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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 40 | volume VIII | January-February, 2005



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 40January-February, 2005

A Twilight Encounter

p. 1
Muharem Bazdulj

The Ambiguity of Boring History

    Rousseau’s sentence, Fortunate are a people whose history is boring to read is is usually interpreted as a desire for an absence of wars, unrest, floods. However, it is also possible that boredom might be a manifestation of a persistent and monotonous repetition of similar events even though those events are not boring as such. What I want to say is that the monotony of the endless repetition of unpleasant events does not have that same lightness as the boredom that led to the exodus from Eden, and which is, together with leisure, a faithful companion of happiness. But since man calls destiny only what pounds him, even though fortuitive circumstances are fruits of destiny, too, boredom is generally perceived only as the monotony of pleasant events. People like to invoke Tolstoy’s words that only misfortunes are unique while all happiness is identical, that unhappy families and countries are each unhappy in their own way. Heine would not have agreed with Tolstoy. According to him, every tragedy is familiengluck. The Bosnian tragedy is a tragedy of being stretched: on the east it is a wild frontier and rebellious bulwark, on the west a devil’s island and the dark side of the moon.

The Weight of Smoke

    However, the ambiguity of boredom is not the only historical ambiguity. All of history is an ambiguity of a sort. Each nation has its own history. The realization of Russell’s Let the people thinkŮis as unattainable as is his old countryman’s state whose unreachable nature is hidden within its very name: Utopia. A hero is always a perpetrator too. An English nobleman and a famous navigator is, to the Spaniards, a pirate and a thief. It is only certain that he brought tobacco to Europe and that he managed to measure the weight of smoke first by weighing a cigarette and then subtracting the weight of the butt along with the weight of the ashes once he finished the cigarette. Tobacco was brought to Bosnia as an agricultural commodity by Ali-pasha Rizvanbegovich, a Herzegovinian Sultan and a Montenegrean butcher, the sworn enemy of Prince-bishop Petar Petrovich Njegoš II, the Montenegrin Solomon and a poet of slaughter.


    Belted, and carrying a sword, according to an honorable family tradition (whose ironic counterpoint as well as whose seamy side is evident from the razor industry logo) Gardner Wilkinson, while traveling through Herzegovina and

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