12 August 2005


Conditional Identity

Nenad Dragicevic isn’t a bad name at all. It’s exotic, difficult for many people to pronounce, and elicits perplexed looks whenever I say it aloud. It is, in other words, a name that pulls the rug out from under people. Nenad Dragicevic was a minor poet with a correspondingly small body of work and the most modest of reputations. I met him many years ago. I asked him if he ever regretted devoting his life to poetry. Sometimes, he said, I wish I had devoted my energies to getting just one poem right. Then I would truly have been myself.

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