Alena Machoninová

Hella. The subtitle of the narrative essay debut by the Russian scholar and translator Alena Machoninová refers to the thematic basis of the narrative-essay, that is the life-story of Helena „Hella“ Frischer, a Czech Jewess who served as a model for the character of in the novel Moscow-Border by Jiří Weil. Allegedly, Hella had been executed along with her husband during the Great Terror under Stalin. However, a few years ago it turned out that after having served ten years at a labor camp in northern Russia Hella was set free and then lived in Moscow until her death in 1984. In 2017 her labor camp memoir came out in Czech.

Machoninová attempts to reconstruct her life story as well as inner life based on all available facts including Hella’s correspondence. She does so in an original prosaic form reflecting context, the past and present of Russia, the relation between literature and reality as well as the process of finding her own path to the personality of Hella Frischer.

Elaborate, frank and deeply personal piece of writing is also a book on coming back or the impossibility of coming back, on home and nostalgy, on literature and translation.

Regular price of the paperback: 358 CZK. Available at our e-shop with 35 % discount for 233 CZK.

E-book available for 208 CZK via this LINK.

Author:Alena Machoninová
Number of pages:264
Year of publication:2023
Issue number:1.
Publication number:30.
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