By Josef Hirsal
Winner of the 1998 PEN middle united states West Award for translation
Josef Hirsal's experimental novel is a Dada-like romp in the course of the lifetime of a tender guy born right into a Bohemian peasant relations. advised in 5 elements, A Bohemian formative years starts with a observe to the clever, strikes directly to the textual content, maintains with notes and with notes to the word, and ends with a observe at the notes to the notes.
More than simply a tongue-in-cheek parody of a literary memoir, A Bohemian formative years is a glimpse of the 1st Czechoslovak Republic as obvious in the course of the eyes of a tender peasant from the provinces. Abounding in intimate details--the manners of a servant lady, the conduct of town gay, the sounds of renowned tune; the best way humans devour in wartime--Hirsal's novel is a wrenching and hilarious story of a tender man's emotional and sexual awakening.
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Additional info for A Bohemian Youth (Writings from an Unbound Europe)
Corruption was also a major factor. Even the Ger mans could be bribed. A woman named Papouskova who lived off her private income in the nearby village of Stare Smrkovice smoothed over an anti-Nazi remark by donat- ing a side of pork to the Gestapo and even managed to get someone out of a concentration camp for a whole animal. 1. As I have mentioned before, Father served as Fiseras apprentice. He had previously been apprenticed to a gardener in Lazne Belohrad, but the work was arduous and Belohrad too far from home, and he ran away after six weeks or so.
Set off for camp by candle light along same duckboards. Awful march, didn’t get back until midnight. 12 December. Left on leave. ip i 8 5 January. Back from leave, wonderful time, played in two churches. Had to go on to Dubnica, because regiment there again. 17 February. En route along Danube, Lower Austria. Coffee at Amstetten 9 a . m . An hour s stop. Wrote to Agi and to family. Fine weather. Mess at Osten San Florian. Bought wine, wrote to Agi. Evening coffee in Viedau. 20 February. Loaded trains in the morning and left for Trento.
Feb. 1916: 6th Polenblut, 8th Zsuzsi kisasszony, 12th Rund um die Liebe, 13th Die ideale Gattin, 15th A kiskiraly, 19th Rund um die Liebe, 20th Der G raf von Luxemburg, 22nd Die oder keine, 26th Zsuzsi kisasszony, 27th Rund um die Liebe, 29th Die oder keine. March 1916: 2nd Polenblut, 4th Tiszavirag, 8th Keverhazi Konrad,” and so on until June. The performances were well attended by the officer elite and proceeded very much as Jaroslav Hasek describes them: “Lieutenant Lukas . . had left the camp and gone to the Hungarian theatre in Kiralyhida, where they were giving a Hungarian operetta.
A Bohemian Youth (Writings from an Unbound Europe) by Josef Hirsal