Every year on November 16th culturally minded Czechs mark the birthday of the celebrated Czech Romantic poet Karel Hynek Macha, who was born in 1810. Macha's poem "May" is considered the greatest piece of verse written during the Romantic period in Bohemia. And November 16th also marked National Poetry Day in the CzechRepublic. By .
Czech literature at the end of the millennium. All this week that's a subject that's preoccupying 150 experts on Czech literature from as far afield as Canada, Egypt and South Korea, who have all gathered in Prague. The Czech Republic may be small but it has an incredibly rich literary tradition, reflected in the sheer number of people who have come for the congress. The Czech Republic's recent history gives the congress a special edge. It is only the second time that experts on Czech literature have been able to come together here in the Czech capital. Until the fall of communism the academic world was divided into East and West - all conferences held here were burdened by a huge amount of ideological baggage. So the congress offers a fascinating meeting of ideas, reappraising both the classics and contemporary authors. Radio Prague's spoke with one of the participants, Rajendra Chitnis, who teaches Czech and Russian at the University of Bristol in Britain. He began by asking him whether there is a lot of interest in Czech writing in the English-speaking world.
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