Of Mice and Mooshaber
Of Mice and Mooshaber (Fuks Ladislav):
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Ladislav Fuks is an outstanding Czech writer, whose works primarily consist of psychological fiction focusing on the themes of anxiety and life in totalitarian systems. He is well known for his short fiction treating the theme of holocaust, specifically for his works The Cremator (Spalovač mrtvol), which was filmed in 1969, and Mr. Theodore Mundstock (Pan Theodor Mundstock). Natalia Mooshabr’s Mice (Myši Natálie Mooshabrové) is his first novel, in which he abandoned the theme of the holocaust moving on to the horror genre. The story takes place in an unspecified country whose ruler was overthrown and replaced by a dictator. The main protagonist, Mrs Mooshabr, is an old widow whose husband was a coachman in a brewery. Her life spins around her work (she is a caretaker for difficult children), her own ungrateful children and her fear of "mice", which she tries to catch in traps. Through the use of mystery and insinuations, Fuks brings the story to a surprising, tragic ending, revealing the evil through the souls of some of his characters. He employs the grotesque, fantastic surrealism to affect the reader, using negative and exaggerated elements to unveil reality. This work was written before the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, but it was not published until 1970.