Homunculus is billed as a collection of sixteen “fairy tales for adults” with something for every reader. The author has largely retained the classical fairy-tale structure with its elements of surprise and the constant intertwining of the real and unreal, but he transcends the sugar-sweet endings we are familiar with. Prokopiev presents us with a wide range of more “mature” themes too – the erotic, the tragic, feelings of alienation. Some of the stories are related to internationally known fairy tales such as “Tom Thumb”, where the main character struggles with an oedipal bond with his mother, or “The Huntsman”, told from the perspective of the hunter sent out to kill Snow White. Others go back to Macedonian folk roots or have been freely composed by Prokopiev himself.
'Often surreal, sometimes inexplicable, Aleksandar Prokopiev is one of the “must-read”s. He is a teasing, telling interlocutor who likes to play the naïve; the brilliant Fool who is a figure as recognizable from our traditions as from his own. These shape-shifting stories remain adamantly, radically open for us to interpret. They challenge us to accept, even to embrace, our own confusion: implying, perhaps, that life itself is as confusing as any fable. To read them is to glimpse the wildness at the heart of Europe.'
Fiona Sampson, Poet. From the foreword to the book.
Touching upon a number of genres (memoir, diary, drama) Prokopiev’s Homonculus: Fairy Tales From the Left Pocket is a treasure trove of literary knowledge and wisdom about the world. Most of all, it is a tale with a moral that stretches far beyond the borders of countries and ideologies to win the hearts and minds of all readers around the globe.
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