To celebrate the publication of Purity, the eagerly anticipated collection of short fiction from Andrzej Tichý, we asked the book’s translator, Nichola Smalley, to lift the curtain on the books, albums and artworks that informed her translation:

Music

DJ Rashad, Double Cup

‘A shape-shifting record of incredible emotional depth. I listened to this album and though about Rashad’s legacy a lot when translating Purity – there was some thing about the breakneck BPMs and the mood shifts that spoke to me and chimed with the varied intensities of Tichý’s writing, and so it was fun to learn from Andrzej that he was a fan too.’

Books

Amina Cain, Indelicacy

‘Though the voice is quite different, this slim yet rich novel explores a lot of the same themes of power and class as Purity. I loved Cain’s portrait of friendship and gaze and I think its strange jaggedness somehow it makes a perfect companion to Tichý’s stories.’

Marit Kapla, Osebol (tr Peter Graves)

‘When I was working on the title story of Purity, I kept coming back to the compilation of different voices and their snippets of memory in Kapla’s fantastic portrait of a village. The way she creates a greater, cohesive whole from sometimes disparate parts is a real inspiration.’

Artwork

Marina Abramović, The House With the Ocean View, 2002

‘I’m not that well acquainted with Abramović’s work, but I saw a video of her talking about this performance piece when it was part of the RA retrospective last year, and I was really interested in her attempt to reach out to the audience and ‘purify’ them by ‘purifying’ herself. It’s problematic to me, but I feel like there’s a perverse and violent connection between the performer willfully depriving themselves and the forceful deprivations at work in the class system that Tichý’s work so deftly portrays.’

 

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