Jurij Hudolin (born 1973) established himself primarily as a poet with a typical rebellious stance towards a world that has lost its values. He depicts this world with hyper-realistic suggestiveness and dark symbolism. His juicy language, so characteristic of his columns, first transpired to prose in the novel Objestnost (Arrogance) (2005), where he described the harsh world of the street, bohemians and night bars. His second novel Pastorek (Stepchild) is even more ambitious and truly establishes the author as a writer. Stepchild is a story about growing up in an extremely painful situation with an indifferent mother, an absent father and a self infatuated and brutal step-father. Hudolin’s story of family violence is hauntingly realistic because the author does not steer away from the complexity of the experiences of an abused child, his fear and his hatred towards his step-father on the one side and the fascination with his strength on the other. Besides an intimate story of an unhappy family we also have a social commentary. In the step-father, who himself often says he is simply an Owner – of a pub, land, people, the world, words –, we can recognise a typical transitional upstart. Though the story occurs at a time that is better remembered for its social upheavals, Hudolin’s novel only deals with them enough to outline the nascent mentality of the late eighties of a determination to create a new social order. Stepchild is a titillating tale of intimacy and social tragedy implanted with wit that gives it a vitalistic sense of hope.
Stepchild (Pastorek) / Translated by: Gregor Timothy Čeh English - "Woman speaks" (2001)