Igor Malijevský (b. 1970) is a poet, fiction writer and photographer; he studied theoretical physics and philosophy, and has tried his hand at a number of different jobs. Together with author Jaroslav Rudiš, he creates and organizes literary cabaret evenings in various Prague theaters. Malijevský’s photography is represented in many public and private art collections, in the Czech Republic and abroad. He is the author of two books of poetry and two short story collections, as well as an unconventional cookbook.
November 2019, 320 pages
A detailed account of human existence in a corporate world. A novel situated between horror and the grotesque, Kafka and Švejk, reality and dream
Open-Plan is a darkly grotesque tale, and at the same time an authentic exploration of the peculiarities of corporate environments. Short, absorbing chapters lay the basis for a paradigmatic and contemporary narrative reminiscent of Faust. Why is nice weather nicknamed “bombardment”? What is “French roulette”? And when was the deadline again? The book comes with a Corporatese phrasebook.
Probably no other contemporary Czech author has shown us the world of the lower floors of “white collars” not only as a setting, but also as a theme unto itself. A Faust-like deal: exchanging existential uncertainty for a bit of comfort and a regular salary.
“We on the other hand, we laugh a lot, in our open-plan office, but mostly it’s our own laugh, which is quite like Víťa’s giggling, just not as irresistible. We basically produce sonic emojis, which are emitted, in archetypal form, already by infants. We add them wherever we sense a potential conflict. A sonic emoji signals to the other party that we are willing to work together and that nothing in us prevents cooperation from occurring. Someone who frowns, or laughs without restraint, is much less compatible than one who giggles.”