God's Rainbow

Jaroslav Durych

God's Rainbow

Jaroslav Durych

Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

Translated by David Short and with an After word by Rajendra A. Chitnis
140 pages | 15 color plates | 5 x 7 | © 2016
Cloth $22.00 ISBN: 9788024632919 Published January 2017 Not for sale in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic

This is a book about collective guilt, individual fate, and repentance, a tale that explores how we can come to be responsible for crimes we neither directly commit nor have the power to prevent. Set in the Czechoslovakian borderland shortly after WWII amid the sometimes violent expulsion of the region’s German population, Jaroslav Durych’s poetic, deeply symbolic novel is a literary touchstone for coming to terms with the Czech Republic’s difficult and taboo past of state-sanctioned violence.

A leading Catholic intellectual of the early twentieth century, Durych became a literary and political throwback to the prewar Czechoslovak Republic and faced censorship under the Stalinist regime of the 1950s. As such, he was a man not unfamiliar with the ramifications of a changing society in which the minority becomes the rule-making political authority, only to end up condemned as criminals. Though Durych finished writing God’s Rainbow in 1955, he could not have hoped to see it published in his lifetime. Released in a still-censored form in 1969, God’s Rainbow is available here in full for the first time in English.

Review Quotes
New York Times, on Durych's "The Descent of the Idol"
“Immense. . . . Vivid. . . . Brilliant.”
Kirkus Reviews, on Durych's "The Descent of the Idol"
“Romance spins a bright thread through the pattern of the grimness of religious fanaticism, petty intrigues of prelates and princes, jealousy of generals, and horrors of the times. . . . Highly dramatic, keyed to the interests of those intelligent readers who like meaty historical fiction.”
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