Well now, here’s a lovely early Christmas present – my first ever book cover!!
And for comparison, my original painting:
I have had several enquiries from publishers interested in featuring my work on book covers – enough to know that until the book has been published and your work is definitely on the cover, it’s probably best not to think about it too much, let alone mention it to anyone!
I’m thrilled then to share the news that this new publication and translation of The Main Audience by Karel Polacek is now available via the wonderful independent French publisher Ginkgo Editeurs (and can be found on their website in the Foreign Literature Collection), as well as via Instagram and Facebook.
I’m indebted to the publishers for considering my work and to Kenneth Field / Rail Archive Stephenson that own the copyright to the image that inspired my painting, who gave their permission and approval for this little venture.
To see my work on the cover of a book is a tremendous honour, and a really wonderful and unexpected Christmas present.
This leads me neatly on to wishing anyone that reads this blog, a wonderful festive season. I wish you all a merry Christmas and hope you’re able to enjoy and indulge yourself at this special time of year in a way that best suits you – whatever that might be! I won’t extend this as far as New Year, as I’ll save that honour for next week’s final post 2023!
The Main Audience, by Karel Polacek
For those anyone that might be interested, here’s a brief summary of the plot of The Main Audience.
One day, his father-in-law said to him: “Josef, this can’t continue like this. I don’t want you in my house anymore. You will have to find another roof.”
The first sentences of the novel determine the continuation of a story which amounts to a slow descent into hell for the (anti-)hero Josef Marsik, a railway worker by profession.
This ‘little man’ lets himself be caught up in a big dream, that of becoming rich. Kicked out of his father-in-law’s house and not really knowing where to go, he and his wife and family hatch a devilishly fiendish plan that should bring him a fortune.
Claiming to be single, he places an ad in a newspaper to find a wife.
He meets Alzbeta Valova, an elderly maid who is desperately looking for love. He manages to extort money from her, then, faced with the insistence of the woman who always sticks to his coattails, he ends up murdering her. The police catch him, and, following a trial where he confesses everything, he is sentenced to death. At the end of the story, instead of a catharsis, the reader is treated to a dialogue between the condemned man waiting for the gallows and a prison guard, both tragic and hilarious. The Main Audience delivers a relentless account full of black humour of the slow descent into hell of a man seemingly similar to millions of others.