Tag Archives: communism

Agnesa Kalinova in B O D Y

Fifty years ago, Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia, crushing the liberalization of the Prague Spring. What people today know about the consequences of this usually comes from images on the streets of Prague and from the lives of internationally-known Czech intellectuals like Václav Havel and Milan Kundera. This second excerpt from journalist and translator Agneša […]

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Jedlicka in B O D Y

Midway Upon the Journey of Our Life by Josef Jedlička, written between 1954 and 1957, might seem, on the surface, like a novel an English-language reader has some experience of. After all, Kundera and Hrabal have written of the Stalinist 50s – (Hrabal-readers most recently being granted access to his short stories from the 50s […]

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Literary roundup: Monumental Georgi Markov and remnants of former regimes

In The Nation there’s a thorough and fantastic article about Bulgarian writer and exiled dissident Georgi Markov titled “A Captivating Mind: How Georgi Markov became the truth-teller of Bulgaria’s communist era, and paid for it with his life.” Playwright, novelist, essayist and journalist, Markov was murdered on orders of the Bulgarian secret service in London […]

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Melancholy mystery of Hájícek’s disappearing Bohemian farmstead

A new column at Literalab that will follow-up B O D Y’s Sunday European Fiction starts off with an essay by the translator of this week’s story, Gale A. Kirking. It was a riddle that required my reading two wonderful novels and a collection of short stories to sort out. In dedicating the novel Rustic […]

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Irena Brezna in B O D Y

“Should I ask Jesus Christ for help, or should I write to our President in the capital? But even Jesus Christ himself is having a bad time and Comrade President could give an order to have Mama executed – after all, he is strict and fair. I’m afraid that Mama wouldn’t take her blindfold off […]

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Literary roundup: Re-enacting massacres and monkeys with paintbrushes

“Under communism the basic building material was greyness. That’s what we all remember. Even those of us who have forgotten everything else. Communism was grey – this truism has poisoned our minds. And so, after our heroic liberation, our first reaction was to rush to a paint shop. And that’s what my country looks like […]

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A life on ice: Bohumil Modrý and Jáchymov

In the late 1940s Bohumil Modrý was on top of the world. As an ice hockey goaltender he had six Czechoslovak championships under his belt as well as World Championship victories in 1947 and 1949. In 1948 his Czechoslovak team won the Olympic silver medal at the games in Switzerland. He was considered to be […]

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The Kafka Bubble

The 20th century is often justifiably referred to as a bloodbath. The 21st century is bloody too, but might more accurately be described as a bubble bath. It was ushered in following the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and since then has experienced a housing bubble, a commodities bubble and almost every kind of financial, […]

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