“We All Carry Inside Us Many Identities, a Multitude of These Selves of Ours”: Anthropological Analysis of Bekim Sejranović’s Novel the Diary of a Nomad

  • Nina Kulenović Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Keywords:
anthropology, literature, migrant, identity, (non)belonging, Bekim Sejranović

Abstract

This paper offers an anthropological analysis of Bekim Sejranović’s last novel, The Diary of a Nomad, approaching it as the ethnography of the novelist’s own migrant experience. The goal of the paper is, on the one hand, to answer the question how, in the process of constant movement between cultural boundaries, the identity of the author himself is being constructed and reconstructed, and how it is being shaped through the very process of writing. On the other hand, the paper looks at how the author imagines Norway, and thus potentially participates in the way in which a region is imagined in the context in which the reception of the novel takes place. Finally, it sheds light on the reasons why the author feels like a stranger in his “new/Scandinavian homeland”, even though he has spent more than twenty years there and has Norwegian citizenship, how he perceives himself as being externally categorized as a stranger, why he self-identifies relationally as a non-Norwegian, and also why he strategically self-identifies as a Norwegian when this particular self-identification is to serve as a basis for building legitimacy for his criticism of Norwegian society.

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Published
2020-04-19