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Czech Dreambook
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Czech Dreambook (Paperback)

Pre-order. Despatched on publication 05/09/2019


It's 1979 in Communist Czechoslovakia, ten years into the crushing period known as normalization, and Ludvik Vaculik has writer's block. It has been nearly a decade since he wrote his powerful novel, The Guinea Pigs, and it was in 1968 that he wrote his anti-regime manifesto, Two Thousand Words, which the Soviet Union used as a pretext for invading Czechoslovakia. On the advice of his friend, the poet and surrealist painter Jiri Kolar, Vaculik begins to keep a diary, "a book about things, people, and events." This marks the beginning of A Czech Dreambook.

Fifty-four weeks later, what Vaculik turns out to have written is a unique mixture of diary, dream journal, and outright fiction-an inverted roman a clef in which the author, his family, his mistresses, and the real leaders of the Czech underground play major roles. Undisputedly the most debated novel among the Prague dissident community of the 1980s, it is a work that Vaculik himself described as an amalgam of "hard-boiled documentary" and "magic fiction," while Vaclav Havel called it "a truly profound and perceptive account. . . . A great novel about modern life and the crisis of contemporary humanity."

A Czech Dreambook has been hailed as the most important work of Czech literature in the past forty years. And yet it has never before been available in English. Flawlessly translated by Gerald Turner, Vaculik's masterpiece is a brilliant exercise in style, dry humor, and irony-an important portrait of the lives and longings of the dissidents and post-Communist elites.

Essays & WritingEssays & JournalismReportage & collected journalism Publisher: Karolinum,Nakladatelstvi Univerzity Karlovy,Czech Republic Publication Date: 05/09/2019 ISBN-13: 9788024638522  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order. Despatched on publication 05/09/2019 Pre-Order

Ludv k Vacul k (1926-2015) was a leading figure of Czech dissident literature of the 1970s and '80s. He began his writing career as a journalist and a member of the Communist party, of which he grew disillusioned. Banned from writing, Vacul k turned to writing samizdat and publishing the work of other banned writers. Gerald Turner has been one of the leading translators of the Czech language since the early 1980s. He was personal translator to the playwright and President of the Czech Republic V clav Havel.

More books by Ludvik Vaculik

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