Škvorecký is the author of three short works that he himself called novellas: The Emöke Legend (Legenda Emöke), ‘The Bass Saxophone’, (‘Bass Saxophon’), and The End of a Parish Priest (Farářův konec). The Emöke Legend was written in 1958 and published in Czechoslovakia in 1963. The English translation of Emöke appeared in a book form in 1977 together with ‘The Bass Saxophone’ under the title The Bass Saxophone. Besides the two novelle, the book contained a preface entitled ‘Red Music’, in which Škvorecký discussed the impact of jazz on his generation. In both novelle, the motif of jazz recurs, and in the second, the motif is developed into a dominant theme. Although ‘The Bass Saxophone’ was written in 1965 and published in Czech in a collection of seven short stories entitled Babylonský příběh a jiné povídky (The Babylonian tale and other stories, 1967), the English language publication of the two novelle in one volume is fully justified. They are written in a similar style and stand apart from Škvorecký’s other fiction. They are both among the most accomplished of Škvorecký’s works of the 1960s. They were warmly received in Czechoslovakia, but earned truly enthusiastic critical acclaim only after their publication abroad.
KeywordsEurope Cage Charcoal Metaphor Folk
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