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Everyday Spooks (Bubáci pro všední den)

Everyday Spooks (Bubáci pro všední den)

Michal, Karel

témata: beletrie, bohemistika
edice: Modern Czech Classics

vázaná, 226 str., 1. vydání
překlad: Short, David
vydáno: červenec 2008
ISBN: 978-80-246-1494-6
doporučená cena: 390 Kč

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Anotace

Jedna z nejúspěšnějších českých beletristických knih šedesátých let minulého století, Bubáci pro všední den Karla Michala, se proslavila originální satirou namířenou na každodenní realitu v komunistickém Československu 50. a 60. let. Povídky plné groteskního humoru, často až absurdního vyznění, spojuje motiv setkání na hranici zdání a skutečnosti, který dohromady svádí obyčejné lidi (účetního, důstojníka, redaktora, dlaždiče, kastelána) s neobvyklými zjevy (prstýnkem proměňujícím člověka v medvěda, plivníkem, vikýřníkem, pidimužíkem-zabíječem lidí, mluvící mrtvou kočkou), aby na konfrontaci jejich jednání, myšlení či prosté řeči ukázal charakter podivné doby - prázdné, absurdní, až neskutečné. Kniha vychází poprvé v anglickém překladu a s doslovem Davida Shorta, ilustrovala ji Dagmar Hamsíková.

Recenze

Everyday Spooks: Timeless Fables
[…] Hrabal and Hašek lean more strongly toward dialogue and language, such as Prague dialect. They also often use the pub as the environment for their humor, and their language is more vulgar. Hašek's humor is the most pessimistic of the three as it is marked with bitterness and cynicism. In Hašek's works the protagonists do not take action, while in Hrabal's and Michal's writings the characters are often doing just that. As in Kafka's works there is a sense of hopelessness in the protagonists' actions. Yet in Kafka's prose the characters invent their own problems; in Michal's writings they do not (unless one considers all the tales to be figments of the main characters' imaginations). Like Michal, Hrabal wrote about Stalinization during the freer 1960s, giving him a sense of perspective.
Thus, the fables bring to light such negative aspects of society as the individual's hopeless plight versus bureaucracy, amorality, and betrayal. Michal also portrays how man tries to get rid of that which he cannot understand or attempts to pretend that which he cannot comprehend does not exist. While such themes hold true for mankind in general and therefore can be considered timeless, they also serve as commentary on Communist society. Employing grotesque humor and personified creatures or animals makes the pieces unbelievable yet, at the same time, more believable. Thus, Everyday Spooks and the author Karel Michal have carved a significant place for themselves in Czech literature.
Tracy Burns (Kosmas, Vol. 22, 2, Spring 2009, pp.98-102)

In Everyday Spooks, Karel Michal shares a forgotten world populated by murderous dwarves, cockabogies, ghosts, and the grotesque Doodledor. Written in the communist Czechoslovakia of the '50s and '60s, Michal's stories reflect a strange in-between-ness, a realm caught between medieval folklore and the oppressive modern state. Here, otherwise simple language that wouldn't be out of place in a children's book - indeed, translator David Short calls these 'grotesque fairy tales' - intermingles with discussion of quotas, class, and government agencies. This childish form allows Michal the freedom to address what he considers the injustices of the state, and subversively note the absurdities he finds in Czech culture.
[…]
Though the translation of Everyday Spooks has yielded some interesting phrases - colloquial Czech and rural accents abound, and Short interprets these with such locutions as 'soddin' superslut' and 'bog-trottin' bitch,' as well as other equally hilarious and bizarre expressions - despite these idiosyncrasies, or perhaps because of them, Michal's little book of tales is charming, an unlikely but enjoyable marriage of the odd old world and the absurd emerging new.
Jeff Waxman (CONTEXT, Review of Contemporary Fiction, University of Illinois, Dalkey Archive Press, pp.244-45)

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