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 the English version of the site (there is also a German version as well as, obviously, a Czech one).
The site will feature news relating to Czech writers, such as the newly released audio book versions of Milan Kundera’s novels and essay collections as well as a story on the Prague-born Holocaust survivor Ruth Bondy who returned to her birthplace to be presented with the Jiří Theiner Award for the promotion of Czech literature abroad. Among the Czech authors Bondy has translated are the abovementioned Kundera as well as Jaroslav Hašek, Václav Havel, Bohumil Hrabal and Jiří Weil.
The site also offers a look at new books published in Czech, with regularly featured recommended titles, so those of you in publishing will see what the authors you know about are publishing as well as the authors you’ve never heard of before. I defy anyone to tell me that the current recommended book, The Žítková Goddesses by Kateřina Tučková, with its story of the communist security services trying to wipe out the last traces of paganism in Czechoslovakia, doesn’t sound incredibly interesting.
Photo – a sculpture’s shadow across the street from the late Václav Havel’s office, by me.