Seven Days to the Funeral (Modern Slovak Classics) (Paperback)

Seven Days to the Funeral (Modern Slovak Classics) By Ján Rozner, Julia Sherwood (Translated by), Peter Sherwood (Translated by) Cover Image
By Ján Rozner, Julia Sherwood (Translated by), Peter Sherwood (Translated by)
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A dissident's deeply personal and unflinching view of Soviet oppression in Czechoslovakia in the wake of the 1968 invasion.

Seven Days to the Funeral is the fictionalized memoir of Ján Rozner, a leading Slovak journalist, critic, dramaturg, and translator. Rozner and his wife Zora Jesenská were champions of the Prague Spring and were blacklisted after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. When Jesenská died in 1972, her funeral became a political event and attendees faced recriminations.

A painstaking account of the week after his wife’s death, Seven Days to the Funeral is a historical record of the devastating impact of the period after the invasion. Through ruthless portraits of key figures in Slovak culture, the book provides a fascinating cultural history of Slovakia from 1945 to 1972. It is also a moving love story of an unlikely couple. Although Rozner began the book in 1976, it was left unfinished upon his death. The book was published posthumously in 2009 by his second wife Sláva Roznerová.

About the Author

Ján Rozner (1922–2006) was a leading Slovak journalist, critic, dramaturg, and translator.

 Julia Sherwood is a translator from Slovak, Czech, Polish, Russian, and German into English and Slovak. She was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now the Slovak Republic). She administers the group Slovak Literature in English Translation and co-curates the website and lives in London.

Peter Sherwood is a translator and critic. From 2008 until his retirement in 2014 he was the László Birinyi Sr. Professor of Hungarian Language and Culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in London.

Praise For…

"It is no exaggeration to describe Ján Rozner’s autobiographical novel as a seminal Slovak work of the second half of the twentieth century, one that will become a part of the canon. Jesenská’s death unleashed in Rozner a fascinating stream of reminiscence encompassing, in addition to their marriage, the author’s childhood, career, his political battles as well as his struggle with alcohol, and his profound misgivings about the purpose of his own work and life. . . . Rozner settles his accounts with the country and the regime in a truthful and merciless way, rejecting both anti-Semitism and anti-Hungarian chauvinism, sadly, quite common among Slovakia’s intellectuals. . . . Instead of hiding behind fictitious literary figures, he makes reference to real people, upsetting our image of many members of the so-called elite. A dark, shocking, multilayered, extraordinary novel!”
— Michal Hvorecký

"Rozner’s book is much more than a personal story and also much more than a testimony to the past. It is, first and foremost, a brilliant novel."
— Martin M. Šimecka, Respekt

"A powerful book that shows how normalisation distorted people’s lives even after their death. And, at the same time, an extraordinary account of the joys and sorrows of the marriage of two literary figures and a variation on the eternal theme of love and death."
— Jan Lukavec, iLiteratura

Product Details
ISBN: 9788024656335
ISBN-10: 8024656337
Publisher: Karolinum Press, Charles University
Publication Date: May 21st, 2024
Pages: 375
Language: English
Series: Modern Slovak Classics