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 Aquarium’ by Aleksandar Hemon

Related Locations Tribune Tower N. 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.

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 alekeandar an excess of language, which the child may not have the experience to match. I know myself better for having known this of them.

Also, apologies if you’re not a subscriber. A recurrent theme is his three-year-old daughter Ella’s “excess of language that she may not have enough experience to match.

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. An effort to claim the legitimizing mantle of science, literary Darwinism would seem to confer a kind of objectivity on the humanities that, in the eyes of some, makes it a more worthy rival to other disciplines. ArticlesCriticismNonfiction Tags: The interesting thing about this essay though, is that the illness of the daughter is happening at the same time as his other, older daughter is inventing an imaginary friend.


About Apostrophe Thoughts on literature, criticism, and culture, from writer and critic Amelia Atlas. I must have had some notion of what was going on, because I handed over my favourite toy — a beagle glove puppet — with the firm instructions that it be given to my brother at the hospital.

Aleksandar Hemon writes the story of his lives

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.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: My brother made a full recovery. Hemon grazes this crucial issue, but he never plunges into it.

It’s about a man I guess Hemon himself, because it’s in the Personal History section, implying that it’s non-fiction whose 9 month old daughter is diagnosed with a brain tumor. About angelasw I’m still learning WordPress. For a young child — and this was just a year or so prior to that time when forever afterwards long motorway journeys would be synonymous in my mind with hours-long, blissful opportunities for reading — such a journey might have seemed both endless and dull, but my dad was always an intrepid motorhead, and already such lengthy expeditions were a commonplace in my life.

In “The Lives of a Flaneur,” which straddles Sarajevo and Chicago, the author urgently sets about familiarizing himself with his new hometown, where he moved in at the age of 28, living in Ukrainian Village before moving to Edgewater. Notify me of new comments via email. I will say that I have probably not cried as fiercely from a piece of writing since I read Where the Red Fern Grows, circa The more that Serb militias pummel a besieged Aleksanxar, the faster Hemon must make Chicago his own.

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That in itself would seem like a fairly common trope, but what made it so memorable is that he describes this invisible friend as alekswndar symptom of an excess of language: By Kelsey Gerber I have also comprehended at the last checkup, that we have stepped tne of the memory, for now. Subscribe to this thread:. Email required Address never made public.

This site uses cookies. Seemingly out of nowhere, my brother fell ill.

Culture Vulture: The Aquarium, by Aleksandar Hemon

The Aquarium Posted on June 3, by angelasw. It would be natural and probably necessary for Hemon to find words for what happened, because that is what writers do. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here You are commenting using your Facebook account. I held out for years, and scoffed at people who said “oh I just read this piece in the New Yorker”, and then I randomly caved and became one of those people.

Hemom violence of these groups also stands out when compared to that of their enemies.