Wild Swine’s Horseradish
fragments of stories, incantations and nursery rhymes from Podivicko and Kališťsko
Compiled by Miloš Doležal. Prepared and published from the Waldbaum writings, text typeset and illustrated by Luboš Drtina.
Old Karafiát from Podivice used to tell about the hobgoblin they had in their house. Every day they had to leave him lunch in the oven. Once during the harvest season they forgot. The hobgoblin grew angry, grabbed the cat and shoved it outside through the keyhole. Then the hobgoblin moved to Hojanovice.
Luboš Drtina, who comes from Vysočina, has once again returned to this rugged terrain to his homestead of Chlov, a gaggle of houses where the highway ends and a remarkable region begins, comprising oaks, windbreaks, lightning rods, a Jewish cemetery and rooting wild swine. This is why he was able to illustrate and publish this collection of rugged andfrightening stories, Wild Swine’s Horseradish.
Black watercolors, minimal lines, both concise and burlesque, the mysterious and the grotesque; horseradish as the deceased embedded in the earth, an overcoat that flies through the air like a bat, playing card symbolism, a tomcat’s wild eyes, a keyhole, the anal opening of an entangled intestine, apparitions of the deceased. In this book, handmade by Luboš, everything is chillingly intertwined; it bursts forth, runs rampant and chases down everything else — the book thus recalls a small-scale Vysočina bestiary or strange prayer book discovered behind an attic rafter. One is also reminded of the diverse astral beings of Josef Váchal or the ghosts and three-legged eyeball beings, Prtioka, of Jaroslav Panuška. It is not a fairytale, but rather magic and mystery that find their place in the rugged illustrations of Luboš Drtina.
The printer issued a roughly sewn semi-finished product, refined and ennobled with approximately twenty more handcrafted details. Some conceptions concerning the book’s form are still not industrially viable; thus there was no alternative but to modify them by hand of an evening. We glued them together and mailed approximately 300 volumes (there are 60 copies available) of Miloš’s slim book to readers. The ungainly school brush and tinting paste decorationbest suited our intentions that the illustration recalled chimney soot instead of an inked engraving.