The National Library of Israel has started digitising a long-lost batch of archival materials, belonging to Franz Kafka’s friend Max Brod. They include, among other things, Kafka’s personal diary and a notebook in which he practiced Hebrew. Israel received the missing documents from a Swiss bank in August after years of international searches and legal disputes over the author’s legacy.
Brno’s Martin Reiner is an award-winning poet and novelist. He also works closely with some of the Czech Republic’s other leading writers as head of the publishing house Druhé město (Second City). Our tour of “his Brno” begins in the tree-lined district where Reiner grew up, Černá Pole, around half an hour’s walk from the centre of the Moravian capital.
Faced by an acute labour shortage, the Czech government is looking to attract more foreign workers and streamline the processing of issuing work permits. In recent years, the country has in particular turned to Ukraine to help fill the gap. The government wants to do the same for workers from EU hopefuls such as Montenegro, Moldova and Serbia, as well as India and other Asian countries.
The Australian broadcaster and writer Richard Fidler is author of two bestsellers Ghost Empire, a fascinating reconstruction of the history of ancient Byzantium, and Saga Land, a very personal journey into Icelandic history. His writing is lively and engaged, but he is also meticulous in his research. Earlier this year Richard spent two months in Prague on a residency made possible through the UNESCO City of Literature programme. He is writing a book that will look at a thousand years of Prague history, each episode told through the story of an
Gerald Turner is a leading translator of Czech literature into English and is currently preparing to take on no less a work than Jaroslav Hašek’s The Good Soldier Švejk. Though now mainly based in his native England, throughout the 1970s Turner lived in Prague, where he lost his enthusiasm for communism and fell in with lots of notable figures on the city’s art scene. Our tour of “his Prague” begins at the pub U Parlamentu in the Old Town.
Animator Gene Deitch settled in Prague almost 60 years ago and directed Tom and Jerry and Popeye cartoons behind the Iron Curtain for the US market. The small number of other Americans who moved here in the communist period were one subject we discussed in the second half of an extensive interview. But I began by asking Deitch about the time the great folk singer and social activist Pete Seeger, a good friend of his, visited Czechoslovakia in 1964.
Gene Deitch, who turns 95 next month, is by some distance the US citizen longest resident in Prague. Deitch had run a successful animation studio in New York prior to the fateful meeting in 1959 with his future wife Zdenka that led him to settle in Prague soon after. From behind the Iron Curtain, he produced an Oscar-winning animated short, as well as directing Tom and Jerry and Popeye cartoons for the American market.
Czech poet and translator Petr Král, who also writes in French, was among
64 people honoured by the French Academy on Thursday for their
contributions in the cultural field.
The jury awarded Král, now 77, Le Grand Prix de la Francophonie not only for his book Critical Articles and Essays of Vlastizrady, but also for his entire body of work, including as an émigré.
As a translator and publisher, he has striven to bring Czech poetry to French readers, including the poems of Nobel Prize-winner Jaroslav Seifert. He also translated many French avant-garde writers, including André Breton, into Czech.
Král left Czechoslovakia for France after the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968 and returned to his homeland in 2006. Three years ago he received the Czech State Prize for Literature.