by. Jáchym Topol, . Sestra je bez diskuzí román, ke kterému se člověk musí pročíst a především prožít. .. Sestra je totiž kniha, kterou chci mít po ruce pořád. jachym topol sestra. 2 likes. Book. jachym topol sestra. Privacy · Terms. About. jachym topol sestra. Book. 2 people like this topic. Want to like this Page?. Jáchym Topol () is often referred to as true modern European classic. when he made a devastating entrance with his first novel Sestra (City Sister Sliver).

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City Sister Silver – Wikipedia

Inat age 15, he became the youngest signatory of the dissident intiative Charter Topol began writing jacyhm at an early age, but far from devoting all his energy to his literary career, he also participated in the creation of samizdat publications. He contributed to the Revolver Revue and Respekt journals, both as journalist and editor.

He left both publications not long after the Velvet Revolution. However, as a published author, he is firmly rooted in the s, since his first legitimate publication was the aforementioned collection put out by the Atlantis publishing house in As one of the most powerful, and only, works of post writing to examine the conditions of the tumultuous transition period, the novel was a veritable blast onto the Czech literary scene.

In its length and weighty content, Sestra tore away from the artistic pack and saw critics scrambling jachyj make sense of it. Its reception was mostly favorable, but there were a few who had their reservations. Some of their issues included inscrutability of the jacjym, violence and darkness of the atmosphere and the frenzied word pacing. Sestra seems to have confounded its admirers and critics alike, for the two sides appear to love or hate the novel for basically the same reasons.

Its density and chaos have been taken by its sympathizers to reflect the social reality of the period immediately following the Velvet Revolution, with its fluctuations and free-market euphoria, ultimately leading to disillusionment and corruption.

Sestra captures the irony, joy, confusion and gruesomeness inherent in the outlook of young Czechs during this period. Topol was one of the first of these young Czechs he was in his very early thirties when he wrote Sestra to address his generation’s attitude toward the new times, and he was the only one to do so in such a creative and epic manner. Meaning “sister” in Czech, the title was rendered in English as City Sister Silver jachm, referring to the names of the novel’s three parts.


Catbird Press was founded in and specializes in American, British and European fiction with a particular emphasis on humorous writing. Though Catbird is a relatively small publishing enterprise, it is highly valued among those who are interested in Czech literature, for it is the only press with a series focused on Czech fiction in translation. But what makes its Czech literature publications so exceptional is the quest for fresh and innovative writing from the region.

Far from focusing on classic, established Czech authors, Catbird Press has provided a medium for new artists through which to reach an English-speaking readership and has exposed Western audiences to the landscape of modern Czech writing. Summarizing the plot of Sestra is a difficult task. The novel begins with the early stages of the Czechoslovak Revolution inas East German refugees are flooding the West German Embassy in Prague in hopes of gaining access to the West.

Jáchym Topol

And then time explodes. The explosion of time is Topol’s oft-repeated metaphor for the Velvet Revolution and what it set in motion. The main protagonist of Sestrawhose first-person narrative drives the plot forward—or, at times, backward—is Potok meaning “stream” in Czech. The motley collection of personalities in Potok’s group are referred to as being from the sewer, thus coating them with the veneer of mystery and vulgarity.

They observe strict tribal codes of conduct and interrelation. The group gallivants about Prague and in one episode makes a trip to Auschwitz.

One facet of the group’s behavior is its members’ quasi-psychoanalytic dream analyses. During the course of Sestrathe dreams of most of the main characters are told. These dream sequences inform the text to such an extent that it is often not readily apparent where fantasy ends and reality begins.

But, the novel is first and foremost a love story, however atypical. Above the story of Potok and his clique lies the story of Potok’s search for his “sister,” or soul mate. The sesgra of Sestra is its most interesting aspect, and it is here that the issue of translation comes to to;ol fore. Jacuym who has read Sestra in the original Czech will sstra an inkling as to the difficulty of such a task.


The narrative not only blurs the line between the registers of speech but also introduces neologisms and entire sentences in other languages, such as Russian and German, which have a particular resonance to the Czech ear but can scarcely be understood by the English one.

Zucker’s translation merits praise not only for attempting to convey Sestra in all its complexity but also for largely succeeding at it. He has managed to preserve the speed of the narrative and kept the translation faithful to the original’s eccentricity and modernity.

In addition, Zucker provides valuable endnotes to the text, explaining the historical and linguistic references which Western eyes would otherwise not detect. There are certain things he did omit from annotation, ttopol as ” Bog ” and ” droog ,” both Russian words meaning “God” and “friend” respectively, and rightfully so, as referencing too many terms would have slowed down the reading of the text to a cumbersome pace.

Since Sestra is written mostly in a colloquial register of Czech and employs slang frequently, Zucker has countered this by transliterating English colloquial speech. For example, “and” becomes “an” and “all of you” is “alla ya.

The Czech cover The translation of the title itself is puzzling. However, Catbird Press has chosen to translate the title as City Sister Silver and exchange the cover artwork for a jachmy repetition of the words “city,” “sister” and “silver.

City Sister Silver

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Caroline Kovtun I Can’t Stop. Sam Vaknin After the Rain. A post novel As one of the most powerful, and only, works of post writing to examine the conditions of the tumultuous transition period, the novel was a veritable blast onto the Czech literary scene. A rare language The language of Sestra is its most interesting aspect, and it is here that the issue of translation comes to the fore.

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