Golden Age

Michal Ajvaz

Michal Ajvaz: Golden Age

Original title: Zlatý věk

Genre: novel


Hynek, 2001; Druhé město, 2011, 2021

ISBN: 978-80-7227-307-2

Pages: 308

Foreign editions:

French (Editions du Panama, 2007; Mirobole, 2017, Michal and Aline Pacvoň), English (Dalkey Archive Press, 2010, Andrew Oakland), Japanese (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2014, Kenichi Abe), Turkish (Cinar, 2020, Sevda Deniz Karali)

Rights sold to:

Ethiopia (Hohe Publisher, Amharic rights)


An imaginary travelogue or a combination of cultural and ethnological fiction. This time the story is not set in the shadowy corners of magical Prague; here the author invites us on a journey to an island where a sense of solidarity has evolved which is alien to the life of our European or European-American rational and pragmatic civilisation. It is a totally open solidarity, based on principles of chaos and destruction of all signs of totalitarianism in our language and thought. 

Annotation of the English language publisher of the book (Dalkey Archive Press):
The Golden Age is a fantastical travelogue in which a modern-day Gulliver writes a book about a civilization he once encountered on a tiny island in the Atlantic. The islanders seem at first to do nothing but sit and observe the world, and indeed draw no distinction between reality and representation, so that a mirror image seems as substantial to them as a person (and vice versa); but the center of their culture is revealed to be "The Book," a handwritten, collective novel filled with feuding royal families, murderous sorcerers, and narrow escapes. Anyone is free to write in "The Book," adding their own stories, crossing out others, or even ap- pending "footnotes" in the form of little paper pouches full of extra text—but of course there are pouches within pouches, so that the story is impossible to read "in order," and soon begins to overwhelm the narrator's orderly treatise.

More books from the author