“The moon has gone down, disappeared somewhere; the stars are now a pale yellow colour and fast fading, all the merriment having gone from them. Dew is falling as Ester carries the milk pail, says czokolom, thank you, in their language and tries to squeeze past the old woman on her way out. But the old woman blocks her way and says that she will thrash her, the lump of rubbish. And then she starts beating her over the head and shoulders with her stick.”
From writer Juraj Bindzár’s novel Dance With The Dead Maidservant translated from the Slovak by Johnathan Gresty in an excerpt in this week’s Saturday European Fiction. This is, as far as I know, Bindzár’s first appearance in English translation and the novel, set in the Hungarian region of today’s Slovakia with its former mix of Slovaks, Hungarians and Jews (the first two are still there) looks like a bleak put powerful and lyrical novel still available to publishers.
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Photo – Servant Girl in Blue by Chaim Soutine, 1934