Winner, 1998 PEN Center USA West Award for Translation Josef Hirsal's experimental novel is a Dada-like romp through the life of a young man born into a Bohemian peasant family. Told in five parts, "A Bohemian Youth" begins with a word to the wise, moves on to the text, continues with notes and with notes to the note, and ends with a note on the notes to the notes. More than just a tongue-in-cheek parody of a literary memoir, "A Bohemian Youth" is a glimpse of the First Czechoslovak Republic as seen through the eyes of a young peasant from the provinces. Abounding in intimate details--the manners of a servant girl, the habits of the town homosexual, the sounds of popular music; the way people eat in wartime--Hirsal's novel is a wrenching and hilarious tale of a young man's emotional and sexual awakening.
Josef Hir al was born in 1920 in Chomuticky in northeastern Bohemia. He became known in the 1960s as a poet and translator and was blacklisted after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He now lives in Prague. Michael Henry Heim was a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at UCLA. His translations of Dubravka Ugre ic's"Fording the Stream of Consciousness" and Felix Roziner's"A Certain Finkelmeyer" have also been published by Northwestern University Press."
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- ID: 9780810112230
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