Tag Archives: Central Europe
Attrition by Pierre Alain

The Missing Slate: Central European Issue

“When a North American or British writer wants to write about new empires that come out of nowhere brandishing stark and memorable symbols, of vanquished homelands and cities made unrecognizable by war, he or she is likely writing a fantasy or science-fiction book. For a Central European writer they need look no further than their […]

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Cartarescu’s ‘Blinding’ wins Leipzig Book Award

Romanian writer Mircea Cărtărescu has won the Leipzig Book Award for his trilogy Blinding. The novel originally came out in three separate parts in 1996, 2002 and 2007 respectively, while its outstanding English translation by Sean Cotter was published as a single book by Archipelago Books in 2013. The award’s full name is the “Leipzig […]

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Literary roundup: Dream-Tbilisi and Zweig’s moment in the sun

“Lermontov’s house is gone now. The foundations have crumbled in upon themselves; the mock-ups of the reconstruction are now covered in graffiti. There will never be any reconstruction…” This is the beginning of Tara Isabella Burton’s excellent essay on Tbilisi on Tin House’s blog Fiction by Lyudmila Ulitskaya Great Russian writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya has a […]

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SatanasAntichrist

Central Europe: The devil’s playground

Book World Prague roundup Prague’s book fair just came and went and though I missed seeing a lot of the bigger names and featured events I was left with one strong impression that seems highly significant for Central European literature and the region as a whole. It is that Central Europe is fucked – no […]

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Marionetki

The Sinister Sons of Sienkiewicz

Norman Davies wrote about Poland as the Heart of Europe. Now it looks like the country is becoming the beating, bloody force of its newest wave of crime fiction For lovers of European crime fiction tired of reading about another glum, divorced, middle-aged Scandinavian police detective who drinks too much for his/her own good, a […]

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Phantom Countries – On the Road to Babadag by Andrzej Stasiuk

My review of Andrzej Stasiuk’s On the Road to Babadag in the summer issue of The Cerise Press. “They lived in the old Jewish quarter, at the edge of a Slovak town, at the foot of a Hungarian castle, so in order to exist and not disappear, they had to create their own rules, their […]

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How a South American Hunter Discovered Europe

A year spent in Prague is hardly an unusual experience these days for students, former students and all sorts of uncategorizable people in various phases of life. But the story of a South-American Indian spending a year in Prague back in 1908 presents a unique and fascinating story that seems as likely to come from […]

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Bruno Schulz’s ‘Treatise on Mannequins’

The Central European theater company Kompánia will stage a work based on the drawings and writings of Bruno Schulz on Saturday The Treatise on Mannequins is a theater piece inspired by Bruno Schulz’s art and writing, using music, visual art and acting to transmit a “world beyond time and space” to the audience. Director Krzysztof […]

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Best Translated Book Award 2012

The finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Award were announced and Central European books made a strong showing, with three titles on the 10-title shortlist. Last year there were only two finalists from the region whereas this year two Polish writers – Magdalena Tulli and Wiesław Myśliwski – made the cut along with Hungarian […]

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The revival of Franz Werfel

I’m not sure where on the scale of literary ambitions getting your face on a postage stamp should be ranked, but Prague-born writer Franz Werfel has just achieved this distinction. I have to admit to never having read a word Werfel wrote, though I have read a lot about him over the years. Last summer […]

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