I have just finished rereading Mesa Selimovic’s Death and the Dervish for the third time, and I am prepared to say that it is a masterpiece.
Think of a more restrained and penetrating Crime and Punishment. More restrained in that the protagonist exists in a more rigid environment than Raskolnikov (a muslim tekke) and is thus required by convention not only to refrain from acting on his impulses and desires, but to try and PREVENT impulses and desires from popping into his head. More penetrating because Selimovic is a master of frank and poetical prose (kudos to the translator) in a way that Dostoevsky is not in his current English incarnations (an exception to this is the Volokhonskly/Pevear translation of the Brothers Karamazov).
Most of the action is interior, and the appeal of the novel is not so much in its plot as in its mastery of psychology. I want to say “historical psychology”, but coining terms is not my bag. It is definitely not a fast read, and the philosophical musings with which the protagonist tortures himself can go on for pages. This is not a bad thing at all, mind you, but the novel does require time and effort. It also richly rewards it.