Pavel Vilikovsky in B O D Y

“As far as I’m aware, none of the big shots in the Third Reich was a sadist.

All four committed suicide. Hitler and Goebbels did so even before Germany capitulated. Himmler followed when he realized his captors weren’t going to treat him as an important statesman but rather as a criminal, while the hedonist Goering waited until all hope had been extinguished, after the trial was over and the verdict had been passed. They lacked an opportunity, and probably also the will, to tell their story – the losers accounting for their actions?”

From Slovak novelist Pavel Vilikovský’s novel The Autobiography of Evil, translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood. Vilikovský is one of the most grossly underrepresented writers from Central Europe in English translation and there isn’t a single justifiable reason for it . . . not one. Just the fact that he served on a beauty contest jury panel, with Milan Kundera and Josef Škvorecký in 1968 before the Soviet invasion, should assure him of literary immortality (an incident he recounted to me in an interview I will expand on in the upcoming Afterwords in Literalab).

Read more Saturday European Fiction

Photo – Pavel Vilikovský by Lucia Gardin

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Categories: Saturday European Fiction

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