László Kollár-Klemencz’s stories are about meetings between humans and nature. The protagonist of this volume, written in minimalistic prose bearing the mark of Raymond Carver’s stories, is the forest: not as a symbol but as a strong, sometimes threatening, sometimes alluring presence. And the plastic garden chairs of the title: trite, prosaic and shabby props of modern life.
Kollár-Klemencz writes about trivial situations: fathers in pursuit of stags in the forest, a driver and his passengers in a van, a sick mother and the night-shift nurse,the act of jumping into water and preparing sheepskin, a statue unveiling ceremony on the beach, the burial of a billygoat, or two men sitting under a cherry tree on white plastic chairs.
Reading these stories, we feel as if we were following footmarks of some strange creature in the forest. Searching for freedom and security, adventures and challenges, answers and oblivion, the characters in these stories are unknown yet all too familiar for the reader. They have secrets, and their silence speaks volumes. Balladistic narratives, poetic visions and absurd stories alternate in this book, which also has an autobiographical thread: the inner journey of a fifty-year-old man who moves to the countryside and learns to live with himself and his environment.
Encounters between man and nature
ISBN 978 963 1437 54 6
2018, hard cover with jacket
160 pages, 125×197 mm
English and German excerpts available