Ludvik Vaculik Northwestern University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PG5039.32.A2S413 1994 | Dewey Decimal 891.8635
Alongside Kundera's The Joke, The Axe was one of the most influential novels to appear in Czechoslavakia during the cultural awakening of the 1960s.</p>
In late Sixties Czechoslovakia, communist ideology is failing. A disillusioned middle-aged journalist retreats from the politics of Prague to the Moravian countryside of his youth. There he rediscovers the complex relationship with his dead father, a communist crusader. But when the journalist is accused of disgracing his father and his proletariat background, he realizes that he, too, is a leader--and that the stakes are now reversed.
The Guinea Pigs is a chilling fable about dehumanization and alienation representing Vaculik's vision of the menace of Soviet domination in the wake of the 1969 invasion. Written in 1970, it is a sweeping condemnation of totalitarianism, embedded in a rich, imaginative, highly experimental narrative. In the words of the New York Review of Books it is "one of the major works of literature produced in postwar Europe."