Chekh Among Czechs

The writer Artem Chekh has little more in common with our country than his name. He was born and lives in the Ukraine and has only visited the Czech Republic to present his new collection of essays Zero Point.

Artem Chekh has already authored nine books of both fiction and non-fiction. War experience has decisively influenced his work. Between 2015 - 2016 he had spent ten months with the Ukrainian armed forces. The war in the Donbas, in which he took part, had significantly changed his perspective of life, death and the everyday life. "All the frontline soldiers will tell you that one of their foremost fears is that they will die in their own hideouts," he writes in his collection Zero Point. There are countless similar experiences in his book. These are depicted from a healthy perspective, without unnecessary pathos and ornamentation. "I didn't want to introduce any pathos or heroism into my perspective of the war, because for us it was 'life a usual'. We did everyday things. There was no need for heroism, there was simply the need to live," Artem recalled during Friday's debate with the book fair visitors. "Every day we were nervous what the next day would bring. After some time you inadvertently start losing yourself. You become someone else. When I returned home to Kiev, all of a sudden I didn't feel at home there. I was uprooted. It took me six months to really fully reclaim my life, to really become myself again." To conclude with, Artem Chekh added that in his new texts he is already leaving the war topic behind. "I can't live with it all the time. I wanted to get rid of it. Maybe sometime in the future I will return to this theme, but not now."