The humour of pseudonymous poet Ewald Murrer converges with an unsentimental melancholy in a poetically timeless fantasy world.
When Ewald Murrer was awarded the 2020 Magnesia Litera Award, the jury justified its decision by stating that in his poetry “imagination and an interest in mystery converge with an absurd, at times even naturalistic hyperbole”, and that in this regard the poet was following on from the poetic of “a melancholic and bizarre reverie which had captivated readers back in the early 1990s in his book Zápisník pana Pinkeho (The Diary of Mr Pink)”. All of this is true of his new collection, The Voices of Fish; however, compared to Murrer’s earlier work, the atmosphere here is increasingly mournful and uneasy, with a gnawing awareness of death and non-being. This creates a striking contrast to the poet’s discreet, unobtrusive, yet all the more malicious sense of humour: “Fisherman Death / is fishing in our pond. // (…) I can hear what I didn’t hear before. / The whisper of stones, the hollow sounds of overturned furrows. / The voices of fish / after the rains / calling from the puddles.”
About the author:
Ewald Murrer (1964) began publishing underground in the 1980s and contributed to the legendary anthology Už na to seru, protože to mám za pár (I don’t give a shit anymore cos I’m out soon). His work also featured in an anthology of poetry by the second underground generation, U nás ve sklepě (At Home in the Cellar, 2013). He has published several poetry collections, including Noční četba (Night Reading, 2019), for which he was awarded the 2020 Magnesia Litera Award.