The Gentle Barbarian

(Author) (Translator)
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Product Details

$14.95  $13.90
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.2 X 0.4 inches | 0.35 pounds
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About the Author

Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) was born in Moravia. He is the author of such classics as Closely Watched Trains (made into an Academy-Award winning film by Jiri Menzel), The Death of Mr. Baltisberger, I Served the King of England, and Too Loud a Solitude.
Paul Wilson is a renowned Canadian-born translator of Czech and former member of The Plastic People of the Universe.


The narrative, more about their relationship than a critical discussion of Boudník's art, is replete with humorous and lavish personal anecdotes about surviving during a politically repressive time. Sometimes joined by their poet friend Egon Bondy, they would walk, talk, argue, drink excessive amounts of beer, and engage in outlandish adventures, which Hrabal fondly recounts with extravagant glee and warmth.-- "Kirkus"
Hrabal is quite capable of a Chekhovian realism, but always watchful for the splendid and sublime.--James Wood "London Review of Books"
A touching homage to Boudník's remarkable life and a showcase for Hrabal's skill.-- "Publishers Weekly"
A master.-- "The New Yorker"
Hrabal's capacity for simultaneous wonder and attentiveness--for a cold shrewdness matched by overflowing sympathy--is his most astonishing quality as a writer.--Matt Weir "Dissent"
The Gentle Barbarian, Czech novelist Bohumil Hrabal's memoir of his friendship with the painter and printmaker Vladimír Boudnik, depicts life as a more reckless leap of faith--one that lands not in the hands of God, but in a tightening rope.--Paul Franz "Bookforum"