Wednesday, July 23, 2008

War Crime Poetry

A short piece from the New Yorker regarding Radovan Karadzic's poetry. A short bite: "Like many megalomaniacs, Karadzic fancied himself a poet. (In the mid-seventies, he took a few poetry classes at Columbia University while studying psychiatry.) Infuriatingly, Karadzic managed to release a new book of verse, a novel, and a play while living underground. "

Within this piece is a link to an abstract written by Jay Surdukowski in 2005, suggesting that "Is Poetry a War Crime? Reckoning for Radovan Karadzic the Poet Warrior". In lawyerese, Mr. Surdowski "suggests in particular that the materials at least have evidentiary value in the mens rea determination for genocide, the most significant crime Karadzic has been indicted for and the offense that has been branded the "ultimate crime." "

Wait until the poets start critiquing his poetry!? Then, we'll hear about the crimes to language and the needless death of trees.

For those with patience and a high threshold for seething, here are three of his poems.
An excerpt from one of them, Sarajevo:

"The town burns like a piece of incense
In the smoke rumbles our consciousness.
Empty suits slide down the town.
Red is the stone that dies, built into a house. The Plague!

Why bother with a trial? Resuscitate old wounds to have him rub sea salt into?


And here I can't even get published!
This is a morbid but fascinating post. Thanks for the links.
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