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Primeval and Other Times by [Tokarczuk, Olga]
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Primeval and Other Times Kindle Edition


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Length: 248 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Review

Primeval is a kind of "tale," with its emphasis on structure, repetition, and archetype, where collective tradition (in this case, Central European Judeo-Christianity) provides the gloss to aspects of the text left unwritten. Characters move in and out, some appearing only briefly, and yet we are meant to--and do--see them as full, round beings, with sensible motivations and unique psychologies. --Tara Bray Smith, Words without Borders

... a singular work of beauty, translated with no little art. -- RALPH

In Primeval, shape-shifting elements of nature coexist seamlessly with a character taming snakes into peaceful domesticity by the hearth, Nazi concentration camps, and God grieving his unrequited love for man within a mystical labyrinth of eight spheres or worlds. It's well worth the long visit. --Booklist

Tokarczuk is a painter of words and dreams who writes with meaning. She challenges readers to question/discover the layers of God, story, and characters' souls through symbolism, mentions of authentic Polish Easter customs, and vignettes featuring the complex labyrinth journey game of life choices divided into eight worlds/spheres. --NewPages

Trained as a psychologist and inspired by Jungian theory, Tokarczuk writes novels that are at once realistic, mythic, folkloric, poetic and post-modern. The diction of Primeval and Other Times is deceptively flat and seemingly simplistic, like that of a well-known fairytale. But each vignette, each "short clip" adds another layer of perception. -- Belletrista

Primeval and Other Times is an overtly philosophical book, but not a polemical one. Tokarczuk allows various strains of philosophical thought to surface through her characters: Optimism, nihilism, determinism, and free will coexist without privilege, and though we may be sermonized by the preacher, his words have no more authority than any of the other characters we meet. Furthermore, since the philosophy we encounter in the book arises organically from the lives of the townspeople, it never feels unanchored or purely intellectual. --Angela Demarco, Bookslut

It is here, amongst these dense forests, that the sphere of the sacred blends with the profane, as mystical phenomena, Catholicism, holiness and spirituality intertwine with the everyday. A microcosm of Polish towns of the period, Primeval is to Tokarczuk what Visegrad was to Ivo Andric in The Bridge over the Drina. The author is the village's chronicler and documents what she feels is worthy of retelling, combining fact and fiction to serve her own myth-making purpose. -- Richard Jackson, KGB Lit Magazine

This curious and moving book traces the lives of the inhabitants of the mythical village of Primeval ... --The Independent, (Best Summer Reads)

Primeval and Other Times is a welcome translation from Polish of a major literary achievement that has, understandably, won prizes and acclaim throughout Europe. --Review of Contemporary Fiction

Tokarczuk has tackled a difficult task, to create a place, characters, and stories that exist in their own right but also within the stream of history, where the characters are both believable and beyond belief, where the extremes are pushed farther than what most of us have experienced and yet (the terrifying part) are anchored in twentieth century history. --Tarpaulin Sky

Tokarczuk explores shared experience in emotional and literal terms. In the course of the novel grass bleeds, a woman experiences touch vicariously, a house has a soul, clothes have memory, mushrooms are described as possessing time, and animals dream in images. One could certainly argue that these constructs are merely figurative personifications or the conventions of magical realism, but Tokarczuk's insistence on connecting the experiences of flora, fauna, and even inanimate objects to the human experience, never privileging one over the other, indicates a desire to unify all experience in a way vital to the novel's themes. --The Sarmatian Review

Tokarczuk explores shared experience in emotional and literal terms. In the course of the novel grass bleeds, a woman experiences touch vicariously, a house has a soul, clothes have memory, mushrooms are described as possessing time, and animals dream in images. --The Sarmatian Review

Primeval and Other Times is a welcome translation from Polish of a major literary achievement that has, understandably, won prizes and acclaim throughout Europe. --Review of Contemporary Fiction

The prose of Primeval and Other Times has a strangely sedating effect in reading. Quietly powerful, it is a tale not soon to be forgotten. --World Literature Today

Tokarczuk's skill at dispensing doses of magical realism creates a thrillingly unstable universe -- and a haunting parable: Primeval not only loses all sense of security, but also any steady sense of place and time. --ExBerliner

Primeval and Other Times is a major novel with a scope and depth rarely achieved in contemporary literature. ... Tokarczuk reminds us why we read novels: to enter a fictional world at once completely foreign and poignantly familiar. --The Prague Post

Primeval is a story that is historical, mystical, and philosophical simultaneously. The characters are very real, and their lives and experiences captivating. --The Krakow Post

... a curious and moving book. --The Independent

A microcosm of Polish towns of the period, Primeval is to Tokarczuk what Visegrad was to Ivo Andric in The Bridge over the Drina. --KGB Lit Magazine

Primeval is a kind of "tale," with its emphasis on structure, repetition, and archetype, where collective tradition (in this case, Central European Judeo-Christianity) provides the gloss to aspects of the text left unwritten. Characters move in and out, some appearing only briefly, and yet we are meant to--and do--see them as full, round beings, with sensible motivations and unique psychologies. --Words without Borders

Primeval and Other Times is an overtly philosophical book, but not a polemical one. Tokarczuk allows various strains of philosophical thought to surface through her characters: Optimism, nihilism, determinism, and free will coexist without privilege, and though we may be sermonized by the preacher, his words have no more authority than any of the other characters we meet. --Bookslut

Trained as a psychologist and inspired by Jungian theory, Tokarczuk writes novels that are at once realistic, mythic, folkloric, poetic and post-modern. The diction of Primeval and Other Times is deceptively flat and seemingly simplistic, like that of a well-known fairytale. But each vignette, each "short clip" adds another layer of perception. --Belletrista

Primeval and Other Times is small but epic, in the same way that, say, that a short story by Faulkner or Nabokov is epic. ... a singular work of beauty, translated with no little art. --RALPH

Product Description

Tokarczuk's third novel, Primeval and Other Times was awarded the Koscielski Foundation Prize in 1997, which established the author as one of the leading voices in Polish letters. It is set in the mythical Polish village of Primeval, which is populated by eccentric, archetypal characters. The village, a microcosm of Europe and the world, is guarded by four archangels, from whose perspective the novel chronicles the lives of Primeval's inhabitants over the course of the feral 20th century. In prose that is forceful and direct, the narrative follows Poland's tortured political history from 1914 to the contemporary era and the episodic brutality that is visited on ordinary village life. Yet Primeval and Other Times is a novel of universal dimension that does not dwell on the parochial. A stylized fable as well as epic allegory about the inexorable grind of time, the clash between modernity (the masculine) and nature (the feminine), it has been translated into most European languages.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1387 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Twisted Spoon Press; 1 edition (24 December 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006Q3YRSG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,80,212 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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