From one of Slovakia’s most respected authors, this tender and sensitive look at an elderly couple dealing with illness might remind readers of Michael Haneke’s award-winning film, Amour.
Pavel Vilikovský’s novella Fleeting Snow (Letmý sneh, 2014), depicts the gradual loss of memory of the narrator’s wife. The narrator reminisces about his past life with his wife and muses on issues ranging from human nature and the soul, to names and the phonetics of Slovak and indigenous American Indian languages, in an informal, humorous style whose lightness of touch belies the seriousness of his themes.
The book’s title refers to its recurring central motif, an avalanche whose inexorable descent cannot be stopped once the critical mass of snow has begun to roll, echoing the unstoppable process of memory loss. Five themes or storylines, intertwined in passages of varying lengths, are labelled with letters of the alphabet and numbers in a playful allusion to scholarly works and musical compositions.
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