Total Fears

Selected Letters to Dubenka

Author(s): HRABAL, Bohumil
ISBN13/Barcode: 9788090217195
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
In these letters written to April Gifford (Dubenka) between 1989 and 1991 but never sent, Bohumil Hrabal (1914-97) chronicles the momentous events of those years as seen, more often than not, from the windows of his favorite pubs. In his palavering, stream-of-conscious style that has marked him as one of the major writers and innovators of postwar European literature, Hrabal gives a humorous and at times moving account of life in Prague under Nazi occupation, Communism, and the brief euphoria following the revolution of 1989 when anything seemed possible, even pink tanks. Interspersed are fragmented memories of trips taken to Britain — as he attempted to track down every location mentioned in Eliot’s “The Waste Land” — and the United States, where he ends up in one of Dylan Thomas’s haunts comparing the waitresses to ones he knew in Prague. The result is a masterful blend of personal history and fee association rendered in a prose as powerful as it is poetic.
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In these letters written to April Gifford (Dubenka) between 1989 and 1991 but never sent, Bohumil Hrabal (1914-97) chronicles the momentous events of those years as seen, more often than not, from the windows of his favorite pubs. In his palavering, stream-of-conscious style that has marked him as one of the major writers and innovators of postwar European literature, Hrabal gives a humorous and at times moving account of life in Prague under Nazi occupation, Communism, and the brief euphoria following the revolution of 1989 when anything seemed possible, even pink tanks. Interspersed are fragmented memories of trips taken to Britain — as he attempted to track down every location mentioned in Eliot’s “The Waste Land” — and the United States, where he ends up in one of Dylan Thomas’s haunts comparing the waitresses to ones he knew in Prague. The result is a masterful blend of personal history and fee association rendered in a prose as powerful as it is poetic.

"The publication of this book marks a major event ... As an addition to English Hrabalia, Total Fears is invaluable, and unlikely to be matched for some time." — The Prague Post

"The conditions under which Hrabal created [his] oeuvre, the final lifting with the collapse of Communism in 1989 and their grievous, indestructible memory, are all recorded, along with visits to Britain and 'the Delighted States' in an extraordinary series of half-imaginary letters to 'Dubenka' — a visiting American student who made a great impression on Hrabal ... It is quick, rambling, spoken, but purposeful writing." — Michael Hofmann, The TLS

In Total Fears, Hrabal glancingly commends Freud's writing about comedy and jokes, and calls it "typically Central European, and especially typical of Prague." [...] This is blocked humour about blocked people. Hrabal, in Freud's terms, is a great humorist. — James Wood, London Review of Books

Additional Information

ISBN13/Barcode 9788090217195
ISBN10 8090217192
Author HRABAL, Bohumil
Binding Paperback
Date Published 1 Jan 1990
Frequency No
Report Date N/A
Pages 204
Publisher Twisted Spoon Press

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