|Date Published||3rd July 2023|
|Publisher||Twisted Spoon Press|
A novel by Czech Surrealist and visual artist Eva Švankmajerová, Baradla Cave has lost none of the force of its social critique and trenchant humor since it was originally published in samizdat in the 1980s. A living organism, Baradla is both place (Prague) and person (a woman), an exploration of maternity and femininity as well as a satirical look at the overweening mother-state and consumer society. The language collage comprising pseudo-scientific jargon, the diction of interwar magazines for women and girls, the demotic, and metaphoric stream is complemented by Jan Švankmajer’s erotic collages, as scenes of episodic sexual violence alternate with humorous reflections on various ingrained habits and customs. With a seemingly boundless sense of the absurd, Švankmajerová fingers here practically everything having to do with modern existence: substance abuse, violent sex crimes, rampant consumerism, pervasive corruption, and dysfunctional family relationships.
"Švankmajerová's mode of literary expression is likewise heavily visual in character and, like her paintings, the writing reflects a delicate balance of reality and irony, humor and terror." — Prager Zeitung