“Life, my dear Prince, is air, nothing can be made of it. You do not know whether it is inside or around you, whether you inhale or exhale it, you neither hear nor see it, and all the while according to its whims, it is either here or there … Just air.“
— Dževad Karahasan, The Night Sky’s Solace
On 19 May, award-winning Bosnian writer Dževad Karahasan passed away in Graz. In his books, it was oftentimes another city that took centre stage, namely Sarajevo, the city he had fled in 1993. Karahasan’s novels and writing touched many readers across the globe and we are deeply grateful that through our work we contributed to his voice being heard beyond the confines of his mother tongue, if only in a small way. At the beginning of this year, Katja Gasser spoke to the author in her podcast series dedicated to Austria’s Guest of Honour presence at the Leipzig Book Fair. We wholeheartedly recommend the interview, one of the writer’s last, which you can listen to here.
Breath has become air. We will miss the thinker and writer Dževad Karahasan, but above all, the compassionate and empathetic person he was.