Branko Ćopić

Eagles Fly Early. Notes

Many are the reasons why this was always at the top of my favorite childhood books.

Reading it now, I am more than ever delighted by the richness of Ćopić’s language. I definitely appreciate it more. It is very easy to forget just how expressive Bosnian language is, or rather how expressive it can be, since many of the words he uses are ‘old fashioned’, archaic or in best case consigned to rural areas. Juicy, resonant, onomatopoeic words that cannot fail to bring joy and laughter.

And, as with Pero Kvržica’s Gang, there was a thing in this book that I am not sure I’ve noticed before. If I had, then I am sure I haven’t been fully aware of it. I am talking about its mythical component. Places – woods, glades, mountains – hold in their memory events long passed. They are carved in earth’s flesh and if one finds oneself on the right spot and listens carefully one can hear echoes of a battle, of a hero’s last goodbye, of lovers’ laughter… It’s a powerful thought.