Patrik Ouředník

Case Closed

Trans. Alex Zucker
Case Closed
Dalkey Archive Press, 2010, 124 pp
Language: English
Genre: Prose
Foreign rights
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Centered on an elderly retiree and his intellectual adversary, the shrewd Inspector Lebeda, Case Closed is filled with all the expected elements of a thriller – murder, rape, suicide – but soon reveals itself as a wily and sophisticated parable about the dangers of language itself, in which the author takes aim at human nature with a devestating arsenal of genre-mixing, wordplay, and whimsical, biting satire.

Praise

“Life in and as fiction, and philosophical quandaries (right down to the question: “Are we real ?”): Ouředník piles it on thick and fast. It works – indeed, it’s tremendously appealing – because he shows such a light, deft touch. Case Closed is terribly playful, but not quite fatally so.”

—M.A.Orthofer, The Complete Review

“It’s the playful, wordy sensibility of Beckett, perhaps, that can be felt most in Ourednik’s latest brainteaser of a novel, Case Closed—a sort-of Waiting for Godot along the Vltava.”

—Anderson Tepper, Words Without Borders

“Ouredník offers tantalizing clues in brief chapters and alternating points of view that are endlessly, and humorously, non-intersecting; but the chain of perhaps unrelated events amounts to a gleeful skewering of the Czech national character and a character-rich, dialogue-sassy send-up colored by a lingering Communist legacy.”

Publishers Weekly

“[…] within the novel several seemingly disparate and humorous descriptions of games and pastimes become powerful ontological symbols of the political relationship between the individual and wider society, additionally serving as evocative allusions to a person’s pursuit of meaning in their own lives.”

—Jordan Anderson, The Quarterly Conversation

Information about the original Czech edition

Ad acta

Other selected published translations (3)

Classé sans suite French

Caso irrisolto Italian

Een afgedane zaak Dutch

Language: English
Place: Illinois, USA
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Year: 2010
Pages: 124
Genre: Prose
Foreign rights
Pluh
Grants