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THE DIARY OF MR. PINKE by Ewald Murrer
Translated by Alice Pišťková
Some of my fondest early memories revolve around my grandfather telling me folktales - a mixture of Jewish and Czech - from his childhood in the Carpathian mountains. The conventional rules of narrative simply didn’t apply - weird shit routinely happened, often beautiful and fun and absurd. It was with that same sense of wondrous delight that I found myself tearing through Murrer’s surreal portrait of a small Galician village. Told in a series of short diary entries that span the better part of twelve months, it is a Chagall put to words, where mythical creatures mix seamlessly with the town inhabitants, where the mundane and magical exist happily side by side.
The Diary of Mr. Pinke is filled with moments of joy and weirdness: tired of waiting for a coach, townsfolk hop on a cloud to take them to their destination; two men set off on an expedition to hunt unicorns, a man chases down a photographer who stole his face. You get the gist. To top it off, the new Twisted Spoon edition includes Murrer’s absolutely stunning collages that were apparently added for his updated Czech version of the book. If only I could frame and hang them!
The Diary of Mr. Pinke by Ewald Murrer (Tr. Alice Pišťková)
Twisted Spoon Press, 2022