Monday, June 24, 2013

Online: “Melancholy Leaves from Democracy’s Autumn Trees” by Jiří Hájíček

B O D Y literature has the short story “Melancholy Leaves from Democracy’s Autumn Trees” by Jiří Hájíček, translated from the Czech by Gale A. Kirking. The story was originally in the collection The Wooden Knife and included in the English translation of Rustic Baroque. My post on this story and three others included with the novel found here.

I enjoyed the novel and the stories and noted that there are many similar themes and motifs between the novel and short stories without feeling repetitious. “Melancholy Leaves from Democracy’s Autumn Trees” captures several of the themes, looking at the first Czech Senate election from within a small village, where tradition collides with modernity. The importance of history provides its own conflict as well.

Recommended as an example for what you will find in the novel Rustic Baroque and the short stories accompanying the novel.

Update: See Michael Stein's follow-up post at Literalab for more on Hájíček's story and why it resonated so much with translator Gale A. Kirking.

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