Three days ago, March 23, 2013, I set out writing NEARING THE END. I pulled off one paragraph and deleted it. Time wasted, indeed. The book, a collage of my life's circumstances, is meant for Amaya. After I die, my wife, sitting on the balcony of our 4H apartment, her legs resting on the empty chair opposite, where I used to recline, she'll turn the pages wondering about this or that. For example, she'll get to know how my mother Katka wanted more children but my father Franta opposed the idea. How at the age nine I broke my right hand balancing on top of a chopped-down poplar tree and slipped. How in 1945 the Nazis were defeated, I discovered jazz, saw the movie Rhapsody in Blue six times and despaired to acquaint myself with Jean Simmons, the teenage goddess from the Dickensian silver screen feature Great Expectations. Last but not least, I want Amaya to know that when the war ended, the Commies replaced the Nazis in a good half of Europe. Stuff like that foretold that I would end up in New York and meet her (Amaya), and that she would become my wife and I her husband.
"Klobouk writes like a satyr. Who could lay down riffs like these? He bends and stretches metaphor and simile, he creates his own pigeon English. A stew of Czech, Japanese, and English phraseology that he uses to tell this wildly imaginative, dark, and pleasurable tale. 'While I type, Amaya, in her 14' x 10' köbö (perhaps a former nursery), watercolors her Japanese version of Charlie Bird. Every twenty minutes or so she tiptoes to where I sit at the computer to check on my work in progress. She murmurs behind my back: yeah, Koibito (sweetheart) and kisses my ear. Yesterday, she appeared at 1:32 PM and found me staring at a blank screen. She collapsed on the peacock wicker chair next to an artificial orange tree by the balcony sliding door, distressed. She knew the paragraph I had deleted by heart and considered it to be more eloquent than anything written by Marcel Proust. I explained to her that I thought the crossed-out paragraph might be too confusing.' Lush, dense, lyrical by turns. He shows us where our age has buried and scattered its bodies. An improbable love story! A caper! A fable."—Stephanie Dickinson
Jiří Klobouk writes fiction, radio plays, poetry, and essays. He discovered jazz when he was twelve and later began to visualize the world around him through a camera lens—he worked in film and television. He created a body of work in which as one critic noted: "We could feel the rhythm and see things from unexpected angles." Klobouk's short stories have appeared in literary periodicals such as Partisan Review, Chicago Review, Artful Dodge and Skidrow Penthouse. "For Winter Wolves," a story published in Mid- American Review, he was named outstanding writer in the 1985-86 Pushcart Prize edition. His list of books includes: My Life with Blondie, Anti-Communist Manifesto (1975), Mostly Beethoven, Radio Plays I, Radio Plays II, Third Wife, JAZZ II:Parents, Music After Midnight and HOW HIGH THE MOON (Rain Mountain Press, 2021).Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA