Snow Abstractions

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Washington County Museum Author Series: Flamur Vehapi

vehapi-cover On November 26, 2016, I attended an author’s talk hosted by the Washington County Museum. Although the talk was sparsely attended—I was one of only four audience members—this was not, by any measure, a reflection of the quality of its content. Flamur Vehapi, a poet from Kosovo who fled his home due to a regime that relentlessly persecuted ethnic Albanians, was a talented speaker. I pieced together that he was only thirty-two years old, and yet he had a self-possession beyond his years, a quiet confidence void of egoism. He was understated and yet commanding in his presence, and I was really struck by this quality more than by almost anything he said; it was as if his presence embodied a content that exceeded his words, something so true that it resisted speech. And though much of his talk touched on horrors that were in fact unspeakable, that is not quite what I mean. He seemed, to use a word that has become trite in our self-help era, enlightened.

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