Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century

Overview

Told in an informal, mesmerizing voice, Ouredník represents the twentieth century in all its contradictions and grand illusions, demonstrating that nothing substantial has changed between 1900 and 1999 -- humanity is still hopeful for the future and still mired in age-old conflicts. As he demonstrates that nothing can be reduced to a single, true viewpoint, Ouredník mixes hard facts and idiosyncratic observations, highlighting the horror and absurdity of the twentieth century ...

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Overview

Told in an informal, mesmerizing voice, Ouredník represents the twentieth century in all its contradictions and grand illusions, demonstrating that nothing substantial has changed between 1900 and 1999 -- humanity is still hopeful for the future and still mired in age-old conflicts. As he demonstrates that nothing can be reduced to a single, true viewpoint, Ouredník mixes hard facts and idiosyncratic observations, highlighting the horror and absurdity of the twentieth century and the further absurdity of attempting to narrate this history.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Radio France
“Heir of Kafka and of the good soldier Svejk, Ouredník takes advantage of the interval between facts of an irrefutable precision to create summaries as disconcerting as they are preemptory.”
Le Temps
“Enthralled by matters of language, Ouredník offers a burlesque vision of the history of contemporary Europe, combining the tragic aspect of the situation with anecdotal facts that stress the absurdity of the twentieth century.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Touching on subjects and events as disparate as the invention of the bra, Barbie dolls, Scientology, eugenics, the Internet, war, genocide and concentration camps, it unspools in a relentless monotone that becomes unexpectedly engaging, even frightening.”
The Village Voice
“A tragicomic prose poem to make poets weep with envy, to make everyone weep.”
Chicago Review
“The narrating voice is funny, scientific, infantile, sarcastic, and eerie . . . Europeana is a both a very strange work of history and an ingenious work of art.”
Raymond Federman
“You out there drop everything you are doing and go immediately and read this book. It's only 132 pages—reading without stopping—without breathing—you will have encountered a fantastic writer.”
Complete Review
“Europeana is a convincing sum of that ugly century. Certainly recommended.”
Booklist
“Juxtaposing East and West and blurring Barbie and Buchenwald,
Ouredník's stream of historical consciousness shreds familiar narrative trajectories and compresses 100 years of still-fresh history into a roughly equivalent number of pages.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564783820
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Series: Eastern European Literature Ser.
  • Pages: 122
  • Sales rank: 953,260
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrik Ouředník was born in Prague, but immigrated to France in 1984 where he still lives. He is the author of twlve books, including fiction, essays, and poems. He is also the Czech translator of novels, short stories, and plays from such writers as François Rabelais, Alfred Jarry, Raymond Queneau, Samuel Beckett, and Boris Vian. He has received a number of literary awards for his writing, including the Czech Literary Fund Award.

Gerald Turner has been translating modern Czech and Slovak writing for over thirty years. Prior to 1990 he translated, under the pseudonym of
A. G. Brain, many banned authors, including Václav Havel, Karel Pecka,
and Ludvík Vaculík. His translations include Europeana by Patrik Ouredník, for which he received the US PEN Translation Award in 2004.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2005

    Excellent but not for everyone

    If you think the world is hunky dory, you will have little patience for this book. I was blown away by reading an except in Harpers Magazine. I ordered the book immediately. I'm sure I exercised some brain cells reading it. I found this book to be fascinating and appreciated a more 'world' view instead of USA-centric. A common thread is hard to stomach because much of human behavior has indeed been insane. For those who are politically aware, I recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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