Tag Archives: Milena Jesenská

Portrait of a Character – Milena Chelenska

Portrait of a Character – Milena Chelenska

Milena Chelenska was originally a creation as a part of a wholly original time travel series. However, that series is no more.

Origins

She was always a doctor, and was always a Holocaust survivor, based on Franz Kafka’s real-life lover, Milena Jesenska. As a love interest for Richard Daniels, I feel that she shines even more.

Portrayal

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Barking-Up-the-Muse-Tree-jespah-Janet-Gershen-Siegel-
Michaela Dolinova as Milena Chelenska (image is for educational purposes only)

Milena is played by Czech actress Michaela Dolinova.

It was very important for me, for the actress to be Czech in origin. This is because not only the ethnicity is important, but so is the accent.

I love that this actress is older, too, as Milena is meant to be worn down by the world.

Personality

Beaten down by the world and skeptical of the good in it, Milena survives more because she refuses to die than for any other reason. She experiences horrors at Dachau, including being a part of desperately trying to give a pregnant inmate an abortion before the Nazis discover the unnamed woman’s pregnancy. It all goes horribly wrong, and the unnamed woman dies. Milena vows to, if she survives, only help others. This also means illegal euthanasia for her neighbor, Mrs. Klinghofer, when Klinghofer’s inoperable cancer becomes truly intolerable.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Milena Jesenska (image is for educational purposes only)
The Real Milena Jesenska (image is for educational purposes only)

Milena first shows up, in the chronological order of the stories, by Tripp Tucker, during Day of the Dead, when he’s interphased to the liberation of Dachau in 1945. Milena and her sister, Noemy, along with Mrs. Klinghofer make friends with Tucker and other soldiers.

Milena is not seen again until Spring Thaw, when Rick is sent to 1969 in order to make sure that Prague Spring ends. By the time of He Stays a Stranger, Rick realizes that he’s in love with her.

Relationships

Elijah Kohak

Elijah, a neighbor’s son, is Milena’s boy next door type. But he’s Orthodox, and Milena and her family aren’t, so his parents don’t agree to a marriage. Instead, Elijah is promised to another. When they are shipping to Dachau, only his father and her sister remain. This is because her parents have committed suicide. Also, Elijah’s mother has died as the result of a rape  and beating. At the time of selection, because his father is going to be killed, even though Elijah could have lived, he sacrifices himself. Hence he goes to the death side, and is gassed.

Milena admits that she has taken lovers since his death. However, she’s never really gotten over him until she meets Rick.

Richard Daniels

With Rick, she finds an intellectual equal and is able to unburden herself. He, in turn, unburdens himself about Jun. They work together to heal each other. By the time of He Stays a Stranger, he realizes that he cannot just leave her in the past. In Mirror Masquerade, they are together, and she is practicing a form of medicine in the deep future.

Theme Music

Rick and Milena’s theme is Jim Croce‘s Time in a Bottle.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Milena Chelenska
Mirror Milena (Michaela Dolinova)

There are no real impediments to her existence in the Mirror Universe. I feel she’d be carefree, maybe even wealthy.

She could even be one of the very few Mirror Universe women who didn’t have a lousy life.

Quote

“I have conclusive evidence that we are not alone in the universe. And I am well aware of exactly how insane that sounds, so I shall endeavor to explain.”

Upshot

I love this character and she will definitely show up again.