Rijeka

A Writer Between Countries

more than a year ago

An interview with Bekim Sejranović by Roman Simić Bodrožić

​Bekim Sejranović is not only a star of one literary genre, but many. He’s constantly on the move: traveling between Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Norway. The only chance you have of catching this writer and adventurer is either in Rijeka or Oslo, Brčko or Hvar, or
Ljubljana or Zagreb. Literary awards are easy and don’t tie him down to the place: writing desks are everywhere. His writing is fed with travel and adventure. He’s equally at home on the North Sea and the Mediterranean, but perhaps most of all on the Sava and Danube rivers - where his latest novel, Your son, Huckleberry Finn, takes place. To be honest, Bekim
moves from adventure to adventure like an unbridled 20th-century version of Mark Twain's hero.

Roman: So, for starters: north or south, a river or the sea? What’s better?
Bekim:
I’d take them all - if I can… I like cross country skiing through Norwegian forests, I like taking a dip in the sea, and I like sailing the Savska Buba along the Sava. They all have their charms, and people get their kicks in all kinds of ways.

Roman: In some way your books always seem to revolve around growing up. You spent part of your childhood in Rijeka: a city known for its rock scene, peculiar vibe and mentality of its people, and it’s both an industrial city and a port city - unlike any other place in Croatia. How was Rijeka then, and how do you find it now?
Bekim:
Every now and then - every three to four years or so - I get a fit of nostalgia for Rijeka and go back. I rent an apartment for a time; sometimes for a few years. Last time I lived there for half a year; then the road takes me somewhere else. I was married twice to girls from Rijeka,
but instead of me going back to Rijeka, they ended up in Oslo where they are today (laughs). I have to write a story about "my" Rijeka. I hope I’ll do that one day. Well, I don’t know how others feel about those times, but for me they were the best years of my life; perhaps even the most important times for my development - at least that’s how I feel about it now. There were dozens and dozens of bands playing, so I also played with a few bands. We weren’t even just a garage band. But we were young, inexperienced, innocent, honest, hungry for success; that’s what we were all about. We played in basements and did concerts at Palach club. There, now I’m already getting nostalgic. Maybe I’ll try going back to Rijeka. It’s about time I started writing that book.

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