Roguish Self-Fashioning and Questing in Aleksandar Hemon’s “Everything”

Authors

  • Jason Blake University of Ljubljana

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.09.06

Keywords:

Aleksandar Hemon, ex-Yugoslavia, quest, rogue, self-fashioning

Abstract

This paper examines self-fashioning in Aleksandar Hemon’s “Everything,” a story about a Sarajevo teenager’s journey through ex-Yugoslavia to the Slovenian town of Murska Sobota. His aim? “[T]o buy a freezer chest for my family” (39). While in transit, the first-person narrator imagines himself a rogue of sorts; the fictional journey he takes, meanwhile, is clearly within the quest tradition. The paper argues that “Everything” is an unruly text because by the end of the story the reader must jettison the conventional reading traditions the quest narrative evokes. What begins as a comic tale about a minor journey opens out, in the story’s final lines, into a story about larger historical concerns, namely, the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. By introducing contemporary history, Hemon points beyond the closed world of his short story, while rejecting the quest pattern he has established.

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Author Biography

Jason Blake, University of Ljubljana

Jason Blake is Professor in the English Department at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Arts. He is the author of Canadian Hockey Literature, Culture Smart Slovenia!, a trio of writing guides aimed at Slovenian students, and he is the co-editor (with Andrew C. Holman) of The Same but Different: Hockey in Quebec. As well, he is the editor-in-chief of the Central European Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d’Etudes Canadiennes en Europe Centrale.

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Published

2019-12-30

How to Cite

Blake, J. (2019). Roguish Self-Fashioning and Questing in Aleksandar Hemon’s “Everything”. Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, (9), 100-117. https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.09.06