This "documentary novel," the latest of Estonian author Mati Unt's deadpan and playful works to be translated into English, is about a little-known period in the life of the great Bertolt Brecht, when the writer--having fled Nazi Germany-- became stuck in Finland awaiting the visa that would allow him to leave Europe for the United States. As BB, the avowed communist, continues enjoying the bourgeois pleasures of pre-war life with his wife and tubercular mistress, the Soviet Union is not-so-quietly annexing Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; and the gulf between Brecht's preferred lifestyle and his inflammatory polemics grows larger and larger. Both affectionate and irreverent, this portrait of one of the twentieth century's great authors mixes together a variety of comic styles, excerpts from contemporaneous documents, and Unt's trademark digressions, producing a kind of historical novel as interested in interrogating the past as simply recreating it.
|Publisher:||Dalkey Archive Press|
|Series:||Baltic Literature Series|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Mati Unt (1944-2005) was an Estonian writer who began his writing career at the age of nineteen, with a "naive novel" entitled Good-bye, Yellow Cat. From this early beginning, Unt established a broad reputation in the artistic and intellectual circles of Estonia as a writer of fiction, plays, and criticism. His novels The Debt, On the Existence of Life in Outer Space, Murder in a Hotel, The Autumn Ball, and Things in the Night, among others, established Unt as one of the most prolific and well-regarded novelists in Estonia. In addition to his own writing, he was instrumental in bringing avant-garde theater to post-Soviet Estonia, and was well known as a director.
Eric Dickens is a translator and reviewer of Estonian and Finnish-Swedish literature. He is currently translating work by the novelists Toomas Vint and Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo.