In this paper, I will present a comparison between the experience of the siege of Leningrad and the one of Sarajevo through the analysis of the works of two writers: Lidiya Ginzburg's “Zapiski blokadnogo cheloveka” and Dževad Karahasan's “Dnevnik Selidbe”. My contribution will focus in particular on the topic of the relationship between citizens and their city, viewed as an attempt to overcome the opposition between individualism and commonality and the manifestation of the collective resistance to practices of “urbicide”. The latter will be treated as an issue of crucial importance in understanding the symbolic dimension of city's destructions. In their works, both of the authors depict with accuracy the agony of the isolated city, trying to find out what remains of the human being and their environment after complete destruction and disillusion. Through the analysis of these works on the siege we can identify the traces of a humanity that does not surrender, continuing to carry on essential cultural and social values notwithstanding the extreme war circumstances. From this point of view, the siege reveals itself as an incommensurable experience allowing both of the authors to reflect on the fundamental principle of “staying human”.

The siege and urbicide of Leningrad and Sarajevo: Testimonies from Lidiya Ginzburg and Dzevad Karahasan

SELVELLI, GIUSTINA
2017

Abstract

In this paper, I will present a comparison between the experience of the siege of Leningrad and the one of Sarajevo through the analysis of the works of two writers: Lidiya Ginzburg's “Zapiski blokadnogo cheloveka” and Dževad Karahasan's “Dnevnik Selidbe”. My contribution will focus in particular on the topic of the relationship between citizens and their city, viewed as an attempt to overcome the opposition between individualism and commonality and the manifestation of the collective resistance to practices of “urbicide”. The latter will be treated as an issue of crucial importance in understanding the symbolic dimension of city's destructions. In their works, both of the authors depict with accuracy the agony of the isolated city, trying to find out what remains of the human being and their environment after complete destruction and disillusion. Through the analysis of these works on the siege we can identify the traces of a humanity that does not surrender, continuing to carry on essential cultural and social values notwithstanding the extreme war circumstances. From this point of view, the siege reveals itself as an incommensurable experience allowing both of the authors to reflect on the fundamental principle of “staying human”.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3679513
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