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Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (TRN)

Primeval and Other Times


[The novel] recounts the hard passage of an imaginary village through a century of conflict, distant coups and decay ... Overlooking all is a vain selfish God who has become thoroughly bored with mankind and who must play second fiddle in Ms Tokarczuk's pantheistic world to material things... --The Economist

From odds and ends of real history Tokarczuk builds a myth, i.e., a history with a rigid order, where all the events, including the bad and tragic ones, have their reasons for happening. She organizes space according to the model of the mandala -- a circle drawn inside a square, which is the geometrical image of perfection and completion. --Gazeta Wyborcza

In this epic novel Olga Tokarczuk has drawn on the tradition of magic realism to create a world permeated with ancient myths as much as it is firmly rooted in the present. --Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The author draws the reader into a sadistic world that is described in a language that is crystalline and pure as water from a well. --De Morgen

Olga Tokarczuk's myth of "Primeval" is far from simplistic. She is not satisfied with merely glossing traditional mythical narratives, and we will not find many of these in her novel. Her method is more sophisticated. Perhaps we would do well to recall that wonderful Polish tradition of "mythmaking," as in the works of Bruno Schulz and Boleslaw Lesmian, where the mythical perception of the world takes precedence over simply presenting the memes of myth, as it were, which are meant to point to readymade archetypes.

--Lidove noviny (Prague)

Format: Paperback
Published: in Czech Republic in 2010
Publisher: Twisted Spoon Press
Pages: 248
Language: English
ISBN 13: 9788086264356
ISBN 10: 8086264351

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Primeval and Other Times