When Albert Einstein moved from Zurich to Prague in early April 1911 to take up his first full professorship teaching theoretical physics, he was not yet world-famous, though heralded in scientific circles as likely “the next Copernicus”. The position at the German University in Prague was a significant step up for Einstein, then 32, in terms of status and salary. Yet he found life in Bohemia more alienating than enchanting: German-speakers like himself were an entrenched minority in the Hapsburg Slav capital, and Einstein’s young family had no
Albert Einstein’s tenure as a professor of theoretical physics in Prague is often noted in passing – as an “interlude” or a “sojourn” of no great significance, even though it was in the Czech capital where his most extraordinary work, the theory of general relativity, truly began to emerge. With his new book Einstein in Bohemia, Princeton University history professor Michael D Gordin makes a compelling case that not only did Einstein’s time in Prague shape the science, literature, and even politics of the city for decades to come, the same is true
Poet, novelist, essayist, former diplomat and translator from French,
Václav Jamek, will be presented the Karel Čapek Award by the Czech PEN
Mr. Jamek, who is 70, has received numerous awards for his works in both
the Czech Republic and France, including the Tom Stoppard Prize as well as
the Josef Jungmann Award for translation. In 1999 he was named Officer of
France’s Order of Arts and Letters. He writes both in Czech and French.
The Karel Čapek Award was established by the PEN Club’s Czech branch in 1994 and is presented to outstanding writers every two years. Among its previous holders are the former president and writer Václav Havel, Arnošt Lustig and Ivan Klíma.
The award will be presented at the Mayor’s seat in Prague on Thursday evening.
No fewer than 23,000 fans of sci-fi, fantasy and horror attended the first ever Prague Comic-Con at the weekend. And the biggest guest at the inaugural edition was Hollywood actor Ron Perlman, who has appeared in superhero movies such as Hellboy and Blade II, both of which were shot right here in Prague, a city he avowedly adores.
Karel Čapek was a leading Czech interwar novelist, playwright and journalist and is perhaps most remembered for works of science fiction such as The War with the Newts and R.U.R., which gave the world the word “robot”. But did you know that Čapek was also a travel writer? His pieces from around Europe are the focus of the book In Search of a Shared Expression by Mirna Solic, a lecturer at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Glasgow. I spoke to her on the phone from Scotland.
Essayist, educator and debut novelist René Georg Vasicek was conceived in communist-era Czechoslovakia, born in Austria a year after the Soviet-led invasion of his parents’ homeland, and raised in the pine barrens of eastern Long Island, New York. His novel The Defectors is a self-described book of odd and uncanny episodes about people, many of them Czechs, trying not just to escape reality but “defect” from it.
The Grandmother by Božena Němcová is an iconic work in Czech literature. The novel about an idealized rural community in the early 19th century, written in the days of the national revival, marks the beginning of Czech prose. First published in 1855, it has been reissued 300 times and translated into numerous languages to reach readers the world over.
Kafka, Čapek, Kundera and Havel, these are all world renowned names, but what about all the others? How well are Czech authors actually known abroad? Can you find a bookshop in Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Paris or New York that aside from classics such as The Good Soldier Švejk also sell the works of contemporary Czech authors? At Radio Prague International we have decided to map out the popularity and availability of Czech books abroad and find out which books have been translated into international languages such as English, German, Russian, Spanish
A new book on Communist Czechoslovakia was launched under the auspices of the Minister of Foreign Affairs at Prague’s Czernin Palace this week. Titled Czechoslovakia: Behind the Iron Curtain, it tracks the history of the communist state, through a combination of narrative, contemporary pictures and extensive oral history in over 600 pages. It was penned by two female Slovak academics Dr Gabriela Beregházyová and Dr Zuzana Palovič. After the official ceremony was ended by a symbolic ringing of keys, I asked Dr Palovič how the idea to write the publication
Czech biochemist involved in developing potential coronavirus treatment
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
Coronavirus: Prague Airport designates special gates for arrivals from Italy
Coronavirus: no cases confirmed in Czech Republic so far
Coronavirus: Czechs to convene commission following spread to Italy