Placák’s ambition to fathom the reality of the totalitarian society in the novel Medorek – as experienced through the eyes of the book‘s young semi-autobiographical hero – is expressed through the dissolution of the narrative and the dissolution of a consistent storyline. Medorek works in a factory but regards this unfamiliar environment with malevolent contempt; his detachment is only reinforced by secret police’s interest in him and his family.
Unsubstantiated, absurd interrogation and persecution; scenes from the factory and the main character’s personal life epitomize life situations of a person who grapples with omnipresent vacuum and his own weaknesses. Aside from experimental qualities, Medorek is also an ethical prose – an expressive depiction of society and its evils.
Medorek was first published as a samizdat in 1985 and already at the time of its publication, it incited furore within the dissident circles. It should be noted that according to the Bohemist Alexander Stich, Medorek is “one of the best Czech prose works of the 1980s”. One way or other, Placák’s deranged debut novel has retained the streak of controversy to this day. In 2010, this raw generation testimony oozes as much punk zest as quarter a century ago. The novel is published in its entirety for the first time, with all the original illustrations by Pavel Reisenauer.