Bohumil Hrabal

Total Fears: Letters to Dubenka

Trans. Kees Mercks
Lieve Dubenka
Lieve Dubenka
Pegasus, 2015, 32 pp
Language: Dutch
Genre: Correspondence, Prose

Description from the English edition published by Twisted Spoon Press:

In these letters written to April Gifford (Dubenka) between 1989 and 1991 but never sent, Bohumil Hrabal (1914-97) chronicles the momentous events of those years as seen, more often than not, from the windows of his favorite pubs. In his palavering, stream-of-conscious style that has marked him as one of the major writers and innovators of postwar European literature, Hrabal gives a humorous and at times moving account of life in Prague under Nazi occupation, Communism, and the brief euphoria following the revolution of 1989 when anything seemed possible, even pink tanks. Interspersed are fragmented memories of trips taken to Britain — as he attempted to track down every location mentioned in Eliot’s “The Waste Land” — and the United States, where he ends up in one of Dylan Thomas’s haunts comparing the waitresses to ones he knew in Prague. The result is a masterful blend of personal history and fee association rendered in a prose as powerful as it is poetic.

 

Information about the Dutch edition here.

Language: Dutch
Title: Lieve Dubenka
Publisher: Pegasus
Year: 2015
Pages: 32
Genre: Correspondence, Prose