Rustic Baroque

by Jiří Hájíček  |  ISBN: 978-80-905357-1-8  |  Type: Paperback

Copyright 2005 by Host in Czech as Selský baroko Translated to English by Gale A. Kirking and published by Real World Press, Brno 2012

Winner of Magnesia Litera - A fictional tale based on the misadventure of a family history researcher, including a nice description of several sources available for such work, and a captivating look at village life and relationships. 

Mr.  Hájíček weaves this story in a poetic and stylish way, describing the life of a down and out historian, trying to get by after a failed marriage by immersing himself in his work. He is hired to find the truth concerning the events in a small rural village during the communism. His discovery is that an innocently written letter still has the power to cause a great deal of harm, and that grudges between villagers are lasting. 

With this award winning book, the author establishes himself as a gifted storyteller. His ability to take the rather dry occupation of historian into a refreshingly human perspective. This is a rather nice read for anyone interested in the relationship in the villages, between villagers, and those who approach the villages as outsiders. The book has some wonderful moments, and many beautifully crafted descriptions of the landscapes, both external and internal.

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