Magazine created by students of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University.

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Patricija Fašalek

What Did They do to Bestsellers?

in Current Issue/Views

by Patricija Fašalek

gurkan.ozsoy, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Not that long ago, the term ‘best-seller’ was used for a book which sold better than others, such as works of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Jane Austen, and it was reserved for fiction only. Later on, the term was applied to nonfiction also, including the very popular genre of self-help books, and gradually the word acquired a negative connotation since it was mostly associated with books of low literary value. As in, “there are great works of literature, and then there are…bestsellers.”  Nowadays the reliable source of information which restores some dignity to best-sellers would be the major bestsellers lists, published in Washington PostWall Street JournalUSATODAYNew York Times or Publisher’s Weekly, and, more recently, on Amazon where the term Amazon Bestseller is given to the books that manage to get on the Amazon bestsellers list – and this list is composed of hundreds or thousands of books. Keep Reading

Miranda July: It’s Kind of a Wild Time

in Views

By Patricija Fašalek

About two years ago I met an American who told me I bear a resemblance to Miranda July. At that time I did not know who she was so I asked him about her, thinking her label would be something like: a writer, a filmmaker, a politician etc. He seemed quite surprised by my lack of knowledge about the woman in question, and he quickly went on: “She’s a feminist artist”.

I started to wonder, what does it mean to be a “feminist artist” in our age? Does this imply that they have to call out gender issues in their work? Does not mentioning gender issues make other female (or male) authors non-feminist? Do they have to be some kind of a spokespeople for women’s rights in the media? Is it about the female representation in their work? What the guy probably meant was “she’s a feminist and an artist”. But usually people would just say “she’s an artist”, unless a person is known for their activism. So who is Miranda July?

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Between the Book and the Movie

in Reviews

By Patricija Fašalek

If you try and search Milan Kundera in relation to America in Google, the same paragraph repeats itself in different articles. What originates in writings of New York Times and seems to be widely agreed upon: “In the 1980’s, Milan Kundera has done for his native Czechoslovakia what Gabriel Garcia Marquez did for Latin America in the 1960’s and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did for Russia in the 1970’s. He has brought Eastern Europe to the attention of the Western reading public, and he has done so with insights that are universal in their appeal.” Most American newspapers praise the author’s writing and are deeply intrigued by his approach to story-telling in his novels. However, since his book The Unbearable Lightness of Being was published in English, his appeal to US readers led to what could be described as a natural consequence of consecutive events: they decided to adapt his book into a movie.

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