In Purity, Andrzej Tichý combines a short-form, multi-faceted narrative of the chaotic outbursts within the relative order of society. The people in these stories all struggle to relate to the structures that layer the world and the human psyche: a man has an outburst of on a bus; a fugitive finds a colour wheel and gains insight from it; a social realist kills his friend with a hammer; a thief proclaims his innocence. And, the cleaners reluctantly clean up.
With weight as well as humour, people are depicted as fallen—those who are in the process of doing so, and those who are still waiting to fall—all against the foundation of a violent civilization that tries to seize the meaning of one’s own death sentence, rendered by Tichý with a fury of words in the style of Thomas Bernhard.
“Purity is a strong and literary challenging book, emotionally charged, intricate and ceaselessly fascinating, poetic and tender, even in its dark way humoristic, through all its roughness, deep grief, blood and shit. ”
“/…/ when Tichý combines his concrete social realism with falling in to hypnotic flow of consciousness, it become completely brilliant. /…/ As sharp as Tichý depicts the pain, he also writes of an interpersonal tenderness and love. And a powerful resistance. ”
“A feverish kind of despair about the eternal machine of abuse of power thrusts Tichý’s disparate voices into an affecting whole.”
“As in all his best books, Tichý is an entertainer. Funny and drastic. Smart and tough. Never letting the tragedy become comedy. It is the style, between elegant novel prose and the colloquial, that lends the fragmentary stories a glimpse of something almost cheerful; the laughter when, staring into the abyss, you realise it is staring right back at you.”
“How something can be so powerful and precise at the same time is hard to comprehend. But as a depiction of man’s conditions on society’s wage lowering labour market, it is brilliant. /…/ The truth is that prose is rarely as refined as this. ”
- Andrzej Tichý
- Rights sold
Sweden, Albert Bonniers
UK, And Other Stories (World English)