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Paper Shoes
Pavel Srut; Ema Katrovas, trans.

Carnegie Mellon Poetry in Translation

Carnegie Mellon
2009 • 136 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Poetry - European / Czechoslovakia

$17.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-500-8

A collection of Czech poetry by Pavel rut, and the English translations by Ema Katrovas.

Pavel rut’s fractured lyrics are often themselves fractured parables about the individual’s relation to authority, whether that authority be the state, a colonizing power, the court of public opinion, a dubious beloved, or history itself. In some of his poems, the wives of Great Men have the last, often hilarious, word on their husbands’ accomplishments, and in others a poor Everyman schmuck Novak—the Czech equivalent of Smith, though even more suggestive of ordinariness—bumps his head, again and again, on the iron question mark at the heart of existence.

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PAVEL RUT was born in 1940 in Prague. By August of 1968, when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia, he’d published three collections of verse, and was counted among the “official” poets of the country, a status he resolutely rejected after the invasion. For the next twenty years, his dissident status unambiguous and so his own verse unpublished, he translated Dylan Thomas, D. H. Lawrence, Robert Graves, and Leonard Cohen, among others. During the twenty years rut was silenced as a poet in the official press, he was active in the underground literary-dissemination networks called “samizdat.” Paper Shoes is the first English translation of his work. He lives in Zdice.

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 14:08:42 -0500