"What Ownership's All About can be read with enjoyment as a masterpiece
of black humor, but it may also be read as a metaphor of what happens to man
if he gets drunk on vainglory, a story, indeed, for our century."
What Ownership's All About is a darkly humorous novel about what power, even a tiny amount of it, does to a person, and to the people under his thumb. Jan Faktor, a policeman, builds a three-family house on the outskirts of Prague. He begins to landlord it over his tenants, and they respond by fearfully conceding to his increasingly absurd demands, and by huffing and puffing for all they're worth.
Poláček's unerring use of colloquial language, in Peter Kussi's excellent translation, enlivens his dark view of people's motives, values, and dreams. Talking to others or talking to themselves, his characters are stripped right down to their language.
238 pp., available only as an e-book.
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