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Between the crab-walk and the butterfly net

Dragoslav Dedovic

Journalist, DW editor,

’In his essay ‘Between the crab-walk and the butterfly net’, Dragoslav Dedovic examines the forced of voluntary change in the migrants’ attitude towards their mother tongue on the examples of Brecht and Nabokov. Compared to the writers who have never left their original linguistic context, the migrant writers are characterized by a sharp sense of the danger of becoming inarticulate. This shocking knowledge that, after their fatherland, they could desert their own language involves a remedial component nonetheless. If the writer does not give in before these additionally radicalized questions – why write and for whom? – he will record only the things of essential importance to him. In any language.

Keywords: mother tonque, exile literature, writers-migrants


Dragoslav Dedović

Dragoslav Dedović (1963) was born in Zemun, Serbia. He grew up in Bosnia where he studied journalism at the Sarajevo University, worked as a journalist for various media and as an editor in a publishing house in Tuzla. He publicly stood up against the war and the use of force to settle the disputes amongst the Yugoslav nations and in 1992 when the war broke out in Bosnia, he emigrated to the West. He received his MA from the Aachen University in Germany and is currently employed as editor at the Deutsche Welle (Germany’s public international broadcaster) dividing his time between Bonn and Köln. He edited the book of selected Bosnian short stories, Evacuation (1999). Publications (poetry): Let's Get Out Into the Fields, 1988; Circus Europe, 1990; On Noble Killers and Hired Humanists (bilingual edition German/Serbian), 1997; Cafe Sumatra, 2005; Buddha from the Dinara Mountain Range, 2008; For Piano and Didgeridoo (Selected and New Poems), 2010; Gloria Mundi, 2013; Shining, 2013, The Inner East 2015.

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