A short feature on Omnivoracious about Ajvaz’s The Other City. It achieves its effects in a minor key, but I found it satisfying.
With China Mieville guestblogging this week in connection with the release of The City & The City, I thought I might focus on a book that nicely co-exists with some of the fantastical concepts set out in Mieville’s novel, although very different in texture, intent, and execution. The Other City by Czech writer Michal Ajvaz repopulates the city of Kafka with ghosts, eccentrics, talking animals, and impossible statues. As the jacket copy reads, the novel serves as a kind of “guidebook to this invisible ‘other Prague,’ overlapping the workaday world: a place where libraries can turn into jungles, secret passages yawn beneath our feet, and waves lap at our bedspreads.”