Description of a Struggle: The Vintage Book of Contemporary by Michael March

By Michael March

A really great fresh anthology with an creation by way of Ivan Klima. even though the name is from Kafka, every thing is way extra modern. The fight within the identify refers back to the universal fight shared by way of the authors and artists of nations lower than 'totalitarian' rule. it is a really nice position to profit approximately a few new authors.

Forty-three unusual writers from 16 japanese eu nations--including Poland, Russia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Albania--provide illuminating reviews of the absurdities, tragedies, and stipulations in their homelands and the realm at huge.

and Publishers Weekly blurb:
Editor March's awesome assortment offers forty three brief tales from sixteen japanese eu international locations. Westerners, obviously, will seek them for a few shared socialist imprint. In his advent, Czech novelist Klima clues readers the place to appear: the common piercing melancholy and the surreal or absurd makes an attempt to flee it. regardless of beautiful, visceral renderings of the likes of Slavenka Draculic, Peter Esterhazy, Bohumil Hrabal and Ismail Kadare, Westerners may possibly by no means fathom the country keep watch over and attendant breakdown of humanity. Nowhere is the bitterness extra obvious than within the tales from Bulgaria, top represented via Ivan Kulekov's three-page ``My previous, My Future,'' an acerbic distinction of attractiveness and brutality. Poland's Hanna Krall dispassionately re-creates the lifetime of a terrorist, a lifestyles that hyperlinks the violence of Hitler's camps to the pink military faction. Latvian Andra Neiburga lines demise in quotidian banality, whereas his countryman Andrei Levkin paints an impressionistic trip of immense futility. The surreal thrives amid decay in Victor Lapitskii's Russian tale, ``Ants,'' whereas Igor Klekh expounds at the Ukrainian nationwide personality. There are a few mild tales, like Albanian Mimoza Ahmeti's clever, lyrical love tale. the choices are all well-crafted, relocating achievements, expressed with singular concentration and metaphor.

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M r Antoni Wrzosek, his hands in his pockets, his back resting against the lamppost, thinks about an explanation for the sparks - there were sparks, hard to deny, it was a light o f some kind, very much like little sparks - which he saw not long ago in front o f the northern wall o f the square. And the large brown cat that disappeared in the grass, what did it have to do with this l i g h t . . M r Antoni Wrzosek’s dark, neatly trimmed moustache ends between the corners o f his m outh and his chin.

Were the men alive when it happened, I wondered, never questioning whether the report was true. The question o f truth, or any other question for that matter, pales next to the swirling pictures, the whirlpool o f pictures that sucks me in, choking me. At that moment, whatever the truth, I can imagine nothing but the bucket full o f testicles, slit throats, bodies with gory holes where hearts had been, gouged eyes - death as sheer madness. As I rest my forehead on the cold windowpane I notice that there is still a little light outside, and other scenes are flitting by, scenes o f peaceful tranquillity.

O f all he sees he likes the clouds best. Each cloud is shaped differently. Some look like familiar things, other like things soon to be invented, yet others suggest distant worlds, and some dissolve as the Pope watches. Footsteps, heard from the depths o f the palace, belong to a young monk who brings the Pope his chamber pot. The Pope would gladly speak with the young man, but the m onk cut off his own tongue so that he could pledge all his thoughts to God. W hat nonsense, thinks the Pope. The m onk sets the pot behind the door, covers it with a richly embroidered cloth, bows and leaves.

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