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The Cellist of Sarajevo

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Gretha Mae

on 24 May 2016

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Transcript of The Cellist of Sarajevo


When the mortars destroyed the Sarajevo Opera Hall, the cellist felt as if he were inside the building, as if the bricks and glass that once bound the structure together became projectiles that sliced and pounced into him, shredding him beyond recognition”
Cellist, pg. 4

Kosevo Stadium has burned to the ground and its fields are being used to bury the dead”
Arrow, pg. 35

“…two different architect built Strossmayer Street… Kenan remembers coming here as a child with his parents, between Christmas and New Year, to admire the street that had been decorated…It’s hard to see the street of his memory, in the one he’s in now.”
Kenan, pg. 57-58

“The post office, the theatre, the university and at the old town hall where the library was ho curved up and around.”
Arrow, pg.34

“He watched helpless and useless as this symbol of what the city was and what many still wanted it to be, gave in to the desire of the men on the hills.” Kenan,
pg. 112

Related Themes
Character Development
Kenan and Arrow wishes their city to be rebuilt again and to be restore to its former glory although both of them wants to go back to the way it was, for their favourite places and buildings to be rebuilt they both have uncertainties in their heart and little hope. But as they watch the cellist and their surroundings or what little is left of it, Kenan learns to accept his challenges while arrow discovers her trueself.

“They will be the ones who rebuild Sarajevo, when the time comes…They will rebuild the city…They will earn the right to do this.” Kenan, pg. 216

Dragan has the most character development, at first he is very selfish and he only wanted to remember of what Sarajevo was like before the war and he cannot accept the effects of the war and he only remembers his beautiful and happy town, but in the end he accepts the reality, the scars of Sarajevo and its structures.

“There’s no country to where he won’t be from Sarajevo. This is his home and this is the city he wants to be in.” pg. 185

They all refuse to give up by staying in the city and to not succumb to what the men on the hills want.

“Sarajevo was a great city for walking. It was impossible to get lost. If you didn’t know where you were, you just went downhill until you hit the river and from there it would all be obvious.” Dragan, pg. 35

"...now a shell here and a sniper there have altered which streets are familiar and which are vaguely known." Dragan, pg. 88

How the symbol develops social concern
“If this city is to die it won’t be because of the men on the hills, it will be because of the people in the valley. When they’re content to live with death, to become what the men on the hills want them to be then, Sarajevo will die” Dragan pg. 238

“How do you built it all up again? Do the people who destroyed the city also rebuild it?... he believes that the characters of those who will build the city again is more important than the makeup of those who destroyed it.” Kenan, pg. 60

“Buildings are eviscerated, burned and gutted…you can see that, you can touch it and you can walk by it everyday. But when people die…the spot where they were shattered is unrecognizable… That’s why the men on the hills are able to kill with impunity.” Kenan, pg. 164

Coax pg.2- persuade (someone) gradually or by flattery to do something.

Tram pg.111- a cable car

Impunity pg.164- exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.

Eviscerated pg.164- take away a vital part, disembowel

The Cellist of Sarajevo
Coping with war (flashbacks)
Life is not what is used to be
Power of music
"Everyday the Sarajevo he thinks he remembers slips away from him little at a time, like water in the palms of his hands" Dragan, pg. 35-36

Everything is changing. Buildings and structures are destroyed because of the war, it highlights the theme that things are not what they used to be and the effect of the war to the city of Sarajevo. These structures give hope to the people such as Dragan,that somehow, someday, the war will be be over and from there they can rebuild these structures and live just like how they used to, and return the Sarajevo to its former self.

“North to Kosevo Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games were held or to the hospital which was across the street” Dragan, pg. 34-35

Later on in the novel it was revealed that the Kosevo Stadium or what was left of it is made into a burial ground for thousands of people died and their local cemetery is not enough and the hospital is not really a reliable place ever since the war started they ran out of medicines to give to people so old prescriptions that are not being used are given instead. These shows how hard life is during war, supplies running out, buildings and places destroyed and no place is safe. The war causes many things to change.

oslobodenje: newspaper building
Full transcript