Interview with Aleksandar Hemon
Aleksander Hemon
Jenifer Berman~BOMB Magazine
It is very dangerous to equate history and fiction, for you might end up claiming that the Holocaust is fiction, and, God help us, it is not. History is not fiction, or at least it shouldn’t be. On the other hand, to claim that history is a simple representation of "truth" is almost equally dangerous. Then, for example, the absence of African-Americans, until very recently, from the official American histories–the stories of great white men–would be legitimized. I mean they were absent only because the history was largely a set of stories told by white men about white men. Both history and fiction have to be narrated, and it matters a lot who the narrators are and what the conditions of narration are. The way to put it is that history and fiction are continuous, they flow into each other, and the overlapping zone–the exchange zone–is the most interesting and the most dangerous.
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Read 'Love & Obstacles' from The New Yorker International Fiction edition.