On Daniela Hodrová’s “City of Torment”

Agnieszka Dale at the LARB:

Hodrová was never associated with the dissident movement in the former Czechoslovakia, and none of her writing was published in the underground but half-tolerated samizdat form. As a scholarly woman writing in a rather recondite literary tradition, she probably wasn’t taken very seriously by more “political” (male) authors, and she didn’t really care for them either, it seems. As it turns out, all this has stood her in good stead. The many “banned authors” of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s were finally published in the early 1990s — and then the world basically lost interest in them, paving the way for “new voices” to emerge, including Hodrová’s. After she was awarded the Kafka Prize, whose winners include the likes of Harold Pinter and Margaret Atwood, Hodrová has even been proposed a few times to the Nobel Committee.

Although City of Torment is an experimental work, it is not a hard read.

more here.