The Galley Slave is a tour de force of historical fiction centered on the misadventures of an Everyman of indeterminate origins named Johan Ot, who is part picaresque anti-hero, part Josef K. Driven by a restlessness that he can barely comprehend, Ot consorts with merchants, peasants, pilgrims, pagans, heretics, thieves, and prostitutes, while continually trying to evade the forces of the Inquisition. Everywhere he encounters superstition, the Church, political power, and the mob inextricably linked and wreaking pious, desperate violence on anyone who stands out. The Galley Slave paints a vivid, Bruegelesque panorama of a brutal and plague-threatened late-medieval Europe, seen through the eyes of a rebel in spite of himself as he flees across the length and breadth of the Slovenian lands, from Austrian-controlled Styria to the Venetian-dominated Adriatic coast, in an endless quest to survive.
Translated by Michael Biggins
Publication: Slovenian Literature Series
Number of pages: 376
List price: $23.95