EVER GREEN IS... by Pavel Vilikovsky


Selected Prose
by & translated by
Email this review


There’s a little of Bohumil Hrabal’s playfulness and Karel Capek’s bracing good-natured contempt for image cultivators and ideologues in this fine collection of three astringent tales, by a versatile Slovakian writer, about life in Communist-dominated Mitteleuropa. The eerie title novella presents the (heavily self-edited) memoirs of a retired spy; it’s a wry, cagey, hall-of-mirrors “confession” that reads like an Arthur Koestler novel rewritten by Samuel Beckett. “Everything I Know About Central Europeanism” redefines its title’s concept through its narrator’s memories of a (fictional) meeting with Albert Camus. And the long story “A Horse Upstairs, a Blind Man in Vrable” is a richly comic, episodic memoir that slyly subverts Communist rhetoric and posturing while relating a series of raffish anecdotes—all capped by a hilarious account of “hiding” a soldier’s horse in an already overcrowded apartment building. Captivating, thought-provoking fiction.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8101-1907-2
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Northwestern Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2002