Pavel Šrut’s fractured lyrics are often themselves fractured parables about the individual’s relation to authority, whether that authority be the state, a colonizing power, the court of public oppinion, a dubious beloved, or history itself. In some of his poems, the wives of Great Men have the last, often hilarious, word on their husbands’ accomplishments, and in others a poor Everyman schmuck Novak–the Czech equivalent of Smith, though even more suggestive of ordinariness–bumps his head, again and again, on the iron question mark at the heart of existence.
About the translator
Ema Katrovas was born in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1990. For most of her childhood, she traveled between Prague and New Orleans with her parents and sibling, attending both Czech and American schools. She has spent her summers in the midst of the Prague Summer Program, a creative writing and cultural-studies program for American students. She currently studies Music and English at Western Michigan University.