A Literary Homecoming

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Author Matthew Neill Null writes at Catapult about a college class on Central Europe that changed the course of his reading and writing life:

My new professor, with his reading list of Central and Eastern European literature, had handed me a vast map with so much good territory to explore. The fiction I encountered in his course was so much more aware of the nuances of government power, and of silence, than the American work I’d been reading before. What else could I trace from writer to writer? A style that was discursive and cognizant of censors real and imagined. A style that was interested in erasure, and erased people. Books full of ruins and Soviet apartment blocks. Resignation. Black humor. The absurd. And these long, long sentences, Proustian but somehow more playful, incantatory. I had found my country, or one of them.


Stephanie Bento is a writer, classical cellist, and photographer living in Washington, DC. In her writing, she is interested in exploring the musicality of sound and form, and our connection to time and place. Find out more about her creative work at saudadebelle.com, or say hello/bonjour on Twitter @saudadebelle. More from this author →