Original title: Dřevěný nůž
Genre: short stories
Ten years in a small town might seem to drag on to infinity, or else they might be over in a second – so the author portends in his introduction to this book. The 1980s give way to the 1990s and history is on the move through Nový Městec and the surrounding villages. But in the light of all this the events which shake the lives of the heroes of Hájíček's stories are the simple and banal realities of everyday life. We encounter Pavel and Libuna, the cake shop on Linz Avenue, the hairdresser's on the square, Harry Bouška and the myth which surrounds him. Normality is experienced deep within; we encounter our bruised protagonists with their defences down against the vivid backdrop of the South Bohemian village.
"Hájíček has invested The Wooden Knife with more than just a sense of well-being for the reader, in itself a much sought-after quality. With this collection the author has, albeit unwittingly, scaled the heights of the storyteller's art. He has the precious gift of a remarkable plainness of expression, having no need of the textual intricacies of the postmodern; his writing is highly readable and absorbing. With this book the genre of the short story has been rehabilitated – proof that talent will always make itself known, even in the most unpropitious circumstances."
Milan Jungmann, Literární noviny