- Paperback: 120 pages
- Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press (1 Jun. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1564783820
- ISBN-13: 978-1564783820
- Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 488,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century (Eastern European Literature) Paperback – 1 Jun 2005
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The narrating voice is funny, scientific, infantile, sarcastic, and eerie . . . Europeana is a both a very strange work of history and an ingenious work of art.
Europeana is a convincing sum of that ugly century. Certainly recommended.
Heir of Kafka and of the good soldier Svejk, Ourednik takes advantage of the interval between facts of an irrefutable precision to create summaries as disconcerting as they are preemptory.
Enthralled by matters of language, Ourednik offers a burlesque vision of the history of contemporary Europe, combining the tragic aspect of the situation with anecdotal facts that stress the absurdity of the twentieth century.
Touching on subjects and events as disparate as the invention of the bra, Barbie dolls, Scientology, eugenics, the Internet, war, genocide and concentration camps, it unspools in a relentless monotone that becomes unexpectedly engaging, even frightening.
You out there drop everything you are doing and go immediately and read this book. It's only 132 pages reading without stopping without breathing you will have encountered a fantastic writer. --Raymond Federman, author of Double or Nothing
Juxtaposing East and West and blurring Barbie and Buchenwald, Ourednik's stream of historical consciousness shreds familiar narrative trajectories and compresses 100 years of still-fresh history into a roughly equivalent number of pages.
Top Customer Reviews
Ourenik’s own country (the Czech Republic) has had most of what the twentieth century has to offer thrown at it (Nazi occupation, communist rule, Soviet invasion, the velvet revolution), so he is well poised to document the absurdity of the century. His ability to conjure anger, grief and even humour out of essentially dry facts is breathtaking, and he does it all with a faux naivety (reminding me of Kurt Vonnegut) that makes it seem like he is not passing judgement, just saying what he sees. It is the work of a man in love with his home continent, but who has been let down and disappointed by it. ‘Europeana’ is beautiful, bittersweet and thought-provoking, and it is an unbelievable achievement to have pulled such an emotional masterpiece out of a jumble of facts. I’m recommending it to everyone I know, so I thought I would do the same on Amazon.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Ourednik's style allows him to avoid the often dead weight of exposition, character description, and perceptual detail. Instead, the structure of Europeana allows him to provide the meat without the fat and connecting tissue. The book reads so fast, it's hard to slow down enough to appreciate it all and to change gears as fast as the text does. I read the last several pages at a bar, virtually standing and cheering at each paragraph.
is like poetry, bringing together disparate aspects of the same time
and same world that are normally never experienced together. The
collision of facts yields kinds of perspective on that world that would
not happen in traditional history. I didn't want to finish it!