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Articles tagged "Czechoslovakia"

Patrick Ourednik’s “Case Closed”

Let’s start with a question: What do you think is the biggest-selling Czech book of all time? Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being? The Good Soldier Svejk, by Jaroslav Hasek? Something by Havel, Hrabal, Klima, or Skvorecky? Well, the answer is Patrik Ourednik’s slim and odd anti-novel, Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century, an accumulation of errata, statistics, and technical digressions that somehow manages to become both a gripping read and a...

An Austro-Hungarian Guidebook

Novi Sad, Thursday afternoon, April 9, 1987 Energy and resourcefulness. These virtues have excited me lately, sending me into a pathological rapture, duping me into rashness and loss of self-respect. I'm sitting on a smugglers' bus, overcome with the contagious cheerfulness of the other travelers, their impatience as they face an adventure. They are in a realm of chattiness, of conspiratorial mirth. The Vegeta seasoning powder is in our baggage, heavy as cement but promising a...

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