Noc před oslavou (Vor dem Fest)
Saša Stanišić: Noc před oslavou (Vor dem Fest).
In: Iliteratura, 2 June 2016
Many narrators pass through the night before the feast. Many narrators, but at the same time just one. The main hero is the village of Fürstenfelde, the back of beyond, forgotten by the world, by God and by the rest of the recently reunited Germany. This is a bomb crater in a strategically completely senseless location between two lakes, the symbol of a collective present, and also, it emerges, of the past. “We are sad, we are glad, let’s get on with it, get on with it,“ the village says to itself using a strange royal we – the majesty of something that is coming to an end.
It would not have taken much to make a cabinet of curiosities out of these characters. Fortunately, however, Stanišič is ironic but not cynical and sees all these people, animals and objects with normal sympathy, which is nonetheless surprising in view of the state of literature and the world. “Damaged posture results from him having slid along on his knees for a long time before making his own mistakes“, or “be heroic to your memory in honestly admitting what happened. Be heroic and know that heroes cannot always be heroes, there are so many other things to do.“
Noc před oslavou (Origin: Vor dem Fest)
Translation: Tomáš Dimter
Praha: Labyrint, 2016