It was the literary sensation of the season, but now it has turned out to be little more than a hoax. The novel ‘Bílej kůň, žlutej drak’ (‘White Horse, Yellow Dragon’) by a young Vietnamese girl living in the Czech Republic won a prestigious literary prize for first-time authors and was hailed by the critics as the first testimony of her generation. But in fact the first Vietnamese novel was written by a middle-aged Czech man. Ruth Fraňková has more:
This year marks the 60 year anniversary of the famous children’s books publisher Albatros, which had a monopoly on the market before the end of communism in 1989 and remains to this day the publisher of the most popular titles in children’s literature. As part of the anniversary, an exhibition in the Prague National Library gives children a chance to experience the adventurous world of their favorite cartoon characters firsthand.
In 1977, a mailman, a math analyst and an actor got together to make some rather strange and wonderful music. Jablkoň, as they called the band, started off playing gigs in places around Prague that didn’t insist on specific genres. For as you’ll hear in today’s Music Profile, Jablkoň’s music rather defies easy explanation; a brand of distinctive folk blended with jazz, rock and more that’s often called world music. Except when it isn’t…
Exactly 20 years ago, during the Velvet Revolution, the country was flooded with posters, both home-produced and professionally printed, calling for change. They bore slogans like Free Elections, Teacher You Don’t Have to Lie to Us Anymore, and Havel to the Castle. Now many of those posters have been gathered in a fascinating new book.
Last month Prague’s famous Semafor Theatre, which launched the careers of numerous Czech performers, celebrated its 50th birthday. Now a new compilation album featuring remakes of original songs by Semafor’s classic singing/song-writing duo of Jiří Suchý and the late Jiří Šlitr is set to be released. The CD features contemporary musicians popular on today’s music scene, including Tata Bojs, Jiří Burian, and the electronic trio MIDI LIDI. The latter worked on a re-make of 1965 hit “What I had for Dinner Today”.
Just a few days after the Czech film Protektor took a prize at a festival in Denver, another ambitious project is just entering the cinemas across the country. Thursday night will see the official premiere of 3 sezóny v pekle or 3 Seasons in Hell. The feature debut by Tomáš Mašín, a Czech, Slovak and German co-production, has already received praise by Czech reviewers.
The concept of the library needs some spicing up, it seems. Too drab, too grey, too asexual, say student bookworms at Brno’s Masaryk University. So how to improve the situation? How about taking off the librarian’s clothes? Guerrilla Readers, an association whose primary aim is to promote reading, has printed a calendar to give some sex appeal to libraries in 2010.
Hello and welcome to Czech Books. This week we're discussing the novel The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer, one of this year's nominations for the prestigious Man Booker prize. The novel, which has already been translated into Czech and had a very positive local reception, is inspired by the functionalist masterpiece, the Tugendhat Villa in Brno, and covers over half a century of Czech history, focusing mainly on the fates of the Jewish industrialist Victor Landauer and his wife Liesel. I met with a professor of English Literature at Charles University's
The Prague Conservatory – teaching music and acting – is one of the oldest and most remarkable secondary schools of its type in Central Europe. Dating back roughly 200 years, the school has currently begun celebrating the upcoming anniversary of its founding with a series of exhibitions, publications and events to take place over the next 24 months or so.