksandar. Love and Obstacles. New York: Riverhead, 2009. Print.

Hemon, Aleksandar. Nowhere Man. Vintage, 2004. E-book.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “Stairway to Heaven.” Love and Obstacles. New York: Riverhead, 2009. 1–36. Print.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “The Conductor.” Love and Obstacles. New York: Riverhead, 2009. 61–86. Print.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “The Lives of a Flaneur.” Book of My Lives. Picador, 2013. 93–109. E-book.

Hemon, Aleksandar. “The Noble Truths of Suffering.” Love and Obstacles. New York: Riverhead, 2009. 179–210. Print.

Levy, Michelle. Rev. of Love and Obstacles, by Aleksandar Hemon. World Literature Today 84.1 (2010): 65–66. JSTOR.

Longinović, Tomislav. “The Sense of an Ending: Children of Yugoslavia Looking for Home.” Scholarship as the Art of Life: Contributions on Serbian Literature, Culture, and Society by Friends of Radmila (Rajka) Gorup. Ed. Slobodanka Vladiv-Glover. Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2017. 147–57. Print.

Matsell, George. Vocabulum; or The Rogue’s Lexicon. Gutenberg.org. Project Gutenberg. Web. 23 Jul. 2019.

Pavlić, Ed. Rev. of Love and Obstacles, by Aleksandar Hemon. The Quarterly Conversation 17 (Fall 2009): n.pag. Quarterlyconversation. com. Web. 23 Jul. 2019.

Reynolds, Bryan. Becoming Criminal: Transversal Performance and Cultural Dissidence in Early Modern England. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 2002. Print.

Rimbaud, Arthur. “Le Bateau ivre.” Poésies. Mag4.net. Web. 23 Jul. 2019.

Schaffer, Andrew. Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors. New York: HarperCollins, 2012. Print.

Shippey, Tom. Introduction. The Complete Old English Poems. Transl. Craig Williamson. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2017. xv–li. Print.

Stanzel, Franz. A Theory of Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984. Print.

Sutherland, John. How Literature Works: 50 Key Concepts. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.

White, Edmund. Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel. London: Atlas, 2009. Print.

First Page

100

Last Page

117

Language

eng

Share

COinS