The Death of Old Masha

Vratislav Maňák

Vratislav Maňák: The Death of Old Masha

Original title: Smrt staré Maši

Genre: short stories


Host, 2022

ISBN: 978-80-275-1032-0

Pages: 242

Rights sold to:

Germany (Karl Rauch Verlag)


Tales, legends, comedies


Once upon a time…

The Virgin Mary died in Warsaw. Poachers slit the bellies of grouse. Masquerade boots were made from lion paws. Persian gates were closed to caravans. The Full Moon lent to hares so that they could buy furs. The magician Rye crowed over Prague. The Death of Old Masha, a collection of six allegorical tales, presents the reader with romantic illusion. Thomas the Apostle warns at the outset: ‘Truth is a story hidden behind legend.’


Vratislav Maňák about his book:

The Death of Old Masha is ultimately an experiment and a play with genre. It is an attempt to talk about the present as though it happened long ago and has left behind only a remnant of myth. Or perhaps it’s the other way around: an attempt to find a remnant of myth in the present. As the case may be, a romantic gesture.”  

“I try to make my abstractions as general as possible. Fear of the unknown, rejection of difference, our imperialist view on countries of the Third World – I address these and other phenomena as though they were from a different world, by means of alienation and also by placing them against a backdrop of folk literature. The latter may create the impression of great familiarity: whatever our background, we have all read fairy tales and legends.”   


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