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Vladimír Merta: The Dustbin Novel

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 7, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

In terms of content, style and overall impression, Popelnicový roman (The Dustbin Novel) is a unique achievement in contemporary Czech prose. Genuinely post-modern, it draws on countless references, allusion, persiflage and pastiche and represents a devastating grimace over the pre-1989, immediately post-1989 and contemporary Czech periods. Just like Jaroslav Hašek with his Švejk, with this novel Vladimír Merta abandons psychology and the realistic description of characters. For him they are mere figurines in a game serving to highlight that which is nonsensical, embarrassing, ridiculous – and at the same time nightmarish. Merta’s chief narrative devices are humour, jokes, hyperbole, irony and sarcasm. This is not a book to be read once but a prose volcano that threatens to bury the reader in carefully targeted, chilling humour.

Introduced by Michael Žantovský.

The book’s editor Jan Šulc will host a chat with author Vladimír Merta.

Jiří Dědeček will be guest of honour.

The evening will include readings of particularly witty passages of the novel.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Galén publishing house.

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