Vladislav Vancura is one of the best known Czech writers of the period between the First and Second World Wars. At home he is a household name, but if he is not well known abroad, this comes as no surprise. Vancura has often been described as untranslatable. His prose is very poetic, and some would say that his writing has dated. This has not stopped the translator Mark Corner from taking up the challenge of translating what is probably Vancura's best known book "Rozmarne leto", which he translates as "Summer of Caprice" into English. Mark Corner
The Obecni Dum, or Municipal House, on the square Namesti Republiky is not only a stunning example of art nouveau architecture, but also an important venue for Czech art exhibitions. It is currently exhibiting the drawings of early 20th century Czech sculptor Otto Gutfreund. The drawings are on loan from the Moravian Gallery in Brno, which has been collecting the sculptor's drawings over the past few decades. The drawings, in conjunction with excerpts from the sculptor's diary, provide illumination into the methods of this internationally renowned
A documentary examining everyday life in Communist Czechoslovakia is now available on DVD. Entitled "Vzpominam, Vzpominas, Vzpominate?" or "I remember, do you remember, do they remember?", the documentary looks at life through the prism of socialist realism against the memories of those who lived through it.
Tom Stoppard, one of the greatest living playwrights, has written a new play called Rock 'n' Roll and it includes some serious Czech content. Set in two locations—Prague and Cambridge—the scenes shift from those taking place in Czechoslovakia between 1968 and 1989, to those in England which revolve around the family of an academic Marxist, Max Morrow. The connecting point is a Czech student studying at Cambridge, Jan, who falls in love with Max's daughter. Described as a tragicomic family saga intertwined with a political drama set in Normalization-era Czechoslovakia,
In less than a week's time, the 41st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will start in the west Bohemian spa town, named after Emperor Charles IV. For centuries the town has been sought out for its mineral water sources. Close to the border with Germany, it grew into a wealthy resort visited by people from either side of the border as well as from further afield.
A new book by former president Vaclav Havel has been a big hit with Czech readers, making the best-seller chart within days of its publication. Available only in Czech thus far, Prosim Strucne—which can be translated as "Briefly, please"—may not be what readers expect from the former Czech president.
The long and varied career of the Czech film director and editor Miroslav Janek began in Czechoslovakia and continued in the USA, where he emigrated in 1980, at the age of 26. Among a number of interesting projects, he has worked as an editor with Godfrey Reggio, famous for such films as Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqasti. Miroslav Janek was born in Nachod in east Bohemia, and first learned about film from his father, a passionate amateur filmmaker.
Czech-born writer Milan Kundera is easily one of the most recognisable and more respected names in contemporary European literature, whose work has been translated into many different languages. The irony is that none of his latest work - since Mr Kundera now writes solely in French - has ever been translated into Czech. That apparently provoked one anonymous fan to translate one of the later novels, "Identity" and release it on the Internet.
In the Czech Republic the story of glass in design and the arts is one that goes back centuries. Its famous Glassmaking School in Kamenicky Senov, north Bohemia, was established way back in 1856, 150 years ago, and was the first vocational school of its kind in the world. Even today it continues to train students at the secondary school level teaching technical expertise and providing balanced and wide-ranging artistic direction to potential artists of tomorrow.