Archive: Culture | Literature Literature

Hana Andronikova: mourning a powerful Czech literary voice

28-01-2012 02:01 | David Vaughan

Hana Andronikova It seems very strange to be talking about the Czech writer Hana Andronikova in the past tense. When she died of cancer on December 20th last year, she was only 44, and until the last months of her life had been at the height of her creative powers. Author of two successful novels, several plays and numerous short stories, she was one of the most versatile younger Czech writers, and will be hugely missed. David Vaughan looks at her life and work.  More

‘Adolf Loos – A Private Portrait’ offers readers a unique glimpse into the life of the modernist architect

27-01-2012 17:00 | Jan Velinger

In today’s Arts I talk to artist and editor Carrie Paterson about the first English-language edition of a rare and fascinating book originally published in 1936. Written by the third wife of modernist architect Adolf Loos, Claire Beck Loos (Klára Becková-Loosová of Plzeň) it was previously available only in German; the new edition, published by Doppelhouse Press, is called Adolf Loos – A Private Portrait.  More

Josef Škvorecký – Part 2 – ’68 Publishers and writing in Canada

20-01-2012 17:07 | Jan Velinger

In this week’s Arts enjoy Part 2 of our look at the life and work of renowned author Josef Škvorecký, who died at the age of 87 earlier this month. I continue my discussion with respected Czech critic, translator, and specialist in Czech studies Petr Onufer, who talks about how Miloš Forman almost made a film version of The Cowards, Škvorecký’s style as an author and his role as co-founder of ‘68 Publishers.  More

From Karel Čapek to Graham Greene: a Scottish poet’s memories of Prague

14-01-2012 02:01 | David Vaughan

Edwin Muir In a recent edition of Czech Books we looked at the Prague-inspired poetry of the Scottish poet, Edwin Muir. But it was not just in his poetry that Muir evoked the atmosphere of the Czech capital. David Vaughan finds out more in this week’s Czech Books.  More

Josef Škvorecký – Part 1 – The Cowards

13-01-2012 15:48 | Jan Velinger

Josef Škvorecký In this week’s Arts we will be looking back at the remarkable life and work of renowned writer, essayist and translator Josef Škvorecký who died earlier this month at the age of 87. The author of novels such as The Engineer of Human Souls was one of the most important in Czech 20th century literature, first making his mark in 1958 with The Cowards. To discuss that book and much, much more in the first of a two-part programme, I met with respected Czech critic, translator, specialist in Czech studies and Revolver Revue contributor Petr Onufer. In Part 1, we look largely Škvorecký’s debut, The Cowards.  More

Renowned author, publisher Josef Škvorecký dies at 87

04-01-2012 15:32 | Jan Velinger

Josef Škvorecký, photo: Tomáš Krist, ISIFA/Lidové noviny Czech emigré author and co-founder of '68 Publishers Josef Škvorecký died at the age of 87 on Tuesday, succumbing to cancer in Toronto, Canada. Mr Škvorecký was one the last great Czech 20th century authors and literati. His first novels published in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s – were quickly banned by the Communist regime. Later, following the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, Škvorecký and his wife Zdena Salivarová moved to Canada, where they founded ’68 Publishers. The imprint was a crucial avenue for Czech and Slovak dissidents like Milan Kundera and Václav Havel to publish in Czech and English in the West.  More

Jan Novák: the man who lived Miloš Forman

31-12-2011 02:01 | David Vaughan

Jan Novák, photo: David Vaughan When Jan Novák describes himself as Miloš Forman’s autobiographer, he is not entirely joking. He really did co-write the most famous Czech-American film director’s memoirs, and Forman himself has spoken of the book as “my life as lived by Jan Novák”. But Jan Novák is a great deal more than a biographer.  More

How the Velvet Revolution overturned the literary landscape

30-12-2011 14:18 | Chris Johnstone

Writers were at the forefront of the Velvet Revolution. But when the dust settled on the political changes they found a fast changing publishing revolution underway that left some of them sidelined. We look at the changes in the publishing and literary world over the last two decades.  More

Václav Havel’s literary agent Jitka Sloupová on his plays, their foreign productions and his image as an author

21-12-2011 | Jan Richter

Václav Havel The late Václav Havel is now being remembered as a great statesman and human rights advocate. But he was also a prominent literary figure. In fact, before he became an opposition leader in communist Czechoslovakia, he was already established playwright whose plays appeared on stages worldwide. Václav Havel’s literary agent Jitka Sloupová, from the Aura Pont agency, talks about what inspired his dramas that quickly gained acclaim both at home and abroad.  More

Kateřina Rudčenková: the waves of the Caribbean break on the shores of Lake Balaton

17-12-2011 02:01 | David Vaughan

Kateřina Rudčenková, photo: David Vaughan What happens when five women poets writing in five different languages meet on the edge of a Hungarian lake? As we find out now in Czech Books, the experience can offer rich insights into what different languages and cultures have in common, and where they differ. David Vaughan talks to the poet Kateřina Rudčenková.  More

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