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Gluha soba

The Anechoic Chamber

Cankar Award winner & Novo mesto shortlist award nominee

Mojca Kumerdej’s stories with great acuteness and coherence describe the inner worlds of her heroes and at the same time, with their uncompromising insight, prophetically reveal the chilling hidden dreams and horrors of the world in which the most difficult (and also the most important) thing, is preserving what is beautiful and good in man.

Rights sold: Germany, Serbia

Dimensions: 13 × 20 cm
Year of publication: 2022
No. of pages: 229

About the book

An anechoic chamber is by definition an isolated and protected space. In hospitals it can be used for isolation of infected patients and intensive therapy but most often such rooms are intended for sound recording and are covered in a special lining that isolates the space from outside noise and supresses any unwanted echoes. In this way the stories in this collection listen to a silent voice, a phantom echo, rustling in the ear, as it would truly resonate only within us. The Anechoic Chamber is a joyful proclamation from a brave new world presented to us by Huxley, yet entirely different, not seen before by the ordinary eye, though its outlines and shadows are becoming ever more apparent. The narrative viewpoint is distanced but extremely acute. It precisely and coherently describes the inner world of heroes here and now. These are magnificent images from dreams that Ivan Cankar, beginner of modernism in Slovene literature, had once already reported on. Beyond this, the tales so masterfully conveyed by Kumerdej, are not merely literarily sophisticated but also prophetic in their message, insight and depth. In her uncompromised writing she reveals horror and dreams, passing us a coded key to Heaven and Hell, if we allowed here to recall the great Emanuel Swedenborg. Mojca Kumerdej has written a haunting, eerie and alarming book, at the same time unusually deep and beautiful, as if inviting and encouraging us not to be afraid of all that is new, at the same time presenting us with the highest demand, how to preserve the beautiful and good in man. The hunt for souls has truly begun. The first report is here.

Mojca Kumerdej

Mojca Kumerdej

Mojca Kumerdej (1964) is a writer. She’s also published critical pieces on contemporary dance, performance, theater, film, and literature. She’s published two collections of short stories – Fragma (2003) and Temna snov (2011) – and two novels – Krst nad Triglavom (2001) and Kronosova žetev (2016). Kronosova žetev was awarded the Prešeren Fund Award and the Critics’ Sieve Award. The Anechoic Chamber (2022) is her third collection of short stories. Mojca Kumerdej is also the recepient of the Borštnik Award for best dramaturgy.