Until the middle of the 20th century, the territory of today’s Czech Republic had always been bilingual and its German literary legacy is huge. Adalbert Stifter, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Werfel, Max Brod and Franz Kafka are just a few of the best known writers, but there are hundreds of others, many undeservedly neglected or even quite forgotten. David Vaughan looks at an initiative to kindle interest in this country’s German literature and to revive Czech-German literary ties.
Sunday marks the 85th anniversary of the publishing of Franz Kafka’s internationally acclaimed novel “The Trial”. The first edition was published by the Berlin publishing house Die Schmiede, a year after the author’s death. Kafka never finished the novel, but the fragment was preserved by fellow writer Max Brod. Franz Kafka, who was born in Prague in 1883, started writing “The Trial” at the beginning of World War I. The novel follows protagonist Josef K., who is not aware of having committed a crime yet finds himself the subject of a court trial. He unsuccessfully attempts to find out what he is charged with, and is eventually sentenced to death.
Few writers are more closely identified with Prague than Lenka Reinerová, who died last month at the age of 92. Although in the course of an adventurous life she travelled the world, she loved above all to write about her home city, and with her death Prague has lost one of its most important literary witnesses. In Czech Books this week, we remember Lenka Reinerová and her literary legacy.
Prague has lost one of its best-known and best-loved literary figures. The writer Lenka Reinerová died on Friday at the age of 92. Her novels and stories, which drew richly from her adventurous life, were written in her native German, and she was often described as Prague’s last German writer. Lenka Reinerová was one of few surviving witnesses of the rich German speaking literary world of Prague between the wars, and she knew many of its best known figures, including Max Brod and the famous „roving reporter“, Egon Erwin Kisch. David Vaughan looks
Author and essayist Lenka Reinerová has died at the age of 92: the news was confirmed by publisher Joachim Dvořák on Friday who had been in contact with Mrs Reinerová’s family. Reinerová, widely read in Germany and the Czech Republic, was attributed with reviving a long tradition of German-language writing in the Czech capital.
It was 69 years ago this week, just after midnight on the night from 29th to 30th September 1938, that the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, his French counterpart, Edouard Daladier, Hitler and Mussolini, signed the Munich Agreement. It is now remembered as the most notorious symbol of Chamberlain's tragically flawed policy of appeasement. The "piece of paper" which he waved on his return to Heston Aerodrome, just west of London, was to be a guarantee of "peace for our time", and Czechoslovakia was the price that was to be paid, as the
In recent years Lenka Reinerova has acquired almost legendary status as Prague's last living writer in the German language. Her novels, stories and essays, many of which are strongly autobiographical, are widely read both in Germany and the Czech Republic. She is currently at the centre of a fascinating literary project. Prague has always been a city of two languages, Czech and German, but after the trauma of World War Two, the German language disappeared almost completely. A huge literary tradition was lost, in which Prague's most famous literary
If the film Casablanca had not been fiction, perhaps Sam would have played "As Time Goes By" for the Prague-born writer Lenka Reinerova. In 1941 she was one of many thousands of refugees who found themselves trapped in the Moroccan port as they tried to escape occupied Europe for the New World. Lenka Reinerova was born 88 years ago into a German-speaking Prague Jewish family.