Original title: Odečítání pohybu souřadnic
Spotting a doppelgänger brings you bad luck, they say.
Mickey Watts, a forty-two-year-old lathe operator from Maine in the US who has come to Czechia for his work, is an ordinary guy who gets along with most people but has little excitement in his life. But then, in a corner of Silesia that has seen better days, he catches sight of his doppelgänger. From this night on, Mickey is aware of changes in himself – small ones at first. Physical changes are soon joined by changes in behaviour, with tendencies to suspicion and violence to the fore. Confused, he returns to the States, where he seeks an explanation in his complicated relationship with his overbearing father. But the workings of the human psyche are not so simple.
Six years on, Daniel Petr has returned to the theme of family trauma which he explored with such success in his novel The Magpie on the Gallows / Straka na šibenici.
“The story of Mickey’s transformation begins as Donald Trump is entering the White House. In the famous slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ – which helped Trump win the presidential election – the most important word is ‘again’: it tells the voter of an earlier ideal America to which they should strive to return. Mickey wishes to resist his transformation, which he believes initially to be a manifestation of ageing.”