Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

jueves, enero 05, 2012

Josef Skvorecky, RIP

The New York Times:

Josef Skvorecky, a renowned Czech author who drew on his experiences under the Nazis and the Communists to write fiction that captured the corruptions and humiliations of the 20th century, died on Tuesday in Toronto. He was 87 and had lived and continued to write in Canada for many years....

Mr. Skvorecky was in the front rank of a generation of Czech writers who achieved international attention for dissident literature produced in the face of Communist censorship. Among his peers, and friends, were Milan Kundera, Bohumil Hrabal, the Nobel Prize-winning poet Jaroslav Seifert and Vaclav Havel, the playwright and former Czech president who died two weeks earlier.

Mr. Skvorecky’s most enduring creation was an alter ego, Danny Smiricky, a jazz-loving, northern Bohemian admirer of Mark Twain. Danny, who appears in about half of Mr. Skvorecky’s dozen or more novels, struggles — not always heroically — to maintain decency amid the terrors and indignities of totalitarian society. In descriptions of forced labor in a Nazi factory, Communist censors, Soviet tanks, political purges, false accusations, stool pigeons and women who allure and tease, Mr. Skvorecky offered glimpses of his life....

In all, Mr. Skvorecky (pronounced shik-VOHR-et-skee) wrote more than 30 books, including essays, literary criticism, detective mysteries and collections of short stories. He also wrote for film and television and translated American classics into Czech, having been drawn to American literature from an early age, particularly to Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Twain.

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