Tag Archives: Milan Kundera
Wismar, Seehafen, Nacht

Lubomír Martínek in B O D Y

Milan Kundera wasn’t the only Czech writer to leave Czechoslovakia for France in the 1970s. Living a shadowy existence in another country is the subject of Lubomír Martínek’s story “Refugee” translated by Charles Sabatos. “Because the harbor was such a favored refuge for people escaping from various regimes, a lot of former political prisoners lived […]

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Hodasevich_Berberova

Literary roundup: Misunderstanding Kafka and a Czech émigré novel

Apparently it isn’t only filmmakers who misunderstand Kafka. In the Times Literary Supplement Gabriel Josipovici writes an article covering a number of quite varied books about or related to Kafka titled “Why we don’t understand Kafka” that brings a demanding yet even-handed take on the ultimate resistance to interpretation that Kafka’s writing contains. In a […]

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Sovětské_tanky_na_Křenové_ulici_Brno

Best European Fiction 2012 – Part II – novels in miniature

The two stories in BEF 2012 that stood out the most for me were Czech writer Jiří Kratochvil’s “I Loshad’” and “The Sorrows of Idiot Augustus” by Polish writer Janusz Rudnicki. The excellence of these two stories shouldn’t be all that surprising. For while these and other Dalkey anthologies try to give exposure to young […]

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Erika_Mitt

Literary roundup: Prince of Darkness and unbearable lightness

The Franz Kafka Society’s publication of the first Czech translation of the correspondence of Erika Mitterer with Rainer Maria Rilke alerted me to the existence of a fascinating sounding writer. She was still a teenager when she corresponded with the great poet, published her own poetry collection at 24 and went on to write a […]

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5.10 SL3 - 12

Francis Bacon and Bohumil Hrabal

Two Geniuses: Francis Bacon & Bohumil Hrabal is a recently opened exhibition at The Gate Gallery that presents an illuminating parallel between two masters of their respective mediums. Both developed unique styles that swam against the current of modern art and literature. “If Bohumil Hrabal had been a painter he would have painted like Francis […]

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Prague

Enter the Czech Literature Portal

While everyone seems vitally concerned with the portal Loki utilizes to make a surprise appearance on earth in The Avengers there is another portal I’d like to turn your attention to. If you haven’t gone to the Czech Literature Portal site yet now is your chance. From the beginning of May I have taken on […]

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Black-Sea-NASA

Book World 2012: exploring Black Sea literature

Book World Prague takes a plunge into Black Sea literature, opening up literary vistas barely known to international audiences The guest of honor at this year’s book fair is Romania, and according to Book World Prague (BWP) director Dana Kalinová, this gave them an opportunity to make a broader presentation of writing from other countries […]

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Vanitas_Stilleben_c1700

Facebooks unlimited

The American compulsion to write autobiographical novels is a literary dead end Almost exactly a year ago, with the PEN World Voices Festival of international literature taking place I used the occasion of reviewing Dalkey Archive’s Best European Fiction 2011 to prop up the Berlin Wall I thought of as separating European and American fiction. […]

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Juan Goytisolo8 © Javier Cotera, EL MUNDO

Prague Writers’ Festival 2012

The 22nd Prague Writers’ Festival gets cosmopolitan by bringing a range of exiled and émigré writers such as Juan Goytisolo to Prague The Prague Writers’ Festival (PWF) kicks off on April 14 with a typically diverse and impressive list of writers coming to Prague to read and discuss their work. Festival director Michael March sees […]

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Witold Gombrowicz. Vence, 1966. Fot. Bohdan Paczowski.

The lackluster marriage of philosophy and the novel

In the Financial Times novelist Jennie Erdal poses the question of whether it’s still possible to write philosophical novels the way Dostoevsky and Tolstoy once did. While it is quite easy to disagree with her premise and point out any number of philosophical novels being written today, the article is indicative of a much deeper […]

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