Monday, May 28, 2007

Love and Garbage

This novel is partly a meditation on the vagaries of love, or rather being in a situation where you have two relationships and are unable or unwilling to choose between them. But Ivan Klima, in his beautiful novel provides much more: an analysis and meditation on the need to remember the events in our life and, for this writer, the need to write about them, recording the existence so that the memories are not lost. He provides a running commentary from the narrator on the thoughts and writings of Franz Kafka. Filled with autobiographical references, the novel engages the reader in the meaning of love and live, of communication with others when you are living in a world that borders on the "Kafkaesque". Diverse scenes with his coworkers, his wife and mistress, even his dying father resonate with the reader and coalesce to form a vivid picture of his world. That he succeeds in all of this is a tribute to the genius of Klima and the spirit that he exhibits in the telling.

Love and Garbage, Ivan Klima (1993), Ewald Osers, trans. Vintage International Edition

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