Bohumil Hrabal is my favourite writer. I was like 19 when I have received the first book of him from one of my friends as a birthday present. But I haven't read it since years. Usually I do not have books on my shelves that I do not read. It always frustrates me if I have an unread book. So this frustration led me to Hrabal who was standing on my shelves for so long but I never found him interesting enough to read.
Big big mistake I made. Hrabal is like a pearl. I hardly can find the words to describe why he affected me a lot. I have read all of his books in a line. I think he is the only writer who made me eager to read everything he wrote. Hrabal is from the Czech Republic and his stories are the essential of my culture. The culture that we may call the Eastern-European culture.
Hrabal is not a hero. Many times he describes himself as the biggest loser of the world actually. He is a coward, usually the victim of the events around him who is doing nothing but drinking beer in pubs, writing on his typing machine and takes care of his cats. But knowing him, knowing his stories and his thoughts, this silent observer type who is not eager to move and shake the world but who is definitely a part of it...so getting closer to him you can't stop loving him. That deep humanity that never hurts or offend anyone and who can bring this gentle love to every single situation everywhere.
The dream-like brewery in the '30s, the oppressed territory of the Nazi Germany during the '40s, the brainless communism in the '50s. Mostly crazy times that turned many people being an animal but not Hrabal. And I was not right about Hrabal being not a hero. That fact only, remaining a human in times when most of us are failing to do so, makes people like Hrabal a hero of Eastern Europe.