Jáchym Topol at Music & Literature:
For me, Eastern Europe is a continent of ruins, a relic of a fallen empire.
I can feel the tension here. I love the dilapidated factories on the city peripheries, the roads to them washed away by rain, the bizarre objects along the way like in Tarkovsky’s Stalker, the overgrown country paths leading nowhere, the monuments to those dead so long nobody even bothers to respect or hate them anymore.
And to exaggerate a bit, the wildness of our dual reality—the vile, brutal one that’s gone away, and the dreamed-of, free, and wealthy one that was supposed to come but never did—is still intoxicating to me, even if there are times when all the vulgarity makes me sick to my stomach: the fancy houses and cars of the newly rich in villages that otherwise feel like they are still in the fifties; the billboards slapped on trees along the roadside; a brothel in a former school, a brothel in a trailer home. It’s all part of my territory, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.