A Sleeping Tradition


In the article “Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo” by Susan Sontag feature a narrative of life in Sarajevo. One of the dominant issue mentions is the effect war had on Sarajevo, and ultimately the people. Interestingly, Sontag aims to “do something”, and that she did.

Sontag achieves this by awaken the literary world through drama. Although, faced with a little less tool as accustom. For instance, theatre was destroyed and “most of the singers and musicians and ballet dancers left the city soon after the Serbs attacked” during the siege in Sarajevo.

Nonetheless, Sontag understood that “few people who feel strengthened and consoled by having their sense of reality affirmed and transfigured by art.” Moreover, by doing this she also awakens a sleeping tradition. Sontag mentions, “a cultural life comparable to that of other middle-sized old European cities, including an audience for theatre. Theatre in Sarajevo, as elsewhere in Central Europe, was largely repertory”.

Hence, theater was well known to this nation, it just had been asleep due to the war. Consequently, waking this resting tradition, will take commitment. Regardless, Sontag does this by producing a play.

However, this does not come without challenges because of the condition they reside. Firstly, the search for actors. This search was not a challenge, for there still were some talented people left in Sarajevo. But, these actors were gravely affected due to the environment. For instance, they were always tired also this affects the pace in which they learn their lines .Additionally, there was no electricity, so candle light was frequently used to read scripts. Lastly, Sontag did not get to produce her dream play. Although, she did produce a play, her origin plan had to be tailored as it relates to time for the dilapidated theatre was not enable to accommodate her. Reason being, it would produced in summer and there was no electricity or running water in the building.

In conclusion, Sontag wakes up a sleeping tradition. A tradition, that helps with providing ways for people to escape their reality. Likewise, a tradition that’s brings awareness allowing people of Sarajevo to get in touch with their culture.


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