'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort, but where he stands in time of challenge and controversy.' -King (Martin Luther)
Freedom, like writing, is a powerful drug. Jozef achieved the unachievable by crossing the most dangerous border in the world, the Iron Curtain. The struggle against forgetting is unending and there is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you. It can take a lifetime to find the authentic survivor' s voice. Without any doubt, writing a book is a liberation, a cause for celebration. You just sit down and find it hard to stop the words from bleeding or come out as an unconscious communication from the deepest part of your human existence. Whatever Jozef writes he cannot compare his experience to scene in a movie. A strange unreality creeps in; yet it was real and it was horrible.
Somehow technological developments have a tendency to coax would-be authors out of the closet. In his eBook, Jozef writes about people who don’t usually get written about. They were ordinary boys leading ostensibly ordinary lives beneath which a variety of torrents raged. Jozef reflects on an experience he would rather forget.
Real survivors take chances ... have flaws ... embrace stone-cold exile ... get rejections. The past often ambushes survivors with a flash of memory as bright as lighting. For the Iron Curtain' s only surivor, getting those flashes published is everything. That is why in the school of hard knocks nothing gets better than the world-wide publications of Jozef's prize-winning short stories. These stories bring the Iron Curtain to life in a variety of newspapers, blogs and magazines.
Any survivor has more to say than all the historians combined about what happened.
The monograph was written over a twenty year period of stolen moments, six months of that full time. Czechoslovak history in a single breath is what Jozef seeks to achieve in Cold River. A single breath, held for 177 pages, is virtually what readers get. Since there is no history, only biography, it is impossible to understand Czechoslovak history with the mind. Long stretches, whole decades, can be wrapped up in a couple of chapters around the reader‘s heart, the human bridge ... Even a single chapter can cover a whole story if it seems really worth telling. Jozef brings to his writing many years of experience as a researcher in the parliamentary environment where his professional life was pulled in several directions. He draws on those experiences in adding realism to his storylines. Jozef's writing is motivated, deep down, by a fear of and a fascination with truth and mortality. Like the daring escape, some of Jozef's storylines which appeared in underground magazines had kept ruthless communists awake at night. This book is like having an old itch finally scratched.
'If we look at history, we find that in time, humanity's love of peace, justice and freedom always triumphs over cruelty and oppression….'
-The 14th Dalai Lama