Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Hrgović. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hrgović. Show all posts

27 May, 2012

Maja Hrgović, "Zlatka"

This story is the second one in the anthology, Best European Fiction, 2012. It was translated from Croatian by Tomislav Kuzmanović.

The main character evidently has a new depressing apartment in Novi Zagreb, the Sopot part of town; it is very depressing. Her two rooms stink, one worse than the other. She drinks a lot and has to hold her pants up so that they don't get greasy from crossing the railroad tracks which they do despite her efforts. She gets her hair done and encounters Zlatka, the hairdresser, again at a bar that night. They end up going to Zlatka's house and having sex. Mila, Zlatka's daughter, wakes them up the next morning because she has an early listening test. Mila is the most positive person in the story.

I like the story and the way we are allowed to be a voyeur for a day and a night in the main character's life.

I was a little perplexed that there were so many references to death, tombstones and even a suicide and nothing happened to the main character or Zlatka. In fact, I thought that the main character was going to commit suicide but instead she writes Zlatka's name on the window with lipstick. And, funny enough, there is a pistol mentioned in the first line and nothing is done with the pistol in the whole story. No big deal but it made me smile and think of Chekhov.


Maja Hrgović's web site
an interview, The European Short Story Network