By Petr Král
An expedition into the wonders of the nature and paraphernalia that surround us every day
Over the course of one hundred brief and evanescent texts, Král brings together, as his compatriot Milan Kundera writes in his introduction, "this strange and beautiful existential encyclopaedia of the everyday". Whether describing twilight, a toothpick, the ritual of shaving or the act of going upstairs, his gaze is ingenuous, humble, and amazed. Mute objects, fleeting gestures, changeless passions: Král forces us to look at them anew. Each limpid, graceful essay is a brief voyage of discovery in which lowly objects and everyday actions, so often unobserved, are transfigured. Petr Král has the unerring ability to perceive, to catch the commonplace by surprise and with the unsettling clarity see beyond the everyday to the fabric of life beneath.
Translated by Frank Wynne
Cover illustration by Jim Jarmusch
Published 30 October 2008