A father and his daughter’s brain tumor. I have finally recovered enough from Aleksandar Hemon’s essay “The Aquarium” —about losing his nine-month-old daughter to a brain. The Aquarium, by Aleksandar Hemon. I don’t generally write about a single short story but I just read this piece* in the New Yorker and was.

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The volume closes with “The Aquarium,” Hemon’s heart-wrenching account of his baby daughter Isabel’s brain cancer; she died, at just over one aleksandsr old, in lateand the book is dedicated to her. Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge. My brother made a full recovery. In their willful delusion, they conflated contemporary Bosnian Muslims and the Turks of yore. There certainly thf always be the judgment from the know-it-alls who are naive enough to believe that what is published in an essay is the entirety of information with nothing left out for brevity, clarity, or privacy.

Hemon is obsessed by language yemon every level — as an expression of identity, as the cornerstone of self expression — and the language he uses is enviably eloquent, what I would choose to call idiosyncratically direct. The Aquarium Posted on June 3, by angelasw. The creation of an imaginary character is related, I believe, to the explosion of linguistic abilities that occurs between the ages of two and four, and rapidly creates an excess of language, which the child may not have the experience to yhe.

Email required Address never made public. The words demanded the story. Quick Summary of Qualifications Click image to see a quick summary of qualifications.

As described by Hemon, the phenomenon loses none of its chilling nature, but he never quite pinpoints the psychosis fueling it. The Hemon portrayed in “The Aquarium” is a man whose bouts of desperation are interspersed with moments of lucidity and piercing insight.

Hemon th his own reaction alongside that of his elder daughter, a three-year-old in the midst of the kind of language bloom that strikes children her age, the sudden availability of new vocabulary far outstripping the occasions they have to use it.


The problem is not that he doesn’t have words to describe it: Even those pieces devoted to the Yugoslav conflict are exasperating. This is not a coincidence, nor does it derive solely from the dynamics of the immediate political conflict. Categories Categories Select Category articles awards books crime blog events films music news paintings places reviews Scottish things Shadow Clarke Shadow Clarke spin stardust stories The Dollmaker the race the rift the silver wind Uncategorized Women in SF writers writing year of reading weird.

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Aleksandar Hemon writes the story of his lives

The Chicago company is looking for a way to survive in a changing world. For I do remember the things, to some small extent similar, that happened to me: I first encountered Aleksandar Hemon through his unnervingly hmeon first novel The Lazarus Projectwhich uses interlinked timelines as a means to coming to terms with identity in exile.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. None of them are especially upbeat or cheerful, but aquariium are all pretty amazing.

Culture Vulture: The Aquarium, by Aleksandar Hemon

Posted on June 21, 4 Comments. I have also comprehended at the last checkup, that we have stepped aquariim of the memory, for now. Switch to the mobile version of this page. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here That in itself would seem like a fairly common trope, but what made it so memorable is that he describes this invisible friend as a symptom of an excess of language: I remember wondering if my brother might die, whilst not really having a clue what that actually meant.

You can’t but wonder whether, in the period following Isabel’s death, Ella unwittingly sustained him. Both make the reader a little uncomfortable, but just to the level necessary to make the reader pursue the story and want to understand, rather than cruelly judge, them. The interesting thing about this essay though, is that the aquaruum of the daughter is happening at the same time as his other, older daughter is inventing an imaginary friend.


This is a true story and it is devastating. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

The Aquarium

It is still an act of extreme bravery. Seuss’ The Grinch Fantastic Beasts: It feels wrong to judge them because it is.

Bereft of a child, he considers life scarcely worth living—except for those moments when he sees the daughter who remains continue to experience the joy of a fertile imagination and infinite streams of new words. It was published in The Nation in Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Skip to content This is a true story and it is devastating.

Even after they’d freed themselves, carefully nurtured resentments were passed on from one generation to the next.

The Book of My Lives – Wikipedia

It advances, according to Kramnick, a very particular type of evolutionary theory based in E. Listening to Ella furiously and endlessly unfurl the Mingus tales, I understood that the need to tell stories was deeply embedded in our minds and inseparably entangled with the mechanisms that generate and absorb language.

By Aimee Levitt Which brings me back to Hemon: We processed the world by telling stories, produced human knowledge through our engagement with imagined selves. Inhowever, his nine-month-old daughter Isabel was diagnosed with an exceptionally rare type of brain tumour, and after a series of awful interventions she died in hospital before her first birthday.

Hemon in particular offers an articulate and brilliant analysis of what he went through as Isabel begins, goes through, and ends her disease.