Sunday, July 21, 2019

In memory of Milorad Pavić

A long time ago, in a world before smartphones and social media, I was wandering through a bookstore when I came across an intriguing book “Dictionary of the Khazars” by Milorad Pavić. A gush of excitement at the discovery because he wrote two versions of the book, a male and female version, both identical with the exception of a single paragraph. I bought both versions and was delighted to have found the single different paragraph. I only bought one more book by Pavić but never came across any of his other books.

Today, out of the blue, I came across his book lying in the corner. I then decided to look-up if he wrote any other books or if he was still writing. Sadly, I found out that he passed away ten years ago in 2009. That explains why I never came across any new books. He did write many other books and I will have to find those other books, a task much easier nowadays than it was decades ago. I also have to re-read the Dictionary because I have forgotten many of the details. What I haven’t forgotten is the sheer sense of dizzying delight that followed when I read his book. It was a similar feeling when reading books by Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino or Haruki Murakami.

Here’s to you Mr. Pavić, thank you for making the world a better place with your words.