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I, City [Paperback]

Pavel Brycz , Joshua Cohen , Marketa Hofmeisterova

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Twisted Spoon Press; Tra edition (Jan. 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8086264270
  • ISBN-13: 978-8086264271
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 14.5 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,734,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Brycz pays tribute to his native Bohemian city of Most in this dreamy, disjointed series of vignettes, first published in 1998. The narrator is actually the city itself (located in the northwestern Czech Republic) and documents the follies of its youth, the vagaries of government and church, and the ravages of Soviet occupation. "I am not a hero," the city declares. "But when people on my streets and in my houses are truly human, I feel heroic." Most is portrayed here as a working-class city made up of migratory Germans, Czechs, Gypsies, Jews and poets speaking an "industrial conglomerate." Sometimes the city narrator waxes nostalgic, as when remembering lost sons of the city such as the Moravian singer and violinist Hanicka Haná, who settled in Most after World War II. Variously, the city marvels at the visiting Berolina Circus's polar bear act, witnesses sad partings between lovers and records good deeds (a taxi driver returns a teenage runaway to her parents' home). The voice of Brycz's battered city rings epic and authentic, while the translators' note offers an extensive history of Most. (Nov. 30)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book Description

I, City is a novel about the north Bohemian city of Most, an ancient city founded on a primeval wetland literally relocated because it stood on a coal field. The city is the narrator of this unusual story telling its own story through its inhabitants, who make their appearances in fleeting, ghost-like vignettes, and Joycean epiphanies. The "I" is a whole consciousness enough removed from the town that it sees and knows everything, past and present. As Most’s people emerge from the pollution and swamp of the town’s founding, their historical that mistrust history, with typical Czech irony. Here, in the city, fictional people say factual things and factual people (Kafka, the Pope, the last president of Communist Czechoslovakia Gustav Husak) say fictional things; this is post-modernity via Marquez and Magical Realism.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars city of Most is like a character in this novel by an Eastern European writer Jan. 2 2007
By Henry Berry - Published on Amazon.com
The translators, one who lives in Brooklyn and the other in Prague, rightly note that Brycz's fiction is "many things--a collection of stories. Of prose-poems. A novel in stories. A series of sketches in the best easterly European tradition of Danilo Kis, or Isaac Babel." Also an impressionistic history, and a postmodern memoir, they might have added. The narrator is the city of Most, an actual city growing up around a chemical plant built by the Nazis and later used by Stalin which which has lasted into contemporary times to "listen to the quite big second coming of Janis Joplinka" and appreciate John Lennon and Wayne Gretzsky. Brycz, born in 1968, lives in Most. "I, City" is his third book. His sinuous, almost bewitching prose captures the blend of anonymity, heterogeneity, vitality, and witness of Most and by extension nearly all cities, as in "I love coffee. It's the vice of the cities. They make it from the night...I only inhaled the coffee from the plastic cup of a man who was sad, because he was drinking filtered coffee, and so he didn't know a thing about his future...."

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