This is a blog about By All Means (Nine Arches Press), a short story collection by Tim Love. It's ISBN 978-0-9570984-9-7 and is on sale from Inpress

Friday 11 January 2013

Prague '86

I visited Prague, pre-revolution (before Tescos moved in). In some ways I felt more alien there than in Morocco, where I could speak French and didn't assume that I was under observation. I recall seeing Kafka's house (see right), browsing in shops that all had the same products (including many Russian books printed on cheap paper - I bought some chess books and a calendar), seeing a castle, and watching Canada play basketball against the Czechs. Lots of dumplings. On reading the story, my host told me that they "used to do the radios thing with an old jewish lady in the old town". I think all the rest of the material for this story comes from other sources, perhaps from China as well as Eastern Europe.

For a change, the narrator isn't introspective - he's perhaps rather gullible, needing someone else to interpret events. As in "Olga" there's a glimpse of the political world, though I wouldn't trust the historical detail in this piece, or the Czech words. The main character (like the one in "Definitions") isn't what she seems.

This is perhaps the book's most standard piece. The symbolism's provided by the looming castle, the state of the Aunt's mind, and the radios all kept on in the hope that at least one will be right - aka free-speech ;-).

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