Tag Archives: Vaclav Havel

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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Czech Literature Night goes European

From the works of Havel and Mácha to the Tata Bojs and a Hungarian vampire, Europe celebrates its literature What began as a Czech project called Literature Night has now spread from Prague across the continent, with Czech and European authors appearing and having their work read from London to Yerevan. In its fourth year […]

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Literary roundup: Index on Censorship and the Holocaust in Lithuania

In celebration of its 40th anniversary Index on Censorship is opening up its entire archives for 40 days from March 26 to, if I did the math correctly (no sure thing) means until May 5. After that all issues published before 2010 will remain available through the end of this year. Based on a quick […]

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Literary roundup: the double affirmative in Russian and Romanian, Czech writers here and there

“There is one kind of literature which never reaches the voracious masses. The work of creative writers, written out of the author’s real necessity, and for his own benefit. The awareness of a supreme egoism, wherein laws become significant. * Every page should explode, either because of its profound gravity, or its vortex, vertigo, newness, […]

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Czech writers being (re)discovered

The varied world of Czech literature, past and present, contains a vast store of work virtually unknown outside of the Czech Republic Nothing lasts forever, and the recent losses of Václav Havel and Josef Škvorecký emphasize the finitude of what was probably the greatest generation of Czech writers. Fortunately, there are numerous younger writers whose […]

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Prague cafés retain splendor of another age

“When the great actor Norinski entered the National Café, which is located in front of Prague’s Czech Theater, at three o’clock in the afternoon, he started a little – but then immediately smiled his most disdainful smile.” This is the opening line of the short story “King Bohush” by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, in […]

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Best Non-Fiction of 2011: a Central and Eastern European roundup

A selection of non-fiction about Central and Eastern Europe noted by critics in the year’s “Best of” lists The best Central and Eastern European non-fiction books of 2011 differ significantly from the fiction in that with only a couple of exceptions they are written about the region in English rather than being from the region […]

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Notes from underground: a look back at Czech samizdat

Czech dissident publications are put on display in New York, helping to bring a dark, courageous chapter of modern history back to life Since the death of Václav Havel on Sunday, Czech television has been filled with scenes from the ‘60s through the ‘80s documenting the dissident movement the former president and playwright played such […]

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Václav Havel 1936 – 2011 – Dissident to the end

With evening falling and word of Václav Havel’s death already spread throughout the city, a line was forming in front of Prague’s Memorial of the student demonstrations of November 17th. Although the memorial itself is under cover people stood waiting outside under the winter’s first snow flurries to pay tribute to a man whose legacy […]

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Martin Ryšavý wins Škvorecký Prize for Czech literature

An article in Czech Position on the 2011 Josef Škvorecký Prize going to Czech novelist, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker Martin Ryšavý for his novel Vrač. Continue Reading

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