Un été capricieux
series: Modern Czech Classics
paperback, 200 pp., 1. edition
translation: Rubeš, Jan
published: december 2014
recommended price: 500 czk
In Summer of Caprice (the classic novel of the Twenties that was adapted into the beloved film of the Czech New Wave in the Sixties) the arrival of a magician and his girlfriend to a sleepy spa town sets off a series of events that will turn the lives of everyone in Little Karlsbad upside down. Set over the course of just three days in June, this poetic and comic novel beautifully captures the atmosphere of a small town, as Vančura juxtaposes the mundanity of life with the majesty of language.
The playful narrative, linguistic dexterity, and metatextuality that has only become richer over the decades are hallmarks of this brilliant work of interwar modernism.
"The witty conversation and ingenious dialogues surpass the plot itself.”
"Certainly, Vladislav Vančura’s language is a test for any translator’s mettle.”
-Alice Horáčková, MF Dnes
"(What makes Vladislav Vančura unique) is that all of his avant-garde searching finally led him to the epic’s classical approach, which enabled him, like no other prose writer in the world, to appropriate all the fundamental epiphanies of modern lyric poetry.”
-M. Kundera, The Art of the Novel: Vladislav Vančura’s Journey in Search of the Great Epic