MMSARAJEVO Besieged


MMWaiting for Godot and Susan Sontag in Sarajevo

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MM

THIS IS my NYROB page one scan:

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A week later, the same man installs a huge camera boom at the foot of the proscenium in the Children's Theater, where through the autumn of '93 a production of Waiting For Godot had played under the direction of Susan Sontag and Bosnian Haris Pasovic, generating much affection and distant acclaim.

Susan Sontag's article about the production -- Godot in Sarajevo -- was the thing that made me stop thinking about Bosnia and just go.

I had, through the good offices of Nolan Voight, met the sisters Demidzic in Pardubice during the summer of '93. Across those weeks I soaked up their new world.

And had talked with journalists in Berlin and Prague who had been in Croatia and now Bosnia during the fighting ... One -- a co-founder of the Prague Post, that short-lived but ambitious English-language newspaper -- a limber young american lass named ... Peter Green knew her ... Laura something? Laura Palmer ... ach no ... Whatever her name we spoke of an evening, and she planted the seed with a shrug, "Why don't you go?" Go to Bosnia. What's the big deal?

And she gave me a recipe re wrangling a press pass from the UNPROFOR apparatus in Zagreb. Was I not, after all, the editor of a (very tiny) political magazine ...?

But back in the states, autumn, I couldn't quite put together a sound Raison d'Aller ... and fidgeted instead.

Susan Sontag's article about the production -- "Godot in Sarajevo" -- was the thing that made me stop thinking about Bosnia and just go.

I had, through the good offices of Nolan Voight, met the sisters Demidzic -- Maja and Mirela -- in Pardubice, Czech Republic, during the summer of '93. Across those weeks I soaked up their new world.

And had talked with journalists in Berlin and Prague who had been in Croatia and now Bosnia during the fighting.

One such -- a co-founder of the Prague Post, that short-lived but ambitious English-language newspaper -- a limber young american lass named ... Hmmm. Peter Green knew her ... Laura something? Laura Palmer ... ach no ...

Whatever her name we spoke of an evening, and she planted the seed with a shrug, "Why don't you go?" Go to Bosnia. What's the big deal?

And she gave me a recipe re wrangling a press pass from the UNPROFOR apparatus in Zagreb. Was I not, after all, the editor of a (very tiny) political magazine ...?

But back in the states, autumn, I couldn't quite put together a sound Raison d'Aller ... and fidgeted instead.

Until the Sontag piece appeared in the New York Review of Books, Our Finest Periodical. Somehow her account of the play persuaded me that something useful might be done after all.

If nothing else, Maya said Nada (and Sarajevo) had run out of her heart medication. If nothing else I would be an honest Mule ...

SS SITE http://www.susansontag.com/SusanSontag/index.shtml

J BURNS NYT PIECE MAJOR http://www.nytimes.com/1993/08/19/world/to-sarajevo-writer-brings-good-will-and-godot.html

SS VIDEO http://vimeo.com/21970185

MY SCAN OF NYROB

ENGLISH - street to be named: http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/books/story/2009/04/05/sontag-sarajevo-godot.html

ANOTHER re SAME http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/apr/05/susan-sontag-godot-sarajevo-bosnia

BOSNIAK PASOVIC interview http://www.radiosarajevo.ba/novost/74122/annie-liebovitz-kafa-i-cigara-sa-susan-sontag

The End

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