The Promise (Requiem for the Fifties)

Jiří Kratochvil

Jiří Kratochvil: The Promise (Requiem for the Fifties)

Original title: Slib (rekviem na padesátá léta)

Genre: novel


Druhé město, 2009

ISBN: 978-80-7227-281-5

Pages: 289

Foreign editions:

German, Braumüller Literaturverlag, 2010; Spanish, Impedimenta, 2013; Arabian (Al Shaar, Syria, 2015); Slovenian (Društvo Mohorjeva družba, 2015); Japanese (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2017)

Rights sold to:

The Netherlands (Glagoslav Publications, world English rights)


The novel The Promise (Requiem for the Fifties) is an intentional allusion to Friedrich Dürrenmatt's novella The Pledge: Requiem for the Detective Novel / Slib (rekviem na kriminální román), and at the same time it is about a promise unfulfilled. The novel is set in the author´s fateful town of Brno, mainly in the middle years of the twentieth century. The threads of the diversifying plot are pulled along by alternating narrators who weave together a story rooted in the times of emerging totalitarianism, with its omnipresent informers. The architect Kamil Modráček is subjected to a terrible test – he confronts the death of his sister as a consequence of a police interrogation. The story then changes into an absurd-symbolic scene on revenge, the results of which assume massively questionable outlines.

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