Lubomír Martínek in B O D Y

Milan Kundera wasn’t the only Czech writer to leave Czechoslovakia for France in the 1970s. Living a shadowy existence in another country is the subject of Lubomír Martínek’s story “Refugee” translated by Charles Sabatos.

“Because the harbor was such a favored refuge for people escaping from various regimes, a lot of former political prisoners lived here. Bruno Vandersarren learned from them that after his arrival, Štěpán was drawn to beings who lived in extreme conditions. He liked to visit them and talk. Former inmates of concentration camps, penitentiaries, prisons and other corrective institutions agreed that at one time Štěpán had been exceptionally interested in their past. But then his visits had suddenly stopped. They couldn’t explain it. Bruno, however, was beginning to feel that Štěpán had come to them to gather his strength.”

Read more Saturday European Fiction

Photo – Wismar, Seehafen at night by Jürgen Sindermann/German Federal Archive

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Categories: Saturday European Fiction

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