What is human and what is now inhuman? An inventory of the most important things that still make us human.
What is humanity and what is it founded upon? The uncompromising, dark descent into the most rank recesses of the human psyche in the collection Inventory does not show the reader the bright side of the planet’s intelligent inhabitants: the inventory of our existence works out very unfavourably for the poor accountant. Here humanity and its future is given up as a lost cause. Hearts are eaten alive, the word darling has a strangely repulsive ring to it, children live off human flesh, and relationships are consumed in a similar manner – each verse is dedicated to monstrosity and perversion. Despite all of this, at the very end of the collection the tiniest of spaces remains for love. The language of the poetry is just as earthy – there is nothing pretty about it. Prettiness is left up to the reader.
“Bouška communicates all of the anxiety and tension of his age and gives it a fascinating form, just as Samuel Beckett did in his day: convincing, mature, uncompromising, at times almost cruel, farcical and solipsistic.”
—Magnesia Litera Award jury
“Bouška’s imagery evolves from lyrically abstract verse and takes on a form that is far more specific and colloquial but also disgusted, where we find no sympathy for the human race.”
About the author
Kamil Bouška (1979), poet, researcher at the Institute of Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Science and Arts. He graduated in religious studies from Pardubice University. Together with Petr Řehák and Adam Borzič, he is a member of the poetry group Fantasia. His poems formed part of a joint collection named after the group (2008), and he occasionally makes public appearances alongside the other members. He is one of the core authors of Fra publishing house. His solo debut was the collection Oheň po slavnosti (A Fire After a Party, 2011), which was nominated for the Magnesia Litera Award for Poetry and for Discovery of the Year. In 2015 he published his second collection of poetry, Hemisféry (Hemispheres, 2015), which was followed by Inventura (Inventory, 2018), nominated for the Magnesia Litera Award for Poetry. He lives and works in Prague.