Jana Beňová: Preč! Preč! (Away! Away!)

The latest addition to my website is Jana Beňová‘s Preč! Preč! (Away! Away!). This is a short, post-modernist and bitty novel about a Slovak woman, Rosa, who wants away: away from her current boyfriend, away from wherever she happens to be and away from her job(s). She has a boyfriend, Son, whom she lives with but, one morning, she is off with Corman, leaving not only Son but Slovakia, as they head to Austria. Corman does not last long as she comes across a puppet show and Pierre, the puppet master also wants away. But she goes back to Son – for a while. She and Son also travel together, where they meet her uncle whom she had last seen in the United States but he has moved away. As with his niece, the move does not make him happy. Rosa is never really content wherever she is, whoever she is with. She quite simply does not fit in – anywhere. The book ends with the words Where are you going? Where to?, which sums it up. It is an interesting tale but does jump around a bit.

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2 Comments

  1. peter

    I have read this book as well as her previous book “Café Hyena” in Slovak and I must say Café Hyena was one level better.
    If you go for Slovak literature, I suggest Peter Pišťanek who is really fun to read. His Rivers of Babylon is a nice introduction into wild 90-ties in Bratislava. The worst guy gets it all. Looking for Slovak woman author, I suggest Jaroslava Blažková. For poetry, try Ján Ondruš. Deep, fascinating work with words. Or Miroslav Válek for something more reader accessible, but still of outstanding quality.
    For the most contemporary Slovak book selection google the Anasoft litera prize.

    • tmn

      Rivers of Babylon is already on the site – https://www.themodernnovel.org/europe/europe/slovakia/pistanek/rivers/. I see Café Hyena is available in German so I might try that – thanks for the recommendation. As for Jaroslava Blažková, she has not been translated into English though one of her children’s books (Ohňostroj pre deduška) has been translated into French. I know that I shouldn’t but I tend to avoid poetry. Thanks for your comments.

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