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Book Title: The Little Town Where Time Stood Still|
The author of the book: Bohumil Hrabal
ISBN 13: 9780349105406
Date of issue: 1994
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 917 KB
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Includes The Little Town Where Time Stood Still and Cutting It Short.
In the 1930s Europe is tangoing to the tune of a new age, but in rural Czechoslovakia Maryska dances to a rhythm all her own. In a town dominated by a somber municipal brewery, she is a colorful and rather alarming apparition speeding through the quiet village on her bicycle, her long, tempestuous hair billowing behind her. Not even her husband, Francin (the brewery manager), can control her, as Maryska shocks the populace with her scandalous behavior, and incurs the disapproval of a proper little town that is blissfully unaware of the cataclysmic world events into which it is about to be engulfed. As World War II draws to a close and communism looms on the horizon, Maryska and her town appear to have survived unscathed. But subtle changes begin to appear - in Maryska and her family, and most noticeably at the brewery, where the new political order creates tensions that tear through the social fabric of the town in ways that Maryska in her wildest days could not possibly have imagined. The two linked narratives brought together in The Little Town Where Time Stood Still comprise Bohumil Hrabal's poignant and witty evocation of the passing of an era and display a master writer at the height of his powers as he creates, in an enchanting fictional work, an elegy for a nation that is no more.
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Read information about the authorBorn in Brno-Židenice, Moravia, he lived briefly in Polná, but was raised in the Nymburk brewery as the manager's stepson.
Hrabal received a Law degree from Prague's Charles University, and lived in the city from the late 1940s on.
He worked as a manual laborer alongside Vladimír Boudník in the Kladno ironworks in the 1950s, an experience which inspired the "hyper-realist" texts he was writing at the time.
His best known novels were Closely Watched Trains (1965) and I Served the King of England. In 1965 he bought a cottage in Kersko, which he used to visit till the end of his life, and where he kept cats ("kočenky").
He was a great storyteller; his popular pub was At the Golden Tiger (U zlatého tygra) on Husova Street in Prague, where he met the Czech President Václav Havel, the American President Bill Clinton and the then-US ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright on January 11th, 1994.
Several of his works were not published in Czechoslovakia due to the objections of the authorities, including The Little Town Where Time Stood Still (Městečko, kde se zastavil čas) and I Served the King of England (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále).
He died when he fell from a fifth floor hospital where he was apparently trying to feed pigeons. It was noted that Hrabal lived on the fifth floor of his apartment building and that suicides by leaping from a fifth-floor window were mentioned in several of his books.
He was buried in a family grave in the cemetery in Hradištko. In the same grave his mother "Maryška", step father "Francin", uncle "Pepin", wife "Pipsi" and brother "Slávek" were buried.
He wrote with an expressive, highly visual style, often using long sentences; in fact his work Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age (1964) (Taneční hodiny pro starší a pokročilé) is made up of just one sentence. Many of Hrabal's characters are portrayed as "wise fools" - simpletons with occasional or inadvertent profound thoughts - who are also given to coarse humour, lewdness, and a determination to survive and enjoy oneself despite harsh circumstances. Political quandaries and their concomitant moral ambiguities are also a recurrent theme.
Along with Jaroslav Hašek, Karel Čapek and Milan Kundera - who were also imaginative and amusing satirists - he is considered one of the greatest Czech writers of the 20th century. His works have been translated into 27 languages.
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