My Seven Lives by Agneša Kalinová | Friday Pick

My Seven LivesBy Jana Juráňová and Agneša KalinováTranslated by Julia Sherwood and Peter SherwoodPurdue University Press2021, 380...
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Richard Pupala

There was a time, long, long ago now, when Michal used to be scared of him. Once he was startled awake in the middle of a hot summer’s night, to find his little brother sitting on his bed, motionless, a dark silhouette.

Daniel Majling

It is a place where customs officers frequently come across lorries that carry cheap, Chinese-made copies of branded clothes (adidad, nikhe) but this time instead of fake clothes or perfumes the lorries contained books. Dostojevzski, Tolsztoi, Toorgenef – cheap imitations of lasting literary value for those who can’t afford to read real Russian classics because these are too demanding.

Agnesa Kalinova

The year 1969 put a stop to every reform movement and aspiration and extinguished the hopes that had been nurtured since Stalin’s death and solidified in 1956, when the illustrious leader of the proletariat was denounced in Moscow, launching more than a decade of a bizarre dance: one step forward and two steps back, then the other way round.

Agnesa Kalinova

Then came the day that the decree ordering the deportation of Jewish girls was issued. It was in all the papers and probably also posted all around town.All I know is that we didn’t receive any summons at home. But we knew that all unmarried Jewish girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 30 were to report to the courtyard of the Reform primary school that I had attended as a child.

Pavel Vilikovsky

It is one of the little tricks we humans play: whenever something is beyond us, we invent a name for it, at the very least, or borrow one from some ancient language, and we feel more secure straight away.

Balla

The writer bought a literary magazine, leafed through it, and was gratified: he hadn’t submitted anything and none of his work had been published.

Slovak Fiction Week: Into the Spotlight

Try to ask even a very well-read English-speaking literary type to name a Slovak writer and you will likely be met with a blank stare. "Well, Milan Kundera was from Czechoslovakia . . . does that count?"

Ondrej Stefanik

I’m on display here, you fool. I’m wearing my best dress, simple, posh, fresh like fresh fruit, flammable, cling-wrapped to protect it from vagrants, cool like a crouching leopard with taut muscles. And the first words you shoot at me are Hi, Paula, feeling better now?

Jan Rozner

What he couldn’t afford to do was attend his wife’s funeral where quite a few people might see him. He could not go to his wife’s funeral one day and phone Highly Placed the next. That might ruin everything.

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