Kde život náš je v půli se svou poutí
[Midway Upon the Journey of Our Life]
paperback, 160 pp., 1. edition
published: november 2019
recommended price: 320 czk
Midway Upon the Journey of Our Life is the first line of "Inferno" from Dante’s Divine Comedy, and right from the start, the name is in bitter contrast with the Czechoslovak reality of the 1950s. Josef Jedlička’s autobiographic prose is the testimony of a man about the simultaneousness of tomorrows, whose ability to make sharp observations reveals the tragicomic world of the Stalinist era. Individual episodes of everyday life and plot twists gradually fall together and form a distinctive collage in which time zones and planes intertwine – recordings from that period (speech of Klement Gottwald on the Old Town Square), fragments of the author’s life (moving to Litvínov, life in a collective house), and meditative reflections all mutually coexist. This testimony of that period is underlined by the poetic language that does not suffer a lack of terse and current matter-of-factness; still valid connections and relationships are transformed, which allows for the use of free associations and even peculiar irony. It is thus a philosophical reflection permeated by literary reminiscences and associations which follow the literary tradition of the previous decades.