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A Bohemian Youth [Paperback]

Josef Hirsal , Michael Henry Heim

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Book Description

Dec 29 1997 Writings from an Unbound Europe
Winner of the 1998 PEN Center USA West Award for translation

Josef Hirsal's experimental novel is a Dada-like romp through the life of a young man born into a Bohemian peasant family. Told in five parts, A Bohemian Youth begins with a word to the wise, moves on to the text, continues with notes and with notes to the note, and ends with a note on the notes to the notes.

More than just a tongue-in-cheek parody of a literary memoir, A Bohemian Youth is a glimpse of the First Czechoslovak Republic as seen through the eyes of a young peasant from the provinces. Abounding in intimate details--the manners of a servant girl, the habits of the town homosexual, the sounds of popular music; the way people eat in wartime--Hirsal's novel is a wrenching and hilarious tale of a young man's emotional and sexual awakening.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 85 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1stEdition edition (Dec 29 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810115921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810115927
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g

Product Description

Review

"More than just a tongue- in-cheek parody of a literary memoir . . . it is a social history of the first rank . . ." --Translation Review


". . . That rare postmodern experiment which actually remembers to tell a story . . . a splendidly original achievement." --The New Yorker


"An inventive and clever parody of the coming-of-age tale . . . the result is nostalgic, agreeably sexy, and quite charming." --Kirkus Reviews
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Josef Hiršal was born in 1920 in Chomuticky in northeastern Bohemia. He became known in the 1960s as a poet and translator and was blacklisted after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He now lives in Prague.

Michael Henry Heim was a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at UCLA. His translations of Dubravka Ugrešic's Fording the Stream of Consciousness and Felix Roziner's A Certain Finkelmeyer have also been published by Northwestern University Press.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Little Novel July 2 2013
By Michael Fischer - Published on Amazon.com
Don't be put off by the term "experimental". This novel is accessible and entertaining. The story transcends the Central European setting. If you mention this work to your friends and family, they'll think you're something of an intellectual ... but really you've just enjoyed a (short) well-written novel. Highly recommended.

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