Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
Publication Date: January 2005
Fiction. Translated from the Czech by David Short, with illustrations by Kamil Lhotak. Written in 1935 at the height of Czech Surrealism but not published until 1945, VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS is in essence a parable of menstruation, a bizarre erotic fantasy of a young woman's maturation into womanhood. Drawing on Matthew Lewis's The Monk, Marquis de Sade's Justine, K.H. Macha's May, F. W. Murnau's film Nosferatu, as well as the language of pulp serial novels, Nezval has constructed a lyrical, menacing dream of sexual awakening involving a vampire with a taste for chicken blood, changelings, a lecherous priest, a malicious grandmother desiring her lost youth, and an androgynous merging of brother with sister. This edition is accompanied by the original's six black and white illustrations from Kamil Lhotak, a member of the avant-garde Group 42. Be sure to see Nezval's other books, ANTILYRIC and EDITION 69, both currently available from SPD.