The minimalist story of a search for the causes of an existential crisis which expands in front of the reader into a parable about the crisis facing society and civilization
It all begins with the feeling, expressed casually and quite inadvertently, that the narrator’s path in life has stopped making sense to him. We follow the twists and turns in the life of a person who is not out to reform society but at the same time is incapable of fitting into modern corporate society and discovering a meaningful way of existing within it. He is not even sure whether he lost that meaning himself or someone stole it from him, and whether his apathy is a road that might lead somewhere. This novella by an author who has so far published three poetry collections does not drift into general reflections; instead, the sense of crisis is examined through the story itself, which has the kind of momentum and energy and also distinctive style that few works of contemporary Czech prose can lay claim to.
“Preparations for everything is a work devoid of literary pretensions and is unusually harsh in terms of its language and world view.”
— Český rozhlas, Vltava
“[The novella] happily stirs the stagnant waters in which most books are designed to be devoured quickly without posing any questions or making you think.”
About the author:
Elsa Aids (1981) is a magazine editor, journalist and proofreader. In addition to essays and reviews, he has also published three poetry collections: Trojjediný prst (The Trinitarian Finger, 2011), Nenávist (Hatred, 2014) and Kniha omezení (The Book of Limitations, 2017). His prose debut Přípravy na všechno (Preparations for everything, 2020) was chosen for the eighth Susanna Roth Award for beginner translators of Czech literature. He writes under a pseudonym.