The Elephant, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


"The Elephant (1957)" is Slawomir Mrozek's award-winning collection of hilarious and unnerving short stories, satirizing life in Poland under a totalitarian regime.

The family of a wealthy lawyer keep a 'tamed progressive' as a pet; a zoo saves money for the workers by fashioning their elephant from rubber; a swan is dismissed from the municipal park for public drunkenness; and, under the Writers' Association, literary critics are banished to the salt mines.

In these tales of bureaucrats, officials and artists, Mrozek conjures perfectly a life of imagined crimes and absurd authority.




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I loved Kafka, but this is almost better in a lot of regards. Each story works on its own, but taken together each morsel adds up to a sumptuous meal. To think - I've been in Poland all these years, yet this is the first time I've been exposed to Mrozek. That doesn't put me in a very good light, but at least now my oversight has been somewhat rectified.

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