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Postřižiny Bohumil Hrabal

Postřižiny

Bohumil Hrabal

Published 2009
ISBN : 9788020420435
Hardcover
120 pages
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 About the Book 

Just like poetry nearly always loses when it is translated into another language, it is a very difficult thing to transform a prose work into a stage play. So is the case in those play versions of prose works of Bohumil Hrabal, too. There are two separate pieces in this volume. The first is attempting to put Postřižiny (Cutting it Short) onto the stage. In its original version it is a very charming story of an idiosyncratic young lady in a Bohemian small town of the 1920s, where a first radio appears and gives everyone the impression of modern times coming and making everything shorter and faster. To keep up with those modern times, the young woman has her long shiny hear, that everyone admires, cut off to look like Josephine Baker. The second play is a collage or medley of small motifs from different works of Hrabal, cut+pasted together.Both plays are seemingly not working well. Even though Hrabal has been interested in collage techniques, when writing prose he was seaming things together in a very unique way, resulting not so much in cut-up effects but rather in tidal flows and waves. I didnt compare this book with the prose originals directly, but I think on a microscopic level many dialogue bits are taken directly from the prose. Yet on a larger scale, those bits dont fit together the way they do in the prose, so the typical Hrabal tone is only half there.While I was reading I tried to imagine those two pieces as original works, not dramatizations. Yet there is neither drama in them nor do they have those carefully laid-out epic structure in the Brechtian sense - or as we might observe in works from Ibsen via Wilder to current times. The scenes and their development seem just random and unmotivated.Therefore those pieces have no artistic merit on their own- they draw all their merit from the original prose works. That still makes them work alright as introductions - if I imagine somebody who is very fond of going to the theatre but doesnt like to read prose, then thats the perfect audience. Hrabal fans can live without this.(P.S.: I wonder how much Hrabal himself was involved in this book. He is listed as the main author on the cover and in the colophon, yet the dramatizing is attributed to two other persons.)