Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars

Only the Nails Remain Scenes from the Balkan Wars Only the Nails Remain Scenes from the Balkan Wars is a chronicle of poet and critic Christopher Merrill s ten war time journeys to the Balkans from the years through At once a travelogue a

  • Title: Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars
  • Author: Christopher Merrill
  • ISBN: 9780742516861
  • Page: 394
  • Format: Paperback
  • Only the Nails Remain Scenes from the Balkan Wars is a chronicle of poet and critic Christopher Merrill s ten war time journeys to the Balkans from the years 1992 through 1996 At once a travelogue, a book of war reportage, and a biography of the imagination under siege, this beautifully written and personal narrative takes the reader along on the author s journeys to allOnly the Nails Remain Scenes from the Balkan Wars is a chronicle of poet and critic Christopher Merrill s ten war time journeys to the Balkans from the years 1992 through 1996 At once a travelogue, a book of war reportage, and a biography of the imagination under siege, this beautifully written and personal narrative takes the reader along on the author s journeys to all the provinces and republics of the former Yugoslavia Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, and Vojvodina as well as to Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, and Turkey His journeys provide the narrative structure for an exploration of the roles and responsibility of intellectuals caught up in a decisive historical moment, many of whom either helped to incite the war or else bore eloquent witness to its carnage What separates this book the first non native literary work on the conflict from other collections of reportage, political analysis, and polemic, is its concern for capturing the texture of particular places in the midst of dramatic change the sounds and sights and smells, the stories and observations of victim and perpetrator alike, the culture of war Here is a literary meditation on war, a fascinating portrait of the poetry, politics and the people of the Balkans that will provide insight into the past, present, and future of those war torn lands Hear an interview with the author on NPR s Weekend All Things Considered, February 20th, Balkan Poets.

    One thought on “Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars”

    1. Detailed, in-person account of people trying to make sense of the often senseless violence at the end of the Yugoslav national project, from hiking with poets in the mountains of Slovenian to crossing Sniper Alley in Sarajevo under siege. No easy conclusions.

    2. "Mixing the races is what makes the richest and most beautiful people" comments one of Merrill's contacts. Yet no matter how mixed, some are able to excite people to horrific violence in the name of racial exclusivity. But because these vignettes of a nasty dirty situation were written by a poet, we get to meet not only political commentators and historians, but poets. Lots of poets whose works are not well known. It's a treasure trove!

    3. Slightly dated now, but Merrill's on the ground chronicle of the Balkan Wars is second to none.Read this after finishing Balkan Ghosts and Black Lamb, Grey Falconhighly recommend reading all three, starting with West and ending with Merrill.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *