series: Modern Czech Classics
paperback, 130 pp., 1. edition
translation: Posten, Anne
published: may 2023
recommended price: 280 czk
Leonora Marty, who fled Czechoslovakia decades earlier, has returned after the Velvet Revolution. Having concluded her ballet of The Makropulos Affair, the Czech choreographer wanders through Prague, meets old classmates, and visits obscure museums. Leonora is a cultural encyclopedia, so every encounter leads to reflections on the city, Czechoslovakia, and the world.
When Leonora meets a descendant of Germans driven from Czechoslovakia after World War Two, she must confront her relationship with the city of her youth, her homeland’s relationship with its past, and this new relationship with her German admirer.
Written in German and published in 1995, by an author whose life mirrored her protagonist’s, the novel employs a style as influenced by the operas of Leoš Janáček as the novels of Thomas Pynchon.
“A multilayered novel which takes us on a journey through the myths of Prague and the collective narratives of Czech-German conflict.”
–Lucy Duggan, author of Tendrils and Tiny Stories
“In Moníková’s novel, the alchemist laboratories of Prague’s Golden Lane open out onto imaginary landscapes: from the Valley of Wild Šárka, where female dissent was quashed during the mythological Maidens’ War, to the Valley of the Queens, where the mummified Pharaoh Hatshepsut survives undead.”
–Ulrike Vedder, professor of German literature at Humboldt University of Berlin
Translating & Transfiguring Libuše Moníková
Beseda s americkou překladatelkou Anne Postenovou u příležitosti vydání jejího překladu knihy Libuše Moníkové Transfigured Night pro Nakladatelství Karolinum. Večer moderoval Mike Baugh.