Books picked right off the trees

It is a cliché that can be applied to almost anything – “You don’t know what you’re missing.” And in all likelihood you really don’t know. Not anymore though, at least as it relates to Czech books.

The linguistic iron curtain is being lifted. The Czech Literature Portal will have regular English-language updates on  recently published Czech books as well as new translations of Czech books being brought out in a multitude of languages (except one, for the most part. Can you guess which one that is?) There will also be weekly recommended books culled from the archive and displayed prominently on the homepage.

The site also features extensive information on a large number of Czech writers, including excerpts from their work in English as well as German, French, and Hungarian among other languages.

So, now that tired cliché can be retired, at least in this one humble aspect of life. When it comes to Czech literature you know what you’re missing.

And if anyone wants more information about a specific Czech writer or book please feel free to contact me (michael@literalab.com).  There are a lot of interesting books here that you could go your entire life without being aware of, and instead of settling for a passable book simply because it’s more accessible why not reach out a bit. We don’t bite. The important thing is not to succumb to literary passivity. That would be a decision you’ll regret till your dying days.

After you’ve overcome all negative emotions and obstacles to the point where you can instantly see which books you like, then all you have to do is find a translator, learn Czech and read it yourself, or do your small part to get the whole process started. This could include anything from word-of-mouth for the talkers, to publishing the book for the publishers.

A short note on where to find what: The New Books are organized like the News is, with Czech on the left-hand column and international on the right.

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Categories: Books

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