Mr K Released
Translated by Jozefina Komporaly
5 x 8 inches, 280pp. June 2019
ISBN : 9780857426482
Rs 599.00 (HB)
Mirroring Romania’s drastic transition from totalitarianism to Western-style freedom in the late 1980s, Mr K Released captures the disturbingly surreal feeling that many newly liberated prisoners face when they leave captivity. Employing his trademark playful absurdity, Matéi Visniec introduces us to Mr K, a Kafkaesque figure who has been imprisoned for years for an undisclosed crime in a penitentiary with mysterious tunnels.
One day, Mr K finds himself unexpectedly released. Unable to comprehend his sudden liberation, he becomes traumatized by the realities of freedom—more so than the familiar trauma of captivity or imprisonment. In the hope of obtaining some clarification, Mr K keeps waiting for an appointment with the prison governor, however, their meeting is constantly being delayed. During this endless process of waiting, Mr K gets caught up in a clinical exploration of his physical surroundings. He does not have the courage, or indeed, inclination to leave, but can move unrestricted within the prison compound, charting endless series of absurd circles in which readers might paradoxically recognize themselves.
Matéi Visniec is a multi-award-winning dramatist, poet, novelist and journalist, born in Romania and resident in France since seeking political asylum in 1987. His plays are widely published and staged internationally.
Jozefina Komporaly is editor and co-translator of the Matéi Visniec's How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients and Other Plays and András Visky's Barrack Dramaturgy: Memories of the Body. Her translations from Hungarian and Romanian have appeared in several journals.