- CHF 11.00
Beschreibung des Verlags
A sweeping epic by Nobel Prize-winner Ivo Andrić about power, identity, and Islam set in 19th-century Ottoman Bosnia and Istanbul.
Omer Pasha Latas is set in nineteenth-century Sarajevo, where Muslims and Christians live in uneasy proximity while entertaining a common resentment of faraway Ottoman rule. Omer is the seraskier, commander in chief of the Sultan’s armies, and as the book begins he arrives from Istanbul, dispatched to bring Sarajevo’s landowners to heel, a task that he accomplishes with his usual ferocity
and efficiency. And yet the seraskier’s expedition to Bosnia is a time of reckoning for him as well: he was born in the Balkans, a Serb and a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a bright boy who escaped his father’s financial disgrace by running away and converting to Islam. Now, at the height of his power, he heads an army of misfits, adventurers, and outcasts from across Europe and Asia, and yet wherever he goes he remains a stranger.
Ivo Andrić, who won the Nobel Prize in 1961, is a spellbinding storyteller and a magnificent stylist, and here, in his final novel, he surrounds his enigmatic central figure with many vivid and fascinating minor characters, lost souls and hopeless dreamers all, in a world that is slowly sliding towards disaster. Omer Pasha Latas combines the leisurely melancholy of Joseph Roth’s The Radetzky March with the stark fatalism of an old ballad.
This excellent novel from Nobel Prize winning Andri (1892 1975), never before translated into English, unfurls a vivid story set in 1850s Bosnia. The merciless Ottoman commander Seraskier Omer Pasha Latas has descended on the vizier-controlled Sarajevo with his army, bringing conquest, tyranny, and reform. But the Seraskier is not all he seems in his former existence, he was Mi o Latas, a Serbian Christian who fled to Istanbul, converted to Islam, and rose to power under the Sultan. Readers get to know Omer, a fractured, enigmatic conqueror, through the eyes of his allies and foes: master painter Karas, summoned from Germany to immortalize Omer; irresistible harem member Saida Hanuma; Omer's reliable yes-man Muhsin-Effendi; and chief cook Kostake Nenishanu, who is drawn into perpetrating an unspeakable crime. As the varied pasts of these characters are illuminated, a hodgepodge epic of the Ottoman Empire emerges, half The Red and the Black and half a sprawling meditation on identity, power, and corruption. Of special interest is Andri 's grasp of the overlapping Christian, Jewish, and Muslim worlds. The novel can occasionally come off as unfocused; nevertheless, this is a peerless look at an often overlooked piece of world history. \n